Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Anatomy of a Dream

I really do believe that we should not limit ourselves with our dreaming.  I believe that we should dream as big as we can!

Some people protest!  But no!  We must make our dreams small and realistic.  That way we have a chance of achieving them,.  For if we dream the big dream, we will only end up crushed and disappointed as realities set in.

I plan to illustrate here how the great big dream can help us find our real dreams, and how the great big dream, the fantasy, is an important to getting to what is real for us.  Because contained within that fantastic dream is all the things that attract your fancy and imagination, inspire you, motivate you and captivate you.

My first example is a bride, who is looking at the bridal magazines and dreaming about her fantasy wedding.  But, alas, when she looks at her budget, she realizes that she cannot afford everything in the fantasy.  She has to work within her budget.  Her reality. ("Budget" = reality) But she can look at the fantasy wedding and get ideas about her wedding.  What about that wedding is it that she really likes?  What in those pages is she responding to?  Why does it appeal to her?  Can she have it in some other way?  Can she copy it inexpensively?

The same thing happens when the models come down the runway with this year's designer looks.  The same reality happens with the budget.  Or maybe it's not only the budget, but one's personal body size and shape, and the clothes just won't drape quite the same way.  These are the realities.  But what about that look can the person achieve?  Can she take clothes to the tailor and get some alterations?  Can she find some copy-cat jackets less expensive?  They show it in the magazines all the time, how the "look" can be achieved for less.  What is important, in both cases, is finding out just exactly what it was one liked about the look.   Was it the colors?  Was it the hem length?  These things can be had!  One need not throw up one's hands and go around in sweat pants.

Well, just like this, a singer has to form her singing fantasy.  The singer's dream.  It's the singing scenario that appeals to you.  It's the one you pretend you're in when you're singing in your living room, to your hairbrush, and in the mirror.  It's an experience you think you'd like to have.  An experience that you think would be absolutely wonderful.

When I have my living room singer fantasy, it's usually not opera.  Sometimes it is, but I've yet to feel fully comfortable in the opera fantasy.  Not sure I really like it.  But I saw a youtube video that really sparked me, and inspired me.  When I saw it, I went, "Wow!  Yes!  That's what I would like to do!  That's my idea of what would be a wonderful experience!"

Here it is:

Hmmmph!  Now that's a fantasy!  Mmmmmm Hmmmm!

But, then I take a look over at my "budget."  Alas!  What is my budget?

Mature Age for a Singer
Lack of Experience
Lack of Contacts
Much less of a voice than that technically (and naturally)
Contraints and responsibilities of life choices and situation
(and lots more)

So, like the bride, however, and the would-be fashionista, let's see if I can work with this fantasy.  What about it do I like, and what about it might I be able to have?

For one thing, I like the beautiful setting of Notre Dame Cathedral.  I'm fairly sure that the Notre Dame Cathedral thing ain't gonna' happen (although beware of the tendency to say "never).  But just WHAT do I like about the cathedral?  The Spaciousness, The Resonant Sound, It is Architecturally Interesting and Beautiful.  I love the Colors of the Stained Glass.  Maybe I could someday sing in a space that has those qualities?  It might be smaller and less famous, but I can have the elements of what I like about Notre Dame Cathedral.

For a second thing, I love that she comes out with a full orchestra who are all dressed in black, but she is in a jewel-tone dress, specifically purple (has anyone figured out my favorite color is purple yet?).  She is the splash of color in front of them all.

Well, maybe I won't be able to have a full famous orchestra like that, but perhaps a smaller ensemble someday.  Who knows?  And besides, for this particular piece, it is accompanied by harp.  That's definitely do-able.

And I definitely can have a beautiful purple dress.  I'll give myself that one.

Guess I can't have her cheekbones, but I can like my own features.

Another thing I especially love is the song she is singing.  I have been trying, like many of the other ones I've mentioned here, to sing that version of Ave Maria for many many years, and I have a few stories to go along with it, some disastrous.

However, although I might not succeed to reach a technical level like Jessye Norman's in my life, I can continue to strive to improve, and get it as close as I possibly can.  I can have the work. The work that a singer has to do!  I can always have that! Yes!  I can always strive and hope that someday I will be able to sing that song, in my own voice, as beautifully as she is singing that in her voice.  That is the hope.

So, I will construct my own goal based on the fantasy dream, something I want to do before I die:

Sing Bach-Gounod Ave Maria in a very pretty cathedral-style church with good acoustics somewhere and a modest orchestra with harp and gorgeous purple dress with the best technique I can achieve by then.

There!  That''ll do it!  You see how I used the fantasy dream that inspired me to create my own dream.  A real one.  One I can work toward!  Onward ho!
Click here to go to Frescamari's Practice Studio for Bach-Gounod Ave Maria recording.


  1. By gum, woman, I think you can do this!!! I've had the opportunity to sing in some really lovely churches...and this was just for dinky little student recitals where there were a bunch of us student singers at various levels.

    Do you have a plan for procuring an orchestra? Will you hire them? Recruit a student orchestra? Find good amateurs who will play for the love of it?

    Are you putting out the word about the big dream to your friends, family, acquaintances, and anyone else who will sit still long enough to listen? You listed "lack of contacts" in your budget, but I bet you have more contacts than you think. I'm a big believer in putting out the word about one's dreams. It's been my experience that the more people you tell about your dream (in an honest way and not a pushy or annoying way), the more people you'll uncover and discover who will help you achieve it! And the few bad apples who might try to sabotage it instead, are not worth wasting your time on anyway!

    I love to brainstorm on how to make these kinds of performance opportunities happen for avocational singers like us. So if you ever want to bounce ideas off of someone, just email me!

  2. I will definitely be taking you up on that offer to e-mail you. Thanks!