Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No such thing as a free lunch?

Tomorrow is the big second round for the music school for my darling daughter. Not gonna think about that right now.

Ironically, tomorrow is also the day that I am taking a business lunch with the Dean of the School of Music at DePaul University. My, how swanky. Ever since his office contacted me to set up this lunch, I have been thinking about my experience at DePaul.

As soon as I got there in 1997, I realized that I was in the wrong place. I was in the vocal performance program which focused completely on opera, and I had no aspirations to be an opera singer. My last year there I finally switched to a teacher that understood that. So, she gave me really great classical training but applied it to my voice and my style of singing. She taught me to mix for Broadway so well, that people think I can belt much higher than I actually do.

I was not an operatic stand-out at the school, nor did I want to be. I didn't practice enough, I didn't care enough because I was not passionate about opera. I explored musical education as a pursuit, but realized I was not passionate about that either. I finally settled on music/business because it was the shortest path out of there (I graduated in 3 years), I had a mind for business, and I could begin focusing on what I really wanted to do, which was audition and act/sing in the theatre.

Many of my fellow music students who were still in the vocal performance track started taking a master class from Catherine Malfitano. Catherine and her class were a major talking point among the students, and I just couldn't get excited about her b/c I wasn't pursuing opera...so I didn't sign up for the class, I just went along my music/business way.

My senior (really junior) year I was finally cast in a role in the opera, with a primarily acting role (and one teeny tiny short very small singing part). This was where I found the comedienne inside of me. Even though I had a small part, I must have stood out because all of a sudden I was getting attention from professors, deans, and you know who. Catherine called me and invited me to be a part of her class. I stupidly said NO. At the time, I think I just thought it was too much work, and I already knew everything that she could teach me...but that was an adolescent perspective, and I wish I had just gone and tried to have been open-minded about what she could offer me.

I was flattered that with my small part and few lines, that I stood out, and that call from her actually gave me a lot of confidence, and knowledge that upon graduation, I really should pursue my dream of being an actress. So, away I went.

I must be doing ok if the Dean wants to take time out of his busy NYC trip to wine and dine me (take me to lunch with my two kids in tow), and catch up on one of his not-so-standing-out-while-attending-Depaul alumni. I guess maybe I have had one or two accomplishments that are worthy of free lunch!


Rachel H said...

Is it for a reason? Just to chat/catch up? Maybe he's going to offer you a job! =)

Rachel H said...

p.s. my sister graduated in Vocal Performance as well, but as a SAHM, she hasn't really used the opera singer part all that much, except for the few random Holiday concert/event she sings at. So far she just teaches privately and has led a children's choir. But then it almost seems like in that case a teaching degree might have been a better choice. I think she just thought it sounded cool when she was in school.