Sunday, August 12, 2012


As I sit and type this I'm not sure if I'm going to actually publish it. I just know I need to get out of my head and writing helps me do that. I feel like I'm at a crossroads and need to make some kind of decision. And soon, because I'm not getting any younger.  

We're in the middle of a long, miserable heat wave in Southern California. It's 98 degrees in North Hollywood where I live, unusually humid (still nothing compared to Nashville) and my tiny little apartment has no a/c (I have a bedroom window unit, but it's so hot that it keeps blowing the breaker whenever I run it, so I've been sleeping in the heat, too -- and when I say sleeping, I mean not sleeping at all). I have two fans going full blast, beating the hot air upon me. I take three showers a day. I have plenty of food in my fridge, but it all requires heating up the stove or oven, which is simply unthinkable in this weather. My skin looks amazing, my voice feels great, but the rest of me stinks like a construction worker even though I make great efforts to remain as still as possible in the hopes of not breaking a sweat (epic fail). I find myself highly tempted to scream, "STELLAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!" at least five times a day.

This week I found out that a large vocal coaching job on a feature film I'd been hired for is not going to happen after all. I'd been very much looking forward to it, not only because it would've looked great on my resume, but because I'd like to do more coaching of that variety in general. I love my students and I generally enjoy teaching one-on-one, but I think where I'd really soar is in freelance coaching jobs on films, television, special events, etc. But also, being able to say you were the voice coach on a feature film helps to get more private students too, and a girl's gotta make a living. I needed this stepping stone.

Just got off the phone with my Dad...who promptly laid into me about moving out of L.A. It was an hour of the following:

Dad: "If you're not happy there, why do you stay?" (keep in mind he hates L.A. -- won't even come visit)

Me: "Dad, I've been unhappy in every city I've ever lived in. It's not L.A., it's ME."

Dad (bless 'im): "Noooooo honey, it's not yooooouuuuuu..."

Me: "Yes it is. Because I've yet to be successful making a living at the ONE thing I'm best at in any place I've lived."

Dad: "Well ya just gotta find out what you really wanna do and go where you can do it."

Me: "Dad. I've been doing that for twenty years. I've only ever wanted to be a studio singer. I've gone where I need to go to give myself the best possible chance at doing that. And it just doesn't work. Ever. I'm at the point where I need to decide to pack it in entirely soon."

Silence. Then, "Well babes, I really don't know what to say."

And that's the point...there isn't anything he can say. 

And my conversations with Mom are the same. Why are you still there? Don't you wanna come home? At least go back to Nashville? What about Chicago with your sister? Why don't ALL of you move there, at least you'll be together...


I'm weary. And I don't know what to do. I keep working on my outlook, trying to be grateful for everything I do have (I'm not living in a van down by the river yet, after all) and changing my thinking to glass-half-full instead of half-empty, but I'm not getting that life-changing "aha moment" I keep waiting for that others seem to get. And yes, I know it's a gradual process, and as much as this blog doesn't sound like it at the moment, my outlook has improved exponentially overall. But my career continues not to. And I've sacrificed a lot to have it -- no husband, no kids, separated from my family for years, uprooting my life and moving thousands of miles away more than once, singing for free way more than anyone ever should. I really think I could be content living anywhere if I was just doing what I love to do...and doing enough of it that I'm not in danger of my electric being cut off in the middle of a heat wave. I don't need to be rich. I don't need fancy digs. I don't need a flashy car. I couldn't care less about the latest fashions. Just comfortable would be great. Enough to pay the bills and have an occasional evening out with friends. A clean place to live in a quiet neighborhood with a/c and maybe a dishwasher. Maybe a humble get-away once a year, but I won't push my luck. I'm a simple girl and I just want simple things. 

I just want to sing and I want it to be my job. That's all.