Now that the intro to this blog is over, perhaps the most logical step would be to update you on what is going on in my singing career. The 2015-16 season was a whirlwind year with a lot of growth and opportunities I never thought would happen. It lead to me to remember the old stage adage "in the end, it all comes together".
This adage comes from the fact that most shows come together/sort themselves out by the time opening night happens. It's a really odd phenomenon, because I've been in some that we weren't quite sure how some things would go when we had a live, paying audience. Perhaps it's the adrenaline and razor blade focus that we all of sudden have. Maybe it's the fact we've been rehearsing every night for who knows how long and the day off between the last dress and opening night gives our brain some time to process the info without adding more. Could be recurring dumb luck, who knows. Either way, it all works out, and many of us trust in that.
How this relates to my singing (and anyone's life for that matter) is I just have to have faith in the process and work as hard as i can. One year ago I was a little scared. I was in the middle of performing my first chorus show (Nabucco) with Seattle Opera. This was an amazing experience and from an employment perspective, a great way to ease into such a high level company. However, as I looked at my calendar all I had was Anna Bolena with Puget Sound Concert Opera where I was covering the main baritone role and singing in the chorus (which wasn't a paid gig), a war recital in the works with no dates solidified, and assumptions about a potential role with a company I had previously worked for. I was also running guy's sectionals at Ballard High School. All that said, financially not great. I was not very optimistic either, since all of the other companies in the area I auditioned for earlier in the year had cast their season.
As the fall went on, I did my best to get by with temp and odd jobs, but it was rough. Then I got the offer I had the assumption about, which was Northwest Opera in the Schools, Etc...'s production of The Telephone. Great! It didn't start until the beginning of the next year, so it didn't help in the short term, but was definitely something to look forward to. While performing the show with PSCO, I got some info from my singer friends about Seattle Opera's outreach show Our Earth. They gave me the coordinator's email, and shortly thereafter I had a contract with them. Also for the beginning of the next year, but still great.
After over a year of subbing for friends in their church jobs and working once a month at a Christian Science church in Seattle, I landed one as a Section Leader and Cantor in Everett (which is the closest singing job I've ever had) and the director is in the SO Chorus with me. Not only is it great working with him and the choir, it is nice having a person who understands my schedule and how things are in the singing world.
Over the next few months, I was offered three chorus contracts (Maria Stuarda, The Flying Dutchman, and Le comte Ory) for SO, one of which was a last minute fill-in. I was offered a small role in PSCO's La Rondine. I've done multiple recitals with Groupmuse and over the past few weeks I've been offered contracts for Tacoma Opera's La Perichole and SO's outreach show Cinderella in Spain.
"In the end, it all comes together"
This isn't to say that all of a sudden things fell in my lap, or companies had an epiphany about me or whatever. It was only because I was actively trying to make things happen and working towards something that they did. That is the time honored lesson I've learned, yet still need to keep reminding myself from time to time. The thing you're working towards in reality doesn't matter, but the idea of having progress/movement in your life towards a worthy cause is bound to get the ball rolling in other areas, whether or not it's easily seen from the beginning.
"In the end, it all comes together"
Ladies and Gents, I finally decided to join the 21st century world and have a blog with my website. The blog has a variety of purposes like giving you insider information about projects coming up, but that's kind of a given. One thing I'm passionate about as an artist and feel it is one of my missions is breaking down antiquated ideas about what classical music is and/or is not to the general public, thereby giving them a fresh and real experience to develop their opinion of it. In my experience, when classical music is packaged the right way, most people who were unfamiliar or not into it leave with a better (or at least informed) view of it. I realize it's not for everyone, but more people grow to love it than many would expect.
I will also be giving insights on the super "sexy" parts of a working singer are. And by sexy, I mean dealing with rejection, auditioning, running a corporation (for all intents and purposes I'm the CEO of Michael Heitmann, singer), what it's like being onstage, my views about performing, and any other things that come up. I'm open to talking about things that interest you as well. If you choose to comment, make sure it's respectful and civil, even if we are debating a particular topic.
Without any further ado, andiamo!