Saturday, January 10, 2009
You really can play Where's Waldo with my costume in some of these :)
I hope your holidays went well. Mine were busy so I guess I can't call them holidays, but it did give me something to blog about. We're probably at about show 150 right now and just did four weeks of several two-show days in a row with then only one day off in between instead of the normal two. I knew about the schedule shift going in and just compared it to past experience and figured it would be fine, just different. I was kinda wrong.
Nothing went horribly wrong and I didn't leave any of my vocal cords onstage, but it was definitely a schedule I was being very careful with. More shows was not necessarily the problem, it was doing so many consecutive two-show days. Starting off every second show vocally tired was making me cautious. I think in general I would have liked the shows spread out over the week even if it meant less full days off.
To add to the mix, I was getting ready for my first of a few non-Cirque related gigs in Tokyo. The show's bassist and I had booked a headlining set at a club towards the end of this hard run and I couldn't afford to sacrifice either opportunity, the show or the gig. Obviously my job that I'm under contract for came absolutely first but I've been wanting to do more about my own music and there are some good opportunities here.
I spent most of December downing water like I was in the Sahara, washing my hands whenever I could, and not drinking a drop since alcohol and my immune system HATE each other. I attribute a good month to muscle memory (cause I'm learning that your voice really does do that just like your jumpshot), breathing, and a tiny humidifier that I bought for my dressing room station. Tokyo is awesome for tiny gadgets. It's also as dry in the winter as it is wet in the summer. The weather has been very similar to Alabama which I didn't expect and I don't think there's much ragweed around which is.....well super.
I think I was really scared of hurting myself here and I'm not usually hyper-concerned about vocal health. I've been hearing more and more Cirque singers since joining and a lot of people sound like they've been singing on nodes for months. It's cool to hear sometimes but that's not what I want for myself. I was glad that even as the new kid in a big company I put my foot down once or twice in rehearsals to recognize something that might hurt after 8-10 shows a week. I think it's part of our job as performers to make sure we can keep performing for as long as we want.
Having been through the rough part of the season, we've got two dark weeks coming up, so I'll be home for that stint. Hopefully we'll figure out a good time for me to pop down to Southern and visit. Have good Interim and I'll be talking to you soon.