recently, a regular jane with a straight job asked me what i do everyday. that's the kind of question i get on a regular basis from people who can't imagine what life would be like without a 9 to 5 structure to their work regimen. (i told her what The Brain always says. she didn't get it.) although i think this girl was genuinely curious, i can tell how people really feel about what i do by the level of sarcasm that's foisted upon me when they initiate such conversations. like i'm some lazy good-for-nothing layabout because i'm not breaking rocks in the quarry with fred and barney. trust me, i've got my nose to the grindstone. i'm always auditioning for something every week. here's three things that you should know before you decide that i've got it easier than you:
1. "my body is my job" tara reid said it best and unfortunately, she was right. what i look like has everything to do with whether i work or not. for some, this means lots of plastic surgery, hiring a team (personal chefs, trainers, nutritionists, a stylist, etc.) and being seen in certain places with certain people--whatever it takes to look good and photograph well no matter what. for me, this means i have to workout everyday. because i have chronic acid reflux, i have to be really careful about not only what i eat but when. it can get really bad. if unchecked, it can even cause cancer.
2. maintainance and upkeep self-explanatory, right? here's the deal: i get facials once a month, pedicures every two weeks, i see my eyebrowist every ten days and i steam, sauna and exfoliate on a regular basis. that's pretty much it. of course, i know where to go for treatments when i'm broke. i don't do manicures. learning to play the guitar got rid of any hopes i ever had for lovely hands. and i'm always doing something with my nappy hair--although lately, it seems to have a mind of its own. i shop for products almost every week. i have horribly dry skin, so i spend a lot of time in kiehl's for basics but my latest addiction is NARS Mud Mask.
3. lessons, lessons, lessons i should be taking dance. i'd like to take gymnastics. (something in me still wants to be olga corbett.) i take guitar lessons and piano/music theory lessons, and i take voice lessons. i know a lot of singers who brag about how they've never had a lesson and frankly, they sound like it. there are always exceptions to any rule but i think it's always a good idea to learn how to do a thing before you do your thing to it. i guess everything depends on what kind of singer you want to be. i'm the kind of singer than can sing anything because i've had to be able to sing whatever was put in front of me, to pay the rent. show-stopping show tunes. jazz standards. arias. all kinds of blues and r&b. all kinds of rock 'n roll. all kinds of gospel and chorus work, and religious pieces. all kinds of pop. and God help me. disco. techno. house. it paid off because i'm versatile and i still sound like myself.
sometimes you need a monologue coach and sometimes you have to hire an accompanist for an audition, and you have to have all kinds of audition material prepared (and by prepared, i mean arranged and rehearsed) and you have to be ready with all of this at a moment's notice, which can be a nightmare.