Friday, October 24, 2008

Trimming Back

Wednesday night, I made the decision to drop one of the groups I was scheduled to perform with this Fall. Warren Civic Orchestra was the unlucky ensemble.

The decision came after finding out there will be more "Peter Pan" rehearsals that would be conflicting with the Warren rehearsals.

While I've historically played longer with the Warren Civic Orchestra, we hadn't yet started rehearsing the full program for our November concert. On the flip side, I have about a month's worth of rehearsal time with "Peter Pan," which forms the bulk of my performance load (11 shows). I simply didn't want to half-arse either group. I really don't get more breathing room by doing this, but it's less music I have to learn, so that'll be a small break.

I've been trying not to have too many "questioning sanity" moments, but it's hard to ignore how the stress is affecting me. Between the things I choose to do (the music ensembles) and other things somewhat beyond my control (job security), I've become rather snappish to Matt and have had countless private, weepy moments the past few weeks. I've lost track of how many times I've had to apologize to Matt for taking stuff out on him. He's been beyond awesome there.

The perspective I'm doing my best to retain is that I genuinely enjoy playing with these groups. The musical, when the bad photocopied parts aren't getting in the way, is a great show. I'm looking forward to, and feeling freaked out about, being in the theater at next week's rehearsals. Up to this point, we've only had the actors/actresses visit us in the band room to sing along.

I've had my moments of doubt when it comes to my skills, but one moment last night was very appreciated. I had the great luck to run into the conductor for Warren at Forte, where he greeted me with a hug and "I got your music you turned in and thought 'Oh no! Not one of my stronger violinists!'" More often than not, I consider myself adequate, so it's always nice to get positive feedback. So onwards I plow! Rehearsals for "The Living Christmas Tree" begin this Sunday.

12 comments:

ljc said...

It's always interesting to hear you mention Warren in your posts. It's Warren, PA right? That is where Aaron's family is from. We go there occasionally to visit his grandma, aunt and uncle.

Julia said...

Yes! It's the same Warren, PA. I've wondered where you were visiting in PA when you'd mention hitting up different places there and on the way back on your blog.

If you ever consider taking the Jamestown-route on the way there or back (I-90 to Route 60 to Route 62), I can let you know about some places worth stopping.

skb said...

Congrats to finally saying no.

And hrm...after knowing you for too many years to post publicly, I've never heard you play. LOL

Julia said...

Sabrina - You're not the only one of my friends who can say that, but you're in a growing minority. Heh. Maybe I can convince you to brave the snowbelt and come to the March 8th concert in Warren!

ljc said...

Yup. More often we are heading to Southern PA to my parents, but next time we are heading to Warren I will be sure to get those tips from you! You should let me know next time you are in Rocha-cha. We can grab a cuppa.

Pamela said...

It's good to sort out and say no. Especially if you are unhappy. Hope you're able to enjoy your commitments even more now that your load is lighter.

Mr. Nighttime said...

it is never easy to look yourself in the mirror and be honest with yourself. It's also tough to know when to say no, especially for the sake of your sanity. It sounds as thought you had enough piled on your plate, that culling some things that increased your stress level was the wise thing to do.

I know that feeling about feeling only adequate, maybe, about your art. I feel that way so much about my acting, and then I have something happen to me that eases my ego. Case in point: I was asked by two film directors to work in their independent/student films based on a short film I did earlier this year. No audition, they just came to me and said, "Will you PLEASE be in my movie?"

It is the best feeling in the world to be asked that, without having to prove yourself yet again. (But not resting on past laurels either.)

So how about I make you a deal: I have never seen you play violin, you have never seen me act. What do you say we try to see each other perform at some point? (The next time I'm in a play, obviously.)

Julia said...

Mr. Nighttime - I've got one up on you. I saw you in "Great Expectations" (you were in that, right???). But yes, it would be cool if some of the Rochesterians had a chance to hear me play. It's the travel bit that makes it hard. In the meantime, watch for a certain lady playing the video in this youtube vid.

Mr. Nighttime said...

LOL! Yep, I was in that. I forgot that you probably came to see Ben and Susan, who were in it as well.

BTW, I knew Ben got a job at the American Museum of Natural History, but doing what, I didn't know. Turns out he got a kick ass job putting together museum displays, which is similar to what he was doing at the RMSC. I was very happy for him, but I was a little peeved that he skipped town without so much as saying good-bye.

I'll check out the YouTube vid when I get home, as I don't have my headphones for my laptop with me, unless of course you don't mind having all of Spin Coffee being regaled with the sound of you playing? ;-)

Julia said...

Yes, I knew that Ben had gotten a job there but didn't know that's what he would be doing! My god! He never replied to my email congratulating him, but then he was never one to email.

The vid is a news story, so you'd have to inflict all of that on the cafe. I don't mind. I've already endured going to meetings for work and having people do the whole, "Hey! Hey! I saw you last night on tv. I didn't know you played violin!"

Makkaio said...

It's not so much being awesome about things than it is understanding where you are and what is going on. As you know, I go to that place once in a while and you can be equally as understanding. :)

Mr. Nighttime said...

Just saw the YouTube vid...Move over Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg...

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