Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big Hair, Berkeley and working with our heroes.

AIM IM with ariazuk 3/31/11 10:56 AM

N:Welcome back from Berkeley! How was it?
A:Soggy. It rained for two weeks straight
N:Ah yes. California "winter"
A:They said that even for them it was excessive. But the show was really good and we got a kind of kick-ass review in the San Francisco Chronicle.
N:That's amazing!
A:Thanks! How's Florida?
N:Also soggy. My hair is so big!
N: So wait. Tell me about what you did out in Berkeley. You had rehearsals the first week? Every day? And then how many performances? And how was working with Lorin Maazel?
A:So, we had rehearsals the first week every day 3 - 7 hours a day
and then a couple of days off the second week.
I had an audition for San Francisco Opera which I thought was good, so all-told, a good trip. Maestro Maazel is great to work with.
N: You auditioned for the SF Opera? That's amazing! Didn't you audition for them before?
A:SF Opera? No
N:Oh. I thought you did.So that would be to be a part of the company or for a specific role? Is it like Black Swan and you get to be the visiting badass but this time from New York?
N:Did you see that movie yet, by the way?
A:Um. No. I need to and it comes out this week on the on demand.
N:So freaking scary. And awesome.
A:I did see The Town, and a really bad Jennifer Aniston movie on the plane
LOVE Virgin America
N:Jennifer Aniston movies AND internet. WOOHOO! And that weird lighting. It's like being on an airplane rave.
A:Totally! What's with the spa music?
N:Spa music- they're trying to soothe the savage beast.
A:Let me tell you something, spa music works well - especially when the plane is full.
N:So wait. The audition. Do you know what you're gonna sing before you go in or is it like "name this tune"?
A:Um, so you go in with the aria you want to start with and then they ask for what they want to hear after
N:Wow. What if you don't know it?
A:Ha! Not like from the canon of operatic repertoire - you come in with a list, and they pick from the list
N:oh. oh ok. So they're not trying to stump the band
A:No. But that's funny.
N:Like, "You don't know this obscure Mahler piece? You're OUT!"
A:No, they're not trying to stump the band, but I like that idea.
N:OOOH! New reality show!
A:I think we've got a reality tv show in the works! Great minds.
N:Ha! So it's not for a specific role?
A:No. It was just a general audition so that they know my voice and hopefully will think of me for future productions.
N:When do you find out?
A:I think I don't find out
N:Oh ok. They just know you now
A: I asked my manager and we don't get feedback. They'll just keep reminding SF Opera that they know me
N:Even though you were just an entire CHORUS across the Bay.
A:Even though I was an entire chorus....
N:Do companies like that make known what they're going to be presenting in advance?
N:Like they'll say we're doing La Boheme this year and then your manager sends you in?
A:Well, often you audition for a specific role (or several) in a season.
This time though, there were three of us from the same management and so we all three auditioned just to be heard.
N:Wow. Do you feel competitive with them or is it more supportive?
A:All three of us are different voice types, so there's no competition
and at this point, I feel like it's useless not to support my colleagues
N:Right on. Me too.
A:Why be in this business if it's going to suck?
N: Totally. We get to create our realities why be around people who suck? Or be a person that sucks? Never got that one.
A:haha! I really love the people I was working with in Berkeley. Speaking of...
A:My people? Not so much.
N:hahaha. But did you make it to Berkeley Bowl? Tell me you did.
A:I made it to Top Dog a lot
A:It was raining. Don't be mad.
N:Did you go to O Chame? We went to Olivietto and then at a lot of college-asian-food. Delish!
N: I love that. College Asian Food. What's that? second period?
A: HA! And Pho for the hangover/binge eating. Not that there was that going on with us. We were just happy to have cheap food near the hotel
N:College towns are good for that. Wish I was there. There's really nothing near this hotel.
A:Where are you again?
A:Ouch. I mean not that there's anything wrong with Gainesville.
N:I bet it's awesome here but it's pouring rain and I don't have a car.
So Hilton it is. Poor me.
A:I swear, it's a theme - the rain, I mean
N:It's the end of the world so there's that.
N:Yes, Eloise.
A:There's another reality show: Stuck in the Hotel. Maybe that's already on?
N:I bet. Sounds right up A&E's alley....
N:Ha! Well the gym here is awesome. Went yesterday already and there's power bars in the snack bar. For $14.
A:A slight mark-up
N:Just slight. And today is Martini Thursday starting at 5. But I'll be at the venue already. SAD.
A:SO sad. So, how's Janis Ian?
N:She's great! She's such an amazing performer. And she has so much energy. She's been teaching every day too and she's out on the road through April. Pretty tireless.
A:Is it like working with Maazel for me - someone you've looked up to forever and suddenly you're colleagues?
N:To be honest, I didn't really know much of Janis's music but I knew OF her and I was a fan of her story.
A:But she's iconic to you hippy people, right?
N:I think she's on the front cover of Hippies For Dummies.
A:ha! She's the hippy Mozart
N: Well, kinda actually. I mean she wrote her first song when she was 13. Hit song that is. Society's Child was not only a huge success, it was a really important song. About a white girl in love with a black boy. This was the 60's. That shit was NOT ok. And then she wrote At 17 which is so important to so many people the world over.
A:That's amazing. Pardon the ignorance...
N:You should read her book. It's actually awesome. She hung with Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Odetta, Nina Simone.
A:That's amazing.
N:Her stories aren't boring, let's put it that way.
A:No kidding!
N:And she's still such a badass player. Better, even.
A:Maazel's similar. Talks about Pavarotti and people like that. He worked with all of them!
N:He's the Janis Ian of the Classical World.
A:He's not that tall either, come to think of it
N:haha! A lot to be learned from these people for sure. And she's been so generous to me.
A:Makes me want to pay more attention to Dad's rambling, sometimes!
N:No kidding. We probably should.
A:Pay attention to your parents. It's a good lesson we've learned via Janis Ian and Lorin Maazel. Maybe they're actually our parents?
N:Uh, let's stick to mentor.
A:Oh ok.
N:I love that story about when dad met....uh...shit! What's his favorite violinist's name?
A:Nathan Milstein?
A:Jascha Heifetz
N:And he sat at his feet.
A:I don't think I know this story. Tell.
N:Well he sat at his feel while Heifetz smoked a cigar. Guess that's why dad smoked cigars. EW!
A:well, it's sort of a good reason...
N:True. Well there's not so much of a story but I've just never heard him talk about anyone with such a star struck kinda thing. He was late to this party dad was at, I guess and I think dad had just played the Beethoven for the first time- 17, 18 years old. So Heifetz comes in and just holds court. Not by DOING anything. Just with his presence.
A:Kind of like dad does now?
N:Having just had my cd release party, I can tell ya dad does the same thing. Minus the cigars. Amanda won't let it.
A:Hilarious! Right. That "star quality" thing. I think you have it
N: Awww. Nah. I just have big hair. And getting bigger. Thanks, Florida.
A:I have a big tuchus. Thanks, DNA.
N:HAHA! So you're home now for a little bit? What's next?
A:Well, the semester ends up at Catholic University and I've got FIVE students with recitals. I have to help them with their stress
and then next month, I'm doing a benefit at Bard for the Center for Spectrum Services that (our) aunt Laurie runs
And I'm doing a Verdi Requiem with the National Philharmonic here in DC. And post-Florida? Where goes the hair from there?
N:Me and my fro are going back to Brooklyn and I get to go to the Guild Guitar Factory and pick out a new guitar! They're endorsing me now, did I tell you that?!
N:Thanks! I'm so excited. So the factory is in CT and I'll go on my way to meeting Janis in Fall River. We play Fall River, Brooklyn and then Infinity Hall in CT.
A:I wish I could come...
N:Me too! Then I get to play with my buddy Erin McKeown who i haven't seen in forever, and fly out to the west coast to play with Susan Werner. Then back to the midwest to play with Janis and Tom Paxton and then I meet up with Garrison and the band again in Ann Arbor and we play there, Buffalo and then a few shows in Canada.
A:Damn. You're busy. But you're coming to Granma's birthday, right?
N: Of course! I'm playing in Northampton on the 15th with Erin so I have the day off before and I'll come for granma's bday.
A:Where are you on the 13th?
N:Home! Wanna come up and we can drive together?
A:That would be so fun.
N:We might just have to hit foxwoods on the way to Boston.

1 comment:

  1. Is that Arianna on the right in the picture? Just got the Jeffrey Thomas performance of Händel's Messiah featuring her. Awesome sauce!