It's a nice cool morning. It's not cold enough for my wrap but just enough breeze to dry the sweat from walking in the sun. I got off at 125st and ran into Damara Lynn Green from Sugar Bar. I heard my name called and was confused. Who knows me here is what Im thinking. She pointed me in the right direction before she boarded her bus. As I get closer to the Apollo sign I see the line. It wasn't in the same direction as it was 5 yrs ago when I came. The neighborhood has changed a lot. The corner Chinese food place and apartments are all gone from the corner and replaced by a huge Party City store. I'm following the line and it's rounding the corner, then the other corner and then another. There are tons of people here and I'm mad I waited for my phone to half charge. Last night I plugged in my portable charger and figured I would wake up later to plug in my phone. I was wrong. Smh Oh well, at least it starts at 10am and it's now 9:50am.
I left the line after waiting 20 minutes. Turns out it wasn't for the BET SHOW. It was only for amature night at the Apollo. Might as well go me Shawn Montgomery of Thick & Thicker models to be a guest on his radio show tonight.
http://www.inthemixxradio.com It starts at 7-9 tonight! It's all the way in Yonkers!
OMG I HAD A BLAST ONLINE! If you missed it, YOU MISSED IT! I sung live! Inthemixxradio.com crew was so much fun! Shout out to Shawn #TNT and Ms. New York for having me on tonight. The only down side is that I have a very long way back to the bed. OMGS IM IN YONKERS!
Even though I can't sing I can still hustle for a job. That's been my focus since I've been silenced. Every once on a while I speak when spoken to or when at an interview and when I NV setting one up but I'm quiet as I can be. I go days without speaking to Gerald and Nicole which socks but I still call them every so often. Complete silence? I'm just not built for that. lol
My first interview was at a cable company in Brooklyn. There are nice houses there. Being from Georgia I thought shotgun houses were a southern thing so I didn't expect to see them here. My dad told me that they were called that because you can shoot straight through them from front to back. I'm tempted to call the number listed on the empty one to see how much it is. I took the L train to the end of the line. I was shocked! Finally a station with no stairs on ground level! How lazy am I that I want to live here now? lol very. I went from that interview to another one in Manhattan for a security company. By the time I finished both of them I get a call from the placement agency to hear that they both want to hire me! Both are part time and temporary which is just want I want to get into this school.
While I was typing this I got a call. I will be a guest on a Internet radio show called IntheMix with Shawn Montgomery of Thick N Thicker (TNT). Shawn's business is for plus sized models. I also have a meeting with his manager before the show to possibly become a part time host! How cool is that? I've called in on shows before and worked briefly on an public station back in Atlanta so I'm comfortable on being on air. I didn't know what I was gonna do now that I can't audition for a while. I don't have money to get copies of my headshots so even when it's to sing I'm grounded for a while. At least now I have something to look forward to! Yay!
It's Sunday! Today is the day before my phone gets cut off but I am determined to make it a good phone day and last blog for a while. Ironically enough, I get a new replacement phone in the mail tomorrow because this one is faulty. Sure, that phone won't be on but...it will work once I get service restored.(whenever that is) I also broke the doctors orders and talked. I wanted to hear my sisters voice. She's so loud when she laughs. :-) I miss my sisters, Ebony and Melani.
Without my phone this place will be lonelier. New York will feel smaller to me without my phone. It sounds crazy right? But think about it, I'm in a city of strangers with no money or people I can rely on and the majority of my communications are via phone. I get job interviews via my cell so I may miss a job too. Crap, I'm not doing a good job of uplifting myself huh? Off to the sunlight I go!
I decided to go to the Staten Island Ferry. Gerald has been mentioning it for weeks and the museum. As soon as I come out of the subway I see architecture and know I'm in the right place. But wait, how is this the American Indian museum with to put it bluntly white people's statues all around it? Atop the building are Roman, Greek and Spainyard representation. I did find one sculpture of a Native American but he was hiding behind the white woman and barely visible. Is this a joke? Are they serious? Once I get past security I walk into the Atrium and see Christopher Columbus and his ships voyage depicted on the ceilings. Talk about oppressive!
There is so much forgotten history here! Some of them are the same color as I am! Who knew?! Looking at a person in the face you will never guess their heritage. I ran into a lady (looked white to me) her name was Babs who's great grandfather had works of his and his wife on display. She says she knows her heritage but doesn't participate in any of it but one her daughters is deeply rooted in her heritage. I took a picture of her and daughter standing next to her ancestors work. The daughter standing with her was like her and not active but her other daughter made crafts. I also encountered a nice guy named Leslie. I'm not a great journalist so I forgot what tribe he hails from but I do remember he was from SC. He was as dark as me and showed me pictures of his family. We walked and talked about the history of his people and Native Americans all together. He pointed out that Columbus mural to me and said he refuses to look up. It feels like a mockery of the exhibit to have all of the "other" statues and paintings lording over the ancestors relics. I know that my family decends from Cheerokee but that's all my grandma told me. She knew that because that's who her grandmother was. It was all very fascinatingly sad. It's funny how the ugly truths get swept away to make the decendents of such a nasty history of betrayal and violence feel benevolent. I needed to pause from my rising indignation so I left to ride the ferry.
I didn't take a picture of him but Leslie stuck by me even on the boat ride. As it turns out, he has been in NY for ten years and never road the Staten Island Ferry. It was refreshing! I love to be near water. (it was nasty looking) lol The scenery was great! I love bridges from afar, not crossing them. The Statue of Liberty was right where I left her last time. lol She must be getting old because she looked shorter. Water has a was of cleansing your spirit when you let it. Crossing over to the island and back brightened my mood enough so I went back to the shelter feeling good. I even snuck in my dinner! Sandwich and chips! I guess I'll catch Yall in time. I still accept donations! I'm raising money for Help My Road to Broadway . Click to Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/bqebhc #gofundme
I'm raising money for Help My Road to Broadway . Click to Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/bqebhc #gofundme
Last night was horrible. The Saturday gig I was supposed to practice for last night was a total disaster. We had our only rehearsal with the artist Tracy Hamlin and let me say that I did not look good. She was visibly disgusted but was nice about it. I feel fully responsible. I recommend Janissa for the gig not realizing that she wasn't ready for such an undertaking. She is when doing solos but can not hear harmonies well. Almost none of her parts came out right. The band members laughed, and Tracy turned her back to us a number of times. She did try giving her the note a few times but it didn't work out. I think in my nervousness about what was going on the that I wasn't even focusing well. I even went sharp once. Now, I don't brag on myself, like ever but I know how to blend and stay on my note but I was completely shaken last night. Everything felt forced when I sang. I lacked the lyrical sound I needed. Although Tracy said she would email me vocals for the song I wasn't sure of, I'm honestly not expecting it. This is the first time that my reputation has been smudged and I don't feel good about it. What's worse is that I was counting on the pay from it to keep my phone on. So, after the 15th, if you don't see anymore posts it's because I didn't have the $200 to pay the bill. If I could donate a kidney right now I would. I feel like I've lost a friend. I am fighting back tears even as I type this. #devastated
No call came so I have no gig Saturday. I don't know what to do now about my phone. I guess I can't be too upset. I lasted 2 months in New York before completely hitting rock bottom.
Last night I was at Janissa's practicing for the Saturday gig. I know I'm supposed to be silent buy I need this money to keep my phone on. After this I will be quiet. I won't go to any open mics or auditions for two weeks like the Dr said. I got an unexpected call yesterday evening to come to a job fair for vets. Im going mostly because they are giving $25 gift card for attending. Wonder if I can do a costume change and get away with two?
Good morning! I had a good rehearsal with Janissa last night for the gig this weekend. She even fed me meatloaf, broccoli and shells and cheese! I haven't had a home cooked meal in a very long time. It felt good to be in a home surrounded by her family. Her kids are very smart and sociable. We didn't stay out late but I'm still tired.
I woke up on time but moved so slowly that I got out the building late, like 9:30, the same time auditions start. It is getting chilly here and I'm wearing a sleeveless dress. I have never worn it before and I needed something new to audition in. I must say that I look GOOD! LOL As soon as I walked up to sign in I was put on the next line to go in! I was barely ready. I'm standing in line, scrambling to put the sheet music in order and decide if I'm going to sing 32 bars or two 16 bars of different songs. I was fortunate enough to have a chance to print new music before I left the shelter. One of the counselors let me use his pc. The girl in front of me goes in and I'm on edge a bit. I didnt have time to really warm up. Yesterday my voice started going out on me and I don't know what to expect.
The good thing is, I didn't start on the wrong not or key! I'm still not happy about my sound. Its very chesty and unclear, not like it should be at all. The judges were a bit aloof but I saw some notes being taken. Not a bad sign. So now I'm off to see the ENT doctor! I'm headed to catch the M23 bus.
I love when I come out of the subway into a beautiful view of the city! There's even a small park with a Shake Shack in it. As usual the food is expensive, even if it's burgers. A regular meal here will run you $12-15.
I do not like this. He stuck a tube down my nose to see my nasal passages and vocal chords.I wanted to get my tonsils out because I figured that's what's ruining my voice. The Dr says everything looks fine even though my voice changed while we were talking. He increased the dosage of the acid reflux meds I'm already on and decrease the frequency because I won't take it more than once a day. (Im really bad at that). Then he gave me the bad news. He says I can't have the tonsils removed but I am on vocal rest for two weeks. No singing and very little talking. I'm in tears. I feel like he told me I was dying. What will I do for two weeks?! I can't audition or go to open mics! What will I do?! I have no life outside of this! I have rehearsal tonight and tomorrow for the gig Saturday. I have to do it! I have no money and this is my only offer to make money. The Dr. is sending me to a speech pathologist afterwards so I guess that's good. It's bad enough that I've been feeling nauseated all day but now I'm heart broken too.
Today starts with another audition!
I'm at the audition now! I went into the non union section to fix my packet (headshot and resume stapled together and trim resume to fit picture) and I learned something. Listening to others conversation has its benefits. There is an audition tomorrow that I hadnt considered before because I have a job interview and Dr appointment. Screw it, I'm coming! It's a rare show, it has a mostly all black cast. I don't say this because I'm racist (because I'm so not) but I won't have to worry about not being "right for the part". Let's face it, I'm not that young , or slim, or graceful which a lot of shows are asking for. I won't be cast as Cinderella, or Tinkerbell but a show that is casting for singers of none descript size, I can do! I also figured that since I'm here will audition again for Soul Doctor.
I'm wearing a different hair style but same dress but a slight alteration. ( I added a drape) The guy (Justin) I spoke to earlier said he reauditioned for a show before and it got him in. After I finished talking to them I went to the other side of the area to sign up for the Equity Candidate list. What do ya know?! I got called into the next group right away! As soon as I walked in she said "welcome back Burgandy". Great, she remembered. :-/ I picked a much different song this time. "I Believe that Chirdren are the Future " by Whitney Houston. He played the starting chord and yet again I couldn't hear it! I sung under it. It toke me a phrase but I corrected it. When I fixed it she nodded and smiled. I also notice that she wrote something down on her yellow notepad. I was ashamed inside but I kept singing. The shame I felt made me nervous so I almosy forgot to stop singing. I went 2 words over the alloted 32 bars and stopped right as she held out both hands for me to break. lol Smh I feel like crap. I thanked her, got my music and got out of there. Funny thing is, I still have to auditions for Riverside. I went to their table to sign up and saw that I'm number 41. Ugh. They are taking the last Equity members before they go to lunch. I will be here a while. At least I don't have plans till later this evening.
Today started with errands and an audition. I spent Sunday evening straightening my hair and rolling it but by the time I got to the station I looked like James Brown's mug shot. Smh I did my best to fix it. I look nothing like my headshot now. lol
I got to the audition for "Soul Doctor" and was shocked that I got seen before lunch break. I came in at 12 and they break from 1-2. I used the sheet music that was passed out of the Japan audition and sung "The Edge of Glory" by Gaga. My start was a bit shakey. if I didn't love it. I don't think the chic did either. There was just one person judging and an accompanist. But hey, I tried. I'm so glad I go see the ENT Dr on Wednesday. I really need an overhaul on my vocals. After it was over I walked to the job placement place to get a referral for yet another job interview and the guy tells me to try out "Village Underground ". I was like "yeah I heard of it" about to cut him off when he said that Cheryl Pepsi Riley hosts it. My mouth fell open! So, do you remember when I went to Fat Black Pushy Cats about a month ago? It's the same place! I was just in the wrong area!! Smh It's a $12 cover charge though. My friend James just sent me $50 to go towards my phone bill and now I have to dip into it. I MUST get in!
I took a good enough cat nap before heading out even still, my eyes are red. This place is dark so Im sure no one will notice. Now what am I singing? With my voice being so unpredictable I'm not sure.
I'm early! No surprise there. They sent me back up the stairs and asked me to wait 10 more minutes. I start up the stairs and almost fall backwards! Damn these weak knees and heels! Iook good though! lol I'm sitting by the top of the stairs now and Tony ( the bass player from Sugar Bar) is here! He told me from now on I should call him and get put on his list when I know I'm coming! YAY! IM IN! For next time that is. Phone bill money will be spent today. :-( OmGs I'm so hungry. I just realized that I missed dinner and lunch.
I had a good time! The trumpet player and one of the AMAZING singing lady did the song "Say Yes " by Floetry and the trumpet player proposed to his girlfriend during his solo! It was beautiful! The crowd went WILD! SHE SAID YES! OMGS! Talk about fun! love is a beautiful thing. Because of check in I left the place after two more singers. I hope you enjoy the video I'm posting. I will always rep A Town!
Good night world!
I FEEL GOOD ALL OVER: http://youtu.be/vXz9zSwg08I
No surprise that I've been busy right? Yesterday I rode all the way (an hour) to Far Rockaway for a job interview. While I was leaving the placement agency I looked up and what do I see? I'm right up under the Empire State Building! There was a street fair going on as well. I would have stayed and gawked but I was on a mission. Plus, I hate being around stuff with no money. It smelled like a party! All the Meat! Do I sound fat? lol
Lucky for me I stopped by the deli by the shelter and got a lunch. I ate some as soon as I got on the train platform. Turkey sandwich, Pringles and a granola bar isy normal meal now a days. Healthy right? Meh. The ride was long. I was so scared to drink the gatoraid that I took sips. This bladder has embarrassed me enough to be very careful. lol I interviewed for a management training position at Aarons Rental. It was in a strip mall that could use some remodeling.
All I did on the train was read and go over my lines this AMDA audition Saturday. I did get to see a different set of performance though. Some guys dancing for money. lol not the private kind. Once back at the bed I am so nervous that I keep distracting myself with Zuma on my phone. I'm supposed to be writing 3 essays for the college application. I don't know how I forgot to have this done already. But that was yesterday!
Today is the day! I am sitting in front of Central Park watching people and eating. Some have just finished some running event. I'm waiting for my friend in Atlanta to finish feeding her baby so she can type up my essays I have to turn in with my application. For the life of me I couldn't get to a library nor would they open the computer room at the shelter. So as usual nicole is to my rescue and is going to type it and email it to me so I can print it at FedEx Kinkos. This is going to take the last of my money. I'm running out of time though I have to take a taxi. Now I am truly without money but it's worth it right?
How do that manage to do this to myself? I have missed the auditions! They started at 830 this morning. Where was I at 830? I was the shelter on the way to the subway. Some reason thought it was at 11:30. I was wrong. They were nice enough to tell me that I can reschedule for October 11th and that this type of thing happens all the time. They were very nice about it understanding. But in my mind I was distraught. But on the bright side it will give me time fix my essay and make it better because I know it can be. I'm so thankful to have good people in my corner. Last night Gerald send me I'm very last minute recommendation and I really appreciate him for that. It's time I take a rest apparently my mind is not working too well for me to have missed this audition so as soon as I get back to the room I am going to rest and start over
Only in New York: http://youtu.be/0iYxzBEZe3Y
I had a blast! I started a new job Thursday! I had to walk a bit more than I wanted in order to get my uniform but I got over it. I reached the garage I was placed in and saw the manager. Of course someone has to show me the ropes so he sends me to a guy, who stuck me with a guy who sat me with another guy. This guy was a tall Jamaican. He had immediate attitude. He wanted nothing to do with me. Mind you, everyone so far was Hispanic, and no one wanted to speak English all day. Dude delivered one car with me so I could see where the hotel is. I didn't realize that the hotels where blocks away! People bring their cars to the garage and we take it to the hotel's for them when they are ready. O. My.G. I'm talking, four blocks back. Tired.com. As soon as we get back to the garage he dumped me on a guy on the 5th floor. The only American born guy. I guess I will brush up on my Spanish. lol Harrold was cool. He complained about the separation all day. I understood his annoyance.
As soon as I clocked out I headed to the shelter to shower and go to Sugar Bar. My feet were on fire! My legs throbbed all the way to the shower. The new shoes were not kind. The toe area has next to nothing by way of cushion so what do I do? I called a cab! I have only $80 left to my name but I couldn't walk. I decided it was worth it and would yield a benefit somehow. I was supposed to hang out Janissa and a friend from Atlanta. Right before I got there I got the text. He won't make it. Oh WELL! Just as I arrived, Janissa is signing in for out table upstairs. I was so wedgetastic but I couldn't feel my second and fourth toe. :-/ Anyway!
We sat at the bar and chatted it up As the open mic began we talked about what we would sing. I wanted to do the jazz standard "All of me" and Janissa picked "Feel the fire ". I was called up second. As I came down to hallway to the area where the stage is I see very big hair! When I got to the opening of the doorway I hear "BURGANDY"! I looked and I saw a very familiar smile. It was Ms. Kathy from the Apollo Theater! How awesome! She rocked out as I sung and when I got off the stage I couldn't help but smile. The room was awesome as usual! Ms. Kathy was shocked to learn that I moved to NY. She asked if I wanted to go back on the Apollo and you know me. I'm like, heck yeah! We ended up picking a date. OCTOBER 1, 2014 I will be back on the Apollo Theater stage! BOOYAAAAH! I limped back to the shelter a happy camper.