It’s my last night in my apartment in Bushwick in Brooklyn. I’m really sad to leave here because me and Akeem have enjoyed each other’s company. I’m sat writing this and he’s cooking at the side of me. We just hit it off and I will miss him. I could have moved a few days earlier to my new place in Flatbush but I’ve waited until I really had to leave. I got home tonight and he’d left some flowers with this attached (it’s been a pleasure. I’ll miss you tons’). He’s been a great help. Chatting, doing my flyers, helping with social media stuff, putting my show on websites. Onto pastures new and the next place. This has been my whole year so far. I’ve stayed in so many places now I don’t even know where I’m up to.
It’s been a really tough two weeks actually. Tough in the sense that things have happened to really shake me up and I’ve had to deal with them and see what lessons I can learn from it. It’s my show this coming Saturday and there have been times I just wish I wasn’t doing it. I remember when someone gave me the idea to do it. I was sat with a bunch of Seniors who all encouraged me to do a showcase, hire a theatre. One offered to give me $1000 for it (which never happened), and others were saying you hire the theatre and we’ll sort out the people to come and listen. NOT ONE OF THEM IS COMING TO MY SHOW!!!! They’ve all told me to my face that they won’t be coming because they don’t want to buy drinks at the theatre and it’s too expensive. Even Norma who has been helping me get opportunities told me to my face (with the offer of a free ticket) that she didn’t want to come. I’ve had comments on my hair, weight, the dresses I wear, how I speak, the agent taking me on like it’s their business, how I will never get a visa. I’m at the point where I’m pretty much done with the Seniors butting their noses into my business. What I’ve learnt these past two weeks is that people are full of shit and right now I trust no one where singing is concerned.
It’s all good though. Out of everything there are lessons to learn and it’s been one big steep learning curve, the way people have acted about it and even some friends. You really only do have yourself at the end of the day and I’m pleased that I do know how to rely on myself. I’ve got people paying on the door but I know I’m going to lose money on this and I’m ok with that because I’m going to do it with everything I have and do my thing regardless of who wants to come and who doesn’t. The right people will be there and the main thing is that I’ve had the guts to do it. I’m going to end up giving some free tickets away at the end to fill seats as the theatre require a certain number to buy drinks (so they get their share) so it’s really been stressful at times trying to work it all out, but I know there’s a solution to everything. I’ve gone out and sang on the streets giving out flyers, sang at events to sell it and I’ve done what I can. It’s still going to be a great show because I know what I do is quality so whoever does come will enjoy it. Here’s a little Julie Andrews and Walt Disney’s favourite song from Mary Poppins….
There’ll come a point when the people who think $15 is too much will wish they had paid it whilst they had the chance, because one day it will be a lot more expensive to come and see me. I intend to be singing in some pretty good halls in the future.
Speaking of good halls I went with Ellen to see Ray Lamontagne at Radio City Hall.
It’s such a cool place to go into. All art deco and full of character with old phone booths. Such a great show too and a completely different kind of audience to the opera set. Ha ha. The couple infront of Ellen left early because they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. The couple infront of me had just got married (I overheard them saying to someone else) and just leant on each other and chatted and kissed the whole way through (my cynical mind is like I give them 5 years) and another woman across the aisle kept getting up, rustling her bag and just being a pain in the backside. I pay good money to see a concert when I go and I just want to listen to the music. We can all talk, kiss, smooch, and do what we want the rest of the time. I don’t get it. I also went to The Metropolitan Opera to see Verdi’s Aida and left at the interval because I just found it boring. I really just love going to things and being moved by the music and it just had no heart in it and I found it hard to hear the singers and it just disappoints me when this happens. It really disappoints me and I get scared to write this in my blog because how dare I say something like that but it’s true. I just think opera has lost it’s heart. I would have loved to have seen people like Pavarotti, Domingo, Jerry Hadley and Callas in their prime. I imagine people were on the edge of their seats.
Things are changing for me. I always think the change starts from the inside. A few months back I was happy to sing for free for people and volunteer my services if I felt I could be some help to people and now I’m like ‘NOOOOOOO more singing for free’. I’m done. I work hard, I have good skills and I deserve to be compensated well for what I do, so that’s another lesson I’ve learnt recently. I’m tired of being taken advantage of and not appreciated. It’s over. New times are coming and I had a lovely little opportunity today singing on a Yacht in Chelsea Piers. It was for someone’s birthday (they heard me singing in Central Park) and we were meant to go on a cruise up the Hudson River and I was super excited about that but the weather was too windy to take the boat out so we stayed at the pier. Not to worry. The people were lovely who I sang for and I came away feeling great. I even got told to charge MORE for my services and was given a $100 tip. There I go. Stick with those that get it.
Things are going well. I’m really enjoying my coachings with my pianist arranged through the agent. Loving them. I do two hours a week and we work really intensely and I’m soaking it all up like a sponge. I feel my body working more when I sing, I feel more trust building up in what I am doing and I feel really good about it. Loving getting some arias ready again for auditions. Just such a buzz to be doing it again. It’s been a long time since I really got myself ready again and I really do feel ready for it. It’s like I just feel ready on the inside for the ‘new’ that’s waiting for me. Bring it on. I want to see what happens. There are times I get fed up, I want to go home, but it’s just a blip (vent it, cry it out if needed, get up again and carry on). Simple. This is the life I’ve chosen.
I’m super excited about being here for Halloween. It’s great to walk past houses full of stuff outside. Much more than I see in the UK. I think it’s going to be great. Ellen’s done me a costume for a party we are going to too. I hardly ever really go out and have fun because of my voice (la voce and all that), but I’m really looking forward to just having some fun and not caring for once. I need it. This year has been intense. Brilliant, exciting, shitty and the rest too….. When my show is done I’m going out to party like a Sex in the City Sarah Jessica Parker and Charlotte all rolled into one. I even got chatted up by a guy on the subway tonight….
Sooooooo, good people of NYC. It’s my show on October 27th at 3pm at The Triad Theater on W72nd St between Columbus and Amsterdam. It’s going to be good so come along and support me and hear my story and listen to my songs. Also something nice happened in Central Park today. A guy proposed to his girlfriend infront of me whilst I was singing some Puccini. Lots of lovely stories….