Archive for August, 2008

Disney Cruise ’08: Day 1

So here I am on the Disney Cruise, on the Disney Wonder. After closing the Club last night and doing some more last-minute packing, I finally went to bed at 2:40am…with my alarm set to go off at 7:00am. Oh joy. As of this writing (1:15pm Sunday) I haven’t self-destructed yet but I figure I’ll have a sleep meltdown sometime between now and dinnertime.

We (Joe, Tyler and I) arrived at the DCL just before 11am (Randé, Kyle, Randy and Jodie were THE first people on line. I think they camped out overnight, hehehe), strategically after the obsessive early birds (not that I’m mocking obsessive early birds…god knows I’ve been one myself, once or twice in my lifetime) but before the airport and resort people. We had no wait in line to get our paperwork in order and, thanks to our friends the early birds, still wound up being some of the first people on the ship.

Our first stop was the Vista Spa, because, as per Randy and Jodie (who had taken part on their last cruise) they were supposed to have some good deals on Spa packages before we left port. Not anymore. The “specials” only saved you about $20 or so…at an average of $100/hour, they could keep it, as far as I was concerned – vacation or no vacation, I could get a massage for roughly $1/minute at home – but some of the gang signed up for some of the services.

Next was a stop at Parrot Cay, for lunch. They had lots of “salad stuff”, so I was happy (the last time I was on TDC, I gained about 5 pounds. I will NOT let that happen to me this time).

After that was the Quiet Cove pool. Randy, Jodie, Joey, Rande and Kyle went in, while I (still in regular clothes) dipped my feet. Tyler stayed on a lounge chair, relaxing. We hung out there for an hour or so and once 1:30pm rolled around and we were allowed to go into our staterooms, I went and put my bathing suit on so I could join the gang in the pool. By the time 2:30pm came around though, we only had an hour before our muster drill would begin, so Joe and I went back to take showers.

After the muster drill (“in the event of an emergency, wear warm clothing before meeting here to go on the life boats. Hello, it’s 85 degrees outside…I didn’t bring any warm clothing), we met everyone on Deck 10 for the Sail Away Party. It was typical Disney, with lots of music, dancing and characters. It was 30 straight minutes of energy, but was kinda cute.

After a quick detour so Randy could shoot some hoops, we went to the Walt Disney Theater to watch The Golden Mickeys stage show at 6:15pm. I was hesitant to go to this show because I really didn’t like any of the shows we had seen on our previous 2 cruises…the talent was always good but the premise was always stretched really thin. The Golden Mickeys didn’t seem to have much of a plot to begin with, so I figured how bad could it be? And I was right…it really wasn’t bad at all. The performers were very talented and the technical aspects of the show were very well done, but the premise of the show was as silly as ever. If they had gotten rid of the whole “awards show” part, it would have been almost as good as Encore in TDS.

After spending some time in the Promenade Lounge, it was time for our 8:15pm dinner at Parrot Cay. Our server was named Boniface (BON-eh-fahs) and he was from India. After the first look at his name tag, it was all I could do to not call him Boneface (grin). And it only got worse as I drank more of my wine with dinner…Bonehead, Bonefish, hehehe. Our drink server was Stephanie (a nice, easy name) and she was from France. Anyway, I ordered the lettuce wedge with tomato dressing as an appetizer, then then the mixed grill (beef, lamb chop, shrimp and bacon wrapped sausage, mashed potato and asparagus) as a main course – it was WONDERFUL. Finally, I got the S’mores thing for dessert…graham cracker base, chocolate mousse and a roasted marshmallow top. It was pretty good and I ate about half of that.

After dinner, we went our separate ways…Randé and Kyle had already gone back to their cabin before dessert, Tyler went back to the cabin the 3 of us were sharing and Joe, Randy, Jodie and I went to the movie theater to see National Treasure but I left after just a few minutes because I was so sleepy. I got back to our cabin and, after unpacking a few more things, fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

HAPPY DANCE!!!

Well, after 2-1/2 weeks of waiting, my mailman finally delivered the results of our chorus auditions today. And, for those of you who didn’t get to read the bulletin that I sent out earlier, I GOT INTO AN ENSEMBLE!!!

I will be the Second Soprano in a small group of people who will be singing “For Me And My Gal.”

You have NO idea of what this means to me and how excited I am! Sure, I had worked hard and I knew my voice had improved in the 8 months I had been taking lessons, but despite many people telling me how good and/or improved my voice sounded (my voice teacher, friends from Sing Live, both of our Chorus vocal coaches, etc.), ever my own worst critic, I still never truly believed that I could sing well.

I guess maybe I can! (grin)

SO…anybody wanna come hear me sing? (wink)

The show is called Sing Swing and we’ll be at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 4th at 7:00pm. Our chorus, Sing Live Orlando, is conducted by John Morris, who is one of the originators of the Sing Live concept, which began in the U.K. about ten years ago.

Our chorus is about 120 voices strong and the performance will showcase songs from the Swing era of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. With that theme in mind, we’ll be singing songs that made, among others, Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, The Andrew Sisters, Judy Garland and Glen Miller famous.

Oh, and for my Adventurers Club friends, please note that we will be performing no less than four songs that currently are and/or used to be heard within the walls of the Club on a frequent basis (grin).

Tickets are $35 for Orchestra Level and $25 for Balcony Level. You can either purchase tickets yourself or, if you’d like to sit with the group of my friends and family who have already confirmed that they’re going to attend (right now it’s a group of ten and they will be sitting as a group in the Orchestra Level, mainly near the area of handicapped seating towards the front Orchestra Left), let me know how many seats you need, I will add your request to my order for “the group’s” tickets and you can pay me back.
If you have any questions, feel free to send me a Private Message or Email.

I still can’t believe it…I got into an ensemble! I GOT INTO A FREAKIN’ ENSEMBLE!!!

I’m not quite as excited as I would be if I were to get the news that the Adventurers Club was remaining open, but still, nonetheless, I am one VERY happy camper!

Sing Live auditions, Take II

We had auditions for Sing Live’s “Sing Swing” concert today (there are no auditions to get into the chorus – this was for solos and/or ensembles). For those of you who have been reading my blogs for more than the past 6 months or so, you may remember that during my last audition (which was also the first one in my entire life), I sucked balls. I used a song that I had only started rehearsing a week and a half earlier (because one of the people who picked the singers had said my original song, the one I had been rehearsing for a month and a half already, was too low for a soprano), it was a relatively difficult song for a beginner to sing, I had JUST started singing lessons, my nerves were at at all-time high (first audition ever, not very comfortable with the process, etc.)…you get the point. So I was not prepared (emotionally OR skill-wise) and it really showed. My breathing sucked and I went flat on just about every high note I sang. I wasn’t surprised that it looked like they shut off the recorder a few bars into my song or that, of course, I wasn’t chosen for a solo or an ensemble – I wasn’t ready and I didn’t deserve it.

Fast forward to now. After getting a solid base of singing lessons with Shirley and a false start with Novie, I’ve now been studying under Felicia since April or May, and she just ROCKS. She tells me specifically what I do right and what I do wrong and how to make it even better and she probably gets frustrated as hell with me when I tell her I don’t think I’m as good as she says I am, but she still tolerates me anyway (grin). And this time I was PREPARED. I had a song that fit my personality. I had some gestures and facial expressions to go with it. I knew it backwards and forwards. It didn’t have any really high notes. I followed my mantra to “breathe and pronounce” (the former is my problem when I’m nervous, the latter is ALL the time unless I think about it). And I kept my fingers crossed.

Kenny had asked if he could be one of our accompanists but apparently they were “good enough” with just Gloria & Angela this time around. Of the two, I would have preferred Gloria (much better piano player and, of course, we’re friends), but there was only a 50/50 chance of getting her. As it turned out, I got Angela. Oh well, that’s still OK. I got there around 11:40am and although they were running a few minutes later, my rehearsal time was 11:49am – Angela and I went into the rehearsal room, I explained what I needed from her (I was even more comfortable with that – I actually KNEW what I needed this time. Again, MUCH more prepared). We ran through the song twice and I gave her some direction of the speed (first time was too slow, then, after I corrected her, a little too fast. Second time was perfect).

And then suddenly, holy crap, it’s 11:56am, it’s my turn and I’m not all that nervous?!?! Sure, I’m a LITTLE nervous, but really, not NEARLY as bad as I was the last time. The panel this time were Kevin and Krista (sp?) (Dirk wasn’t there – he had to work and, of course, John is in England until early next month). Krista recognized me even though we had never formally met and I only go to see VOL 2 or 3 times a year (the curse of being a memorable 4’7″ strikes again – grin) And I smiled. And I talked. And I joked around. And I sang. And I breathed. And I pronounced. And because I was doing everything right, I even did a little bit of what virtually everyone involved had told me to do…I. Had. FUN! And holy shit, I’m pretty sure I NAILED it!

I guess we’ll find out about who got solos and ensembles sometime in the next week or two. Do I have a chance of getting a part? I have no idea. Although it would be awesome to get something, I honestly don’t care…I finally did the best that I possibly could have done, when it counted. I didn’t let my nerves get to me, I did was I was supposed to do, I performed at my potential and was a bezillion times better than at my last audition. Best of all, for once, ever my own worst critic, I can see for myself that I’ve improved and, most importantly, might be getting an inkling of the realization that maybe, just maybe, my singing really doesn’t suck (grin). Whether I get something or not, it doesn’t matter – I’ve already gotten something far better: more confidence.

Will post when I get the snail mail with the list of soloists and ensembles from them.