The Musical Consequence of Who I Am

Recently, the New York Times published a call for reader experiences in ArtsBeat entitled, What Inspired You to Work in Classical Music? A selection were chosen for inclusion with an essay by Anthony Tommasini, It All Started With a Toy Piano. The inquiry spurred my own thoughts about how I became a musician. Here follows my rumination on the matter.


To me, classical music and inspiration are corollaries. There is no distinct event in my life that inspired music performance as a career choice per se. I am a product of experience.

One of my earliest books was Richard Scarry’s Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch, which introduced me to German and French at age three while living in a Spanish-speaking city. I had been given recordings of Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34, Prokofiev’s Peter and the … Read more »

Reinstating Responsibility

It’s no secret I haven’t blogged in six months. They’ve been an educational and defining six months, but therein lies another blog post for another time–or perhaps a novel. During this period, I’ve given considerable thought to the purpose of blogging. My friend, Mo, once remarked that he didn’t think it was prudent for the title of my blog to be “Professional Auditionee“, indicating that such a title could imply to readers that I am not a professional or do not have a career. However, I believe the majority of the public only perceives two paths for those working in the arts: poverty or extraordinary wealth. These are the two stories commonly repeated in news media and pseudo-news media, and few realize there is a large portion of those working in artistic fields that exist between these two dichotomous perspectives. We haven’t got roles in weekly TV series (yet) or large roles in feature films paying hefty residuals (yet) or spokesperson roles for major advertisers (yet) or roles in long-running Broadway … Read more »

Dissociating Self and Hindsight

Earlier today I queried, “Why is hindsight 20/20″? You see, I’ve had difficulty abiding by my personal tricolon recently: I go, I do it, I leave. Specifically, I have had difficulty failing to recall two auditions I had last week.  They were callbacks for roles in a TV pilot–my first auditions for a pilot since I worked as quirky teacher Jenn on The Six Fifty-Seven, a tale of commuter train pals. Fundamentally, every audition is a chance to work and, like all actors, I enjoy working as often as possible. Surely, it is foolish to dream of landing every gig, but it is reasonable to believe the possibility of working periodically with some regularity is feasible.

In every performer’s heart is harbored secret loves and passions–those so-called “dream jobs”–and in my case, this pilot captured a few of these elements: accents, intrigues and period costumes. As much as I’ve tried to sweep last week’s experiences from my mind, these past few days I’ve found myself pondering reflectively and questioning introspectively: “Oh, I … Read more »

A Pledge of Character

I have never been one to make resolutions at the turn of a new year. The words “resolve” and “resolution” for me immediately call to mind music theory analyses of great compositions–specifically works by Wagner, Berg and Schönberg, among others. I’ve always felt trite commitments such as “lose weight”, “quit drinking” and “get organized” carry with them negative connotations that attract unwanted energy and undesired outcomes. They also bear heightened expectations that go frequently unmet and can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction.

So this year I am making a pledge to myself to work daily at being the best person I can be. There is an expression I like and is paraphrased, “Imagine life as you wish it to be and trust in the knowledge the Universe will provide it for you.” While I like it very much, I acknowledge I haven’t always believed it. However, I can cite examples in which actions undertaken with belief in such a concept have led to desired … Read more »