Hello again from a very tired, but very enriched Kia! I’m writing now with 5 performances down and 3 to go – the last one in the Cleveland area being tonight! It’s been a wonderful experience and I’m so excited to share some more of this journey with you.

Since my last post, things have been much the same – lots of travel, new friends and great music! We’ve performed in Bay Village, University Circle, Willoughby Hills, Akron, Erie (PA) and finally tonight we’ll be in Shaker Heights before flying off to NYC tomorrow! I’ve found that each night is a new experience. I hear more intricacies in the music and am able to observe how the same piece can be transformed in each new space. I’ve been able to speak to people that are either in the same place or have been in the same places as me career-wise and I’ve learned so much. However, instead of talking in circles about all of these things, I’d love to answer to some questions I’ve been asked along the way to sort of enlighten friends and family on what this kind of project looks like!

How did you get involved in this project?

Having gone to school near Cleveland, I was well aware of the impact of Apollo’s Fire in the community and have quite a few friends from BW that have been involved with the group. I contacted the former chorus manager (an awesome BW alum) and sent her my audition tape about a year and a half ago. I also helped with some Front of the House stuff for some of their orchestra concerts in the past couple of years. I hadn’t heard much from them in the past year until I was asked to sing this project with them!

How does it work to be a traveling singer?

Well, normally, accommodations are made for traveling singers – flights, rental cars, homestays/hotels, etc. are typically all arranged. However, since I lived in the Cleveland area until recently, I drove to Cleveland and have been staying with a wonderful friend and host.

What’s the rehearsal/performance schedule like?

While it’s different for every project, this one has been fairly busy. We had 3 full 3-hour rehearsals before the first concert – one of which was optional. Beyond that, we’ve performed nearly every day with a touch-up rehearsal lasting anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and a half followed by a 2-3 hour concert depending on which of the 4 “playlists” we use. In most cases, I’ve been at my host house most of the mornings and usually head to rehearsal somewhere between 3-5 pm each day.

What about your jobs back home?

Luckily, I’m extremely fortunate to have two great, flexible jobs. The other newborn photographer that works at my hospital so graciously appeared to take my days for the two weeks that I’m gone. My other job, I actually work from home so I’ve been able to take that with me. And again, wonderful, flexible colleagues have allowed me to flex my hours around my availability. While I am lucky in my circumstances, you can imagine why it’s difficult to be both a performer and hold down regular jobs. The struggle is certainly real!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned throughout this experience?

So many to choose from! I’d say the biggest thing is learning that there is a place for me in this music scene. I’ve really struggled to find my place as my voice doesn’t lend itself to every vocal opportunity. I can’t sing opera, many solo gigs are for big voices with lots of vibrato, and I even find it hard to blend in some choirs. But I now know that even though I have a lot of work to do, I do actually have something to offer and that has been a much-needed revelation.

Overall, it’s been a great experience and I’m so thankful to anyone that’s actually read these posts for allowing me to share with you. I am just dying to talk to anyone and everyone about this opportunity so please, feel free to ask me any questions! React to this post by commenting on our website, on facebook or messaging me.