Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

So, this is my first participation in a meme (thanks Troye) and I've been asked to share seven little known facts about myself. As most of you know, doing something like this is hard! Especially when you have to dig up yet more little known facts about yourself. Sharing person that I am, most people know the quirky, little known facts. I'd rather talk about that stuff rather than the weather. Hmmm... maybe that is why I get the odd looks.

Anyway, I've decided to do a theme on this meme. This will narrow my focus and the next time I'm tagged, I'll know what to do. This meme theme will be: Jen's Seven Weirdest Lifetime Events. So, this should be easy, right?

Lifetime Event #1:
When I was little, I was a praying girl. I would pray for my dollies, my teachers, my family (usually twice), my pets, my bedroom set, our neighborhood, and generally anything else that I might have come into contact with in my small world at that age. This is probably why I wasn't always called on to pray before dinner. People were hungry. Usually at dinner prayers I would have to pray for everything, right down to the spices on the casserole, obviously.

So, being the well-meaning parents that mine were, they would often try to help guide me in this journey by trying to explain things and also introducing me to bible verses. This one in particular: "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalms 37:4.

Well, I was certainly delighted, I prayed a lot didn't I? In my child's literal mind, this meant that I could pray for my deepest desire. Something that had been locked in my heart for a long time (probably a month) and that God would grant it! This meant that I could be...

A Thundercat!

Yes, I wanted, in my heart of hearts, to be a Thundercat. Not necessarily one of the main characters, but a new Thundercat - a JENNY Thundercat. So, I prayed for months, being as delighted as I could be, to become a Thundercat.

Thundercats were cool! I loved rainy days because that meant I could take the automatic umbrella and have it shoot into the sky while I shouted, "Thundercats! Thundercats! THUNDERCATS, HO!"

Alas, I was never made into a Tundercat. I sort of expected it, but I was still hopeful. I guess God knew that when I reached dating age, I would probably not want to be a large, cat-like humanoid with fur all over her body. It was certainly worth a try.

So, when I was little I prayed to be a Thundercat.

Lifetime Event #2:
When I was about nineteen or twenty years old, I auditioned for the Cincinnati Opera.

Yes, you read that right. The CINCINNATI OPERA. What's even funnier, I had no idea I was auditioning for them. I honestly thought I was auditioning for some sort of summer ensemble and that I would stand in the background in a peasant costume with a chicken or something, singing things like, "Oh yes, Oh yes!" or "Si, oh si" or whatever language the opera happened to be in. I imagined doing intimate, summer shows in a small pavilion, hanging out in the background and enjoying the experience with the actual opera singers took the summer off and did their thing.

Let me back up and just let you know that I grew up doing theater productions (all aspects: performing, tech, scenery, etc) and took voice lessons during college at that time. I enjoyed trying out for productions around town during the summer for something fun to do in the evenings after work. I had just started voice lessons with an instructor the year before who decided that I needed to start learning Italian, French and German arias. I also remember that she had a magnificent voice and that she spit on me when she sang. Well, how else would you have good diction? I think I got really wet when she sang German.

So, the advertisement in the newspaper said, "AUDITIONS! Summer Opera chorus. Sing two arias in the language of your choice." Weeeeeeeeeeeelllllll, whaddya know? I ONLY knew two arias. They were in Italian. What the heck?

I guess what should have tipped me off was the fact that the form I was filling out asked questions like: Please check which professional guilds you are a member of (list of said organizations). If you did not check any organizations above, would you be willing to join a guild in order to perform with the Cincinnati Opera? Please check this box if you agree. My stomach dropped.

In the next room, I heard a high note explode into life. I think I also heard dogs barking outside. Out of the practice room came the most magnificently dressed creature. She had on a designer suit in white linen, jewels were everywhere and the brightest red lips I have ever seen. I suddenly took in my surroundings and noticed that I was surrounded by divas. Excuse me, Divas. Capital "D". Men and women. All doing the roller coaster voice exercises, stretching their diaphragms and strutting around like self-absorbed peacocks.

I would have seriously just put down my clip board and walked right out but I didn't drive myself to the audition. Parking was tight downtown so I had my dad drop me off since he had some business to attend to downtown as well.

I checked the box.

During my audition, I was just placed in a rehearsal room so I wasn't as intimidated as I thought I would be. There were four people sitting behind a table with kind faces so I handed my sheet music to the accompanist, announced myself and my arias and began to sing. I only got through part of one aria when a woman at the table cut me off and began asking questions.

The audition went well enough and I expected to be on the losing end of this audition. When I went to check out the call boards later, I didn't see my name anywhere. I gave them a call so they could tell it to me straight. I didn't make it right?

"Jennifer?" the voice said at the end of the line.
"Yes? That's me. Howard is the last name."
"Oh," she said. I kept waiting for something else but the line was silent.
"Am I on the list anywhere?" I asked, doubtful.
"Well, they weren't sure what to do with you, so you are still being considered."

What? WHAT? Still being considered? I was beside myself. Maybe I still would be the happy peasant, singing in the background with a chicken in tow.

Or, maybe not. I was eventually cut.

I later found out from a friend as well as a voice major at a nearby conservatory that Senior voice majors practice their entire senior year to audition for the opera. Well, it would have been nice if the newspaper ad would have explained that! Geez.

I was considered at least.

Are you tired of reading yet?

Lifetime Event #3:
Once, very late at night, my friend, Nikki, and I were driving around Birmingham. I think it was one of our many late night runs to Moneer's or the Purple Onion. Nikki was driving and I was in the passenger's seat. Neither of us was talking at that moment and I think that we were tired and ready to get home.

Then suddenly, I had this great urge to clap my hands. I have never had this urge in my life before that or since. So I did. And Nikki, who was in the middle of driving the car, DID THE EXACT SAME THING! We both randomly clapped, just once, at the exact same time.

That event really freaked us out and got us all excited at the same time. What are the chances? Some friends draw blood to become blood brothers/sisters and be bonded for the rest of their lives. It just took a supernatural "clapping" to bond us together.

Okay, okay. So those stories were really long. I'm tired of typing now so I'll do the other four tomorrow. Give your eyes a rest.

Thanks for the tag, Troye!


Cheryl A said...

I LOVE that opera story. You've got guts and don't ever forget that!

Jackamo said...

I forgot about the clapping! I totally thought that story was going to be about setting off your friend's house alarm, over, and over. Yea! We had good times!!! CLAP!!!

Andrea said...

Good for you, auditioning anyway!

Em said...

Those stories are great! I hope you don't tag me - I don't think I have any stories remotly similar to those. I have tagged you though - I didn't realize you had been tagged already with something else... you don't have to do it if you don't want to!

Troye said...

Love it. I am clapping down here in Georgia- not randomly, mind you. And, I think one of your other stories should be about when you and Nikki set your friend's house alarm off over and over.