Three more shows. Listen, I love NYC, and I do look forward to working on my current projects at home. I have lots of work to do, a wedding to sing at The Metropolitan Opera, lots of masses to sing at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a couple of solo gigs in December, and I hope to get more work singing or acting at home when I return. I’ll even have some great distractions, including a planned trip to Berlin, an audition in San Francisco, and Thanksgiving with my family in Florida.
So, why do I tear up when I think about ending our run of La Traviata at Washington National Opera in DC? Without a doubt, the people here are great and have welcomed me into their family without hesitation. I plan to write more in the future about my adventures with housing, but I’ve had an incredibly gracious host in a beautiful home who has truly become a friend. I’ve worn costumes perfectly tailored to my body, tasted wine, celebrated and laughed with friends, caught up with great people I haven’t seen in decades, and sung repeatedly in a gorgeous opera house for incredibly grateful audiences.
If I’m completely honest, these fulfilling and enriching experiences follow me, and I will return for a production of Faust in February and March. Although I don’t yet know where I’ll stay, the universe teaches me over and over that good people and my own resourcefulness abound, and I suspect I’ll have some unknown experience that will make me smile and help me grow. Why the tears? Change is hard. I tout it as a lifestyle all the time, and I plan to write a book about the importance of making it a habit, but I cannot lie and pretend that I don’t still fight, every time a big change arrives. So why bother?
Yeah, I have more questions than answers in this post. Still, I know that I felt the same way, getting on a bus to come here and fight through the discomfort of being the new kid at school. The sheer lack of foreknowledge of the neighborhood, my host, the staff at my gig, how I might adjust… I knew nothing. In less than two months, I’ve grown so comfortable with this change that I don’t want to leave. It happens every time. I hate packing. I hate leaving. I hate not knowing what might happen on the other side of Monday. Since the future doesn’t exist yet and now is all we have, I intend to wipe those honest tears, enjoy my friends here and my family coming to see the show, dance and sing in the most lovely costumes I’ve worn in a while, and remind myself of my greatest truth and passion – an openness to change. When I step out of that bus, I welcome another adventure and another fulfilling reality to help me become a better person. Without that shift, I’ll never open the door to whatever unknown journey will make me want to stay next.
DC, thank you. I can’t wait to see you again soon.