10,000 strong

My blog counter passed the 10,000 hits mark in the last couple of days, so I figured I should do something to commemorate this event. And then I realized I hadn't written a blog post for some time, so maybe actually giving people a reason to look at the blog might be a good way to mark the fact that people are, well, looking at the blog.

I was sort of too busy living it up in New Orleans to be writing stuff down. Not only did I really bond with several members of the cast, but also my best friend Georgia, who now lives in New Orleans, returned from the gig she was away on, so I was abnormally occupied with socializing when I wasn't rehearsing. It's always fantastic when I meet people I really like on gigs, but then terribly sad to leave. And to top it all off, the day before the opening, I got really sick.

I've sung performances sick before, so I try not to get all hysterical when I feel a sore throat creeping up on me, but it still really sucks to have to sing when your throat is on fire, or when you have so much congestion, you sound more frog than human when you try to speak. I have this absurdly deviated septum - so much so, that when a new ENT scopes me and looks up my nose, he usually literally says "WHOA" and jumps out of his chair a little bit. I used to get horrible sinus infections all the time, but luckily, I don't seem to get sick that frequently any more. To call it a "deviated septum" is something of a misnomer - it should really be called a "horrible mangled crashed car on the inside of my nose" and I should probably get it fixed one of these days. But I've never ever cancelled a single performance - I always find some way to make my voice work, so I haven't really had the impetus to embark upon major surgery. But I digress.

The performances went well, in spite of the illness. My biggest complaint about being sick was that I couldn't socialize with everybody enough as our time together drew to a close. But as I travelled back to New York today, I had time to think about the people I'd met this time around and what I will be able to take away from knowing them. Since I have this strange nomadic existence where I get to meet wonderful people, but only have them in my life for a limited amount of time, I try to organize in my brain the lessons I can learn from them, and the things I can take away with me so that they'll remain with me even though we're apart. It sounds totally cheesy, I know, but it's my inner-sentimentalist getting the best of me, so just bear with me.

If there was one thing I learned from the people on this job, it's that being kind is totally possible regardless of who you are. I won't use names so as not to embarrass anybody (they're a rather humble bunch), but when someone is successful enough to sing in all the major opera houses in the world, but still makes a point to ask you how you're feeling (because you're sick) every time you leave the stage, and also makes a point to generously compliment you about your rather small part, it makes you really appreciate that person's ability to be selfless. And when you see someone who is excessively attractive and talented completely choosing to ignore that part of themselves and treating every person - young, old, pretty, ugly, from super to star with exactly the same amount of respect and attention, you realize people really are capable of seeing beyond their own egos. And when someone with a huge role who has a lot more to worry about than you do, insists on driving you to the theater (because you don't have a car) even though your call is 45 minutes before said person, you have a chance to marvel at the fact that some people really do manage to keep things in perspective no matter how many award winning albums they've sold. All this to say that I was continually inspired and amazed by the way people treated one another during this experience, and that's what I'll take away with me even though I had to say goodbye to the people themselves.

Oh lord, I promised you that in this post I would be more sarcastic and be filled with dark humor. Sorry. I guess I'm getting all soft on you. Occupational hazard. But just look at me in this photo taken by a very nice guy from the Montague chorus - I look like I'm ready to be picked up by Wendy and go directly to never-never land. And that I would like it there.