I’ve literally been sat in front of this computer all day. Not even had a shower yet. I’m housesitting in Bethnal Green right now and guys are working on the bathroom and listening to me practising my Julie Andrews stuff. Ha ha. They have no choice. I make them lots of cups of tea and actually enjoy having them around. It’s prep for America all the way. I’ve been emailing and emailing people. Charities: to be a volunteer singing for people: agents; cafes; schools; looking for open mics; even karaoke bars. Any opportunity when you don’t know a city but only know you have to be there is an opportunity. I cannot be fussy at all. This isn’t about me just going singing on the streets and having a nice time. This is about me finding a way to create a future there and get a visa to stay.
Why America? I hardly know the place. I’m going on a whim just because I feel I should but there’s nothing there for me yet. Following my heart. I have one opportunity to sing for free in a library in Brooklyn in June and a friend is letting me know soon which schools I can go and sing in and work with the kids a bit. I could kiss her right now, but at the same time I realise we are creating our future all the time and the way we are on a daily basis determines what happens next. She is a friend of someone I know in Belgium and I first went out there in 2016 I and went to see her in Brooklyn, and went into her daughters school to sing for free and we kept in touch. It’s about giving and just being the person you want to be and it comes back to you. The mother superior says to Maria (because I’m all Julie Andrews this and Julie Andrews that right now) before she sings ‘Climb Every Mountain’
‘you have to look for your life’
So I’m out looking and I will create what I want. I know I will and the feeling in my gut tells me I will. I sit at the computer and think who can I email today, and hardly anyone replies but at least I am doing it. That’s part of it. Just doing it. I got a shitty reply from an agent earlier which really made me slump for a while. Like fuck this shit…..and the reason why I enjoy singing on the streets and doing my own thing:
‘Opera companies would be hesitant to even consider you based on your CV and opera work history.’
Maybe that is the reality. I’ve sang mostly in choruses in opera companies, albeit great opera companies; I’ve only done a few roles, so on corporate Opera paper I haven’t done much, but deep down I know I am a good singer. I’m not the greatest but I know I’m good because I sing from my heart, and I work like a dog on it all and it matters so much to me. I haven’t had one audition for any British opera companies since I came back to the UK nearly two years ago so maybe it is game over in opera houses. Not bothered if that’s the case. I’ll just keep doing my own thing and let my inner power soar with singing from my heart for people and giving people pleasure, because that’s what it’s really about. Not the bullshit of this profession killing people’s creativity. I will make this all work and it will be in MY way.
‘Julie for the People’ is four days away. Canada is two weeks away and New York is three weeks away. I may have somewhere to live in Brooklyn from June as a sublet. Our dates match perfectly and I love the photos so fingers crossed with that one. I’m excited about singing Julie stuff. I mean I’m just like this is real childhood joy stuff. It’s vocally low for me. It gets stuck around the weakest part of my voice. I’m out of my ‘showing off with lots of high operatic stuff comfort zone’ and I’ll use a microphone if people are singing along and I’ll do what I can, but just to sing ‘Do,re,mi, I have confidence’ and the Mary Poppins stuff is just great. It’s such fun and more than anything else that’s what I’m going to do. I’m decorating the room a bit, bought balloons, nice ladies are making cakes for me, I have a guy who is amazing and really helps me to sell tickets and get people in. Just a Godsend (thanks Neil). This is the real stuff. Not the people who want to tell you ‘noone will be interested’.
But I’m on it. I am strong. Noone will ever pull down that joy I have inside from singing. They can say what they want and they can do what they want but they have no idea what singing means to me. I am a fighter and a survivor and I know what pain is like and every time I get up to sing I heal a part of that pain inside me. I’m rich on the inside and I’m happy on the inside from how it feels to do what I do for people. I’m on a path of service. I have hardly any ‘things’ now and I don’t miss having ‘stuff’. I go out every day and pass homeless people and give them something or buy them food. It matters to me. I said I will not refuse someone who asks me for help when I pass them. I want to do good. I chat to people when I sing and give them time to tell me their stories. One guy told me last week he was over from America travelling around with his son and dad because he was dying of cancer. People share themselves with me. Thank you.
I’ve been to Derby and was featured in the press with 24,000 viewers on a Facebook ‘live’ video. It came about because I was in Derby to sing for my friends parents for free. Just about the giving. Check it out here (never had so many views and it’s a nice feeling).
I sang for them and it was lovely and heartwarming. Her mum and dad have always loved opera and her mum has dementia. They don’t know if they will ever all get together again as her brother lives in Norway. I don’t care about money. Enough comes and I trust that enough will always come and if I have more than enough I’ll give back to others. It’s the interactions with people every day that keep me going. I sang for a week for the charity ‘Lost Chord’ in old folks homes all week. This is heart stuff for me. I’m lucky. I spent the weekend in Ipswich to see what was going on there. I went to Jimmy’s farm
(absolutely love good food produced with care and love) and I’m getting to travel and see many things and meet many people. I’m living. I thank everyone who puts some money in my pot. I thank everyone who chats with me even if it’s just for a minute. I thank everyone who takes the time to give me a compliment. I’ve been to lots of spiritualist churches recently. I’m in to all that (have been for years) but hadn’t been to a church for a while. I’m getting some nice messages. Keep going, work hard though and fight for what you want because you will create it. Yes I will!!! I know what I want and I see myself doing it, so I’ll say to myself ‘KEEP THE FAITH NICK!!!!
I remember my dad laughing at me when he heard me sing the one time he ever did and saying ‘who did I think I was?’. I remember my teacher at music college telling me that I would never be good enough to be a singer and crying my eyes out in front of her. You don’t forget the comments where people have been mean but they give you strength to fight for yourself. I’ve been knocked down many times but I’ve always picked myself back up. I thank them for giving me the independence and strength to do what I’m about to do. Let’s rock on with this and just do it!!!!!!!!
If you are free and around Lees, Oldham on Friday night come to my Julie Andrews event. It’s where it all began. I’m going into my old school next week to sing for the kids (not been back since I was 11). I’m doing good for people and it feels good. Check out my website at www.iamnicolamills.com
Bye for now!!!!