Yizzo y’all. I feel like I have been MIA from the blog for a little while but it’s all for good reasons. For the past couple of months I have been really inspired and focused on creating the life I want for myself. I’ve been actively stepping out of my comfort zone and it has been all to my benefit.
So, to make a long story short I went into work (my serving job) one day ready to ask to for a leave of absence and prepared to resign in the case that the leave was not granted. Now, this is a big deal for me because I like money. I don’t spend a ton but I stack bread. I check my account twice a day just to make sure it’s still stacking. And incase you didn’t know, serving is a lot like the crack game. Its fast money. And it’s addictive so the streets be callin me man! As soon as you are ready to walk away to pursue your passion or something that has a little more prestige to it, the cash in hand calls you right back. You can loose perspective easily. Not to mention, my job blesses us with insurance too so they’ve really got a hold on me. But anyway, I digress, I went to my boss, who shall remain nameless, nervous and stuttering trying to justify why this block of time of was important for me and to my surprise he granted it without any hesitation. This may not seem like a big deal, but it absolutely is. This man has been looking out for me ever since I started working there. He’s told me about blogging conferences to attend, put me on to networking events and even introduced me to Afrobella. He is one of those angles that shows ups exactly when needed. (And he doesn’t ready this blog so I’m not sucking up. I mean it.) But in my heart of hearts I love him. If I do make it and make some real money I promise I will bless him.
So, with angles like him in my corner, I fell so full and alive again. I’m in that juicy place where seeing someone else do well in my field no longer depresses me and makes me envious but instead, inspires me. You know? I’m waking up excited not for what the day may bring but for what I’ll bring. And it is no accident that I am meeting so many people who are directors, writers, singers, dancers, etc and who are taking an interest in me and pushing me in the right direction. Everything is falling into place.
So, I have THREE WEEKS to get my ish together or at least get ahead a little. (I was offered more off time and I should have taken it but again the streets be callin.) But I am going to make the best of these three weeks. It’s going to my own version of bootcamp hell. Here’s what I plan on doing:
-Daily Vocal Rehearsals with 2 Vocal Lessons a Week: Within the comfort of my own home I am going to work out vocally. And this is something I definitely need to do more of. I tend to sing but not concentrate on vocal technique enough. I need to make this a daily ritual.
-Preparing My Audition Book: An audition book is just that, the book of music you use to go into auditions with. It sounds simple but it’s not. You need to have the right songs for you. Meaning, songs that reflect a character you would actually be cast as. You need to have the right cut. Meaning, the portion of the song that in 16 bars or less shows off your best self, wows the casting directors and books you the job. You need to research the shows and characters in which the song comes from so that you actually perform and act it in the audition. And you need at least 25-40 songs in your book because there are so many genres of shows. You need standards (up-tempos and ballads), characters pieces, Sondheim songs, Rock-pop, Motown, Gospel, Legit-Classical, Jazz, and so on and so forth. You also have to FIND the music for all of the songs (which can be extremely difficult), get them in the right key for your voice (which can be very pricey and finally), learn them. It’s a lot.
-Continue to Work Out: I am going to be working out 5 times a week for at least 1.5 hours and some days pulling ’2 a days’. I’m not playing. I’ve been going to the gym a lot lately and it is something that I feel like has improved not only my health but my attitude and overall mind-state. I also need to get in a dance class. Yall, didn’t know I was a trained dancer did you?
-Drink a Gallon of Water a Day: If you knew me in high school, you knew me as the girl that walked the streets with a gallon of water and I’m going back to that. We don’t realize how important it is.
-Eat Healthy Balanced Meals: This is a given. Just do it, Antoinette. Damn!
-Research: There is no way that I can be my best self in these auditions or talking to these industry folks without doing my homework. So, I’ll be at the Lincoln Center Library quite a bit. Head down. Book Up.
- Hanging: Not hanging out, but hanging. I have to check out jazz clubs (besides the one I work at) in the city to see who’s who, how they operate and what the vibe is. It’s half the battle.
Notice, dating, catching up with old friends, drinking, partying and anything social really, is not on that list.There is a time for that but this ain’t it. This ain’t play time. I’ve come to realize discipline sets you apart from the rest. The most talented do not make it but the most disciplined and committed do.
You’ll also notice blogging is not on this list. Now, I’m sure I will post here and there, but again, it’s not my focus. I have to get over this hump. Once my audition book is complete I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things but until then I have to view, everything outside of that as a distraction.
So,there it is. That’s my plan. I have to follow through now that I publicly announced it. And if you see in me in the street or online, please hold me accounable. Ask me if I went to the gym today. Or when my next vocal lesson is. Do it!
I’ll end with some brilliant words and advice from my favorite philosopher. “F&%$ everything else, Antoinette. You’ve gotta go hard like Beyonce. You’ve gotta own your craft and make it your B*%$#!”- Shanti Maria