Monday, May 19, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes...

I've already talked about my schedule this summer and fall, but I guess now I should go over the career changes going on in my life. Don't be too alarmed, opera is still the ultimate goal for me. To pay the bills, though, I have to do something...

First off is the movie theater : Regal Entertainment Group Green Hills 16. I've been working there since early January, and it's a pretty easy job. Granted, it's corporate, so I'm not too fond of that aspect, but in comparison to other corporate jobs I've had (cough cough Borders cough cough) it's a breeze. The managers are really easy to get along with, and they're understanding. None of them really have sticks stuck up their butt, so that's a plus as well. Anyways, though... I've done well there. I mean, I was awarded their Star Performer of the Month (aka Employee of the Month) my first full month there (February), so... yeah. That, of course, also had to deal with the fact that the people I worked with at the time were unwashed miscreants who didn't want to do a lick of work. So comparatively, I was an exemplary worker. Now, I'm not demeaning myself. I work hard, and I get done what needs to be done. But I view it this way. They're paying me by the hour to do really easy work, and it's work that makes the day go by really quickly, so who am I to complain?

A few weeks ago, I saw that there was a posting in the break room notifying all employees that the theater was looking for shift leaders (otherwise referred to as Supervisors in the normal world, but... corporate doesn't want us to call the position by that title...). So I'm sitting there, thinking... Well, it would look good on my resume... And it would mean extra money, because I'd get a raise for the promotion. I turned in my resume and was called in for an interview, and this past weekend, I was notified that I was chosen for the position. Wahooey! I'll get a pay raise, and I'll be working there 4 nights a week. The job isn't all that difficult. It's pretty much doing what I was doing already, managing employees and making sure they're doing their jobs. I mean, I wasn't in charge or anything, but when a manager wasn't present, I'd make sure that the silly little high schoolers weren't being lazy. haha So yeah. I have a meeting this Thursday with the other shift leaders to go over the job responsibilities and what our exact position entails. It'll be good, I think. The funny thing is, during my interview for the shift leader position, the two managers interviewing me -- Jarred and Cameo -- asked if I was interested in applying for 1 of the 2 management positions open, and I flatly told them, "no." I have neither the time nor the energy to devote to a management position there, and I also don't want to accept a position in which I'll get stuck whether or not it looks good on my resume. Don't get me wrong. The people that manage the theater are stand-up people. I just don't want to be stuck at the theater for the rest of my life when I have different aspirations. I want to perform for people. It's who I am. I just don't see myself working at a "normal" job for the rest of my days on Earth. Blah. Now, that's fine for some people, and I'm not saying my way is any better... I just adapt to the performance environment much better than I do to any other.

Moving on...

Secondly, I started working this past Wednesday at the West Nashville Cumberland Presbyterian Church as a soprano in the church choir. It's probably one of the easiest jobs I've ever had. I show up on Wednesdays, sing for an hour, come back on Sunday, sing and listen to the pastor for an hour, and then I'm done. And it pays $30 every time we meet. So that's $60/wk. AWESOME. More moolah for Stef!

Now on to the third and last career opportunity. Back in high school, the fine arts department was pretty close knit. Well, to be completely honest, the whole school was close knit (I mean, my graduating class consisted of maybe 75 people). We all knew each other really well, and we all did shows with each other every year. In the end, we were one large family, teachers and their families included. This past weekend, while I was working at the theater, I ran into my theater teacher (Mrs. Paula Flautt) and her husband (Joe). We did a quick little 'Hi, how are you?' along with the obligatory life update and so on. I had to get to work, but they asked for my e-mail address before they left, and then my night went on. Woohoo. Today, I was checking my e-mail, and I see a new message from Joe Flautt. My first reaction is Oh, Mrs. Flautt must be seeing if I want to get together sometime. She had expressed an interest in hearing my "stories" from New York and Belmont, so I just assumed she had used her husband's e-mail account to see if I was free sometime this week. I open the e-mail, and it's actually from her husband, asking me to call him back, because he "has a ?" I called him, and he proceeds to ask me if I'm looking for any ways to make some extra money during the summer and fall. I say, "Oh, of course. I'm always looking for ways to make more money," and then he asks to meet with me tomorrow at Panera Bread to "run an idea by [me]." It was kind of random, but whatever. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. I told my mom about it, and I don't remember what he does for a living, but mom thinks that he does something in the music business. But yeah... As I said, we'll see.

That's pretty much the basis of my life right now. I don't know if I have enough time to be doing all three jobs PLUS school, but... it depends on the frequency of whatever Joe's "idea" is. If it's something that I do several times a week, I might have to drop the theater. That kind of freaks me out, because I'm doing so well there. But I'm counting my eggs before they hatch. I won't know anything until 4pm tomorrow, and it might even be one of those every so often types of things... We'll see.

Time for me to go. Bye.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Currently? Well, I'm channelling Monk, actually...

I've been cleaning like a MANIAC for the last few hours. Seriously, my hands are all dry, now, which is unfortunate. But my bathroom is clean!!! Not only that, but the majority of my laundry is done! Brilliant. I guess I should explain. But I'll have to start a little while back.

I'm not sure I've mentioned it before, but this past semester was barely a step above hell. I was pulling 17 hours and working 2 jobs. All in all, my week was upwards of 60 hours. Needless to say, near the end of the semester I was definitely worn out. I'm amazed I passed any of my classes. Whew. Anyways, though, I've been busy. And as such, I've been completely unable to do any sort of cleaning at all. And my sister sure as hell won't clean. It's just not in her nature to clean (Jenn, I love you, but it's the truth.). So you can imagine how bad a living situation can get as far as cleanliness goes in 5 months. Plus, the house is all hardwood floors, and, with the frequency of thunderstorms and showers lately, mud has been tracked in via shoes and whatnot. There's also a dirt basement that houses our washer and dryer, so that makes for problems, too. Oi. After all is said and done, the house is a nasty, nasty mess.

Thankfully, though, my last final was this past Thursday. Thank God. I worked this weekend, and I took it easy on Monday, but today I was hit with an overwhelming sense of direction. I needed to CLEAN!!!! And clean I did. I got into the bathroom and began scrubbing away all of the soap scum that had become caked on the tub. I cleaned the sink, the walls, the toilet, and even the floor. It was amazing, and I feel so good about it. It is the one room that I'm not embarrassed about in the whole house. Tomorrow will be my bedroom, mainly. And then the rest of the house. Jenn told me that she would help when she gets home from work tomorrow (She got a new job at the Bound'ry, by the way.), so we'll see how that goes. I don't doubt that she'll help a little, but I have a feeling that she'll be tired from work and won't really want to do all that much. That's fine, though. I want to clean the house, and I'll get it done, help or not.

Another reason I want to clean the house other than the obvious nasty mess is because I'm getting a new roommate in July (Jenn is moving out and going down to Murfreesboro so she can get her Graduate degree at MTSU. Don't ask me what her major is, because I have no idea.), and she's going to be coming to view the area and her room and whatnot sometime this week. Maybe even tomorrow evening. We'll see. Either way, I want the place to have at least an inkling of semblance when she comes to view it. I mean, it's not like she's going to back out or anything, but I don't want her thinking I'm a slob. Because I'm not. Now, I'm not going to lie. When it comes to my room my stuff is usually a little bit cluttered, but my room is the only place that I allow my personal tornado to hit. I like to keep common areas tidy. When they're not, I go crazy. I get depressed, and I just feel horrible. Blech. It's my OCD making an appearance in my life, you know? haha

Anyways, though, the house is going through a major overhaul right now. And I'm loving it.

On to further life news, though. I'm taking summer classes starting on June 1st. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm taking a total of 14 hours, which is the maximum for the summer sessions, but I think that will be good. That way I'll almost be considered a Junior by next January. Here are the classes I'm taking:

Science- A Process of Inquiry: Astronomy (M-F 9:30-11:15am & M 8:30-10:30pm - 1st term)
Harmony II (M-F 11:30am-1:15pm - 1st term)
Ear Training II (M-F 1:30-2:30pm - 1st term)
Understanding the Bible (T 5:30-9:30pm - full term)
Health & Fitness Concepts (online class)
Private Piano (TBD - full term)

I'll also be taking voice lessons, but they won't count towards my credits. I don't mind that, though. My voice teacher at Belmont doesn't work for Belmont during the summer because they don't pay her enough for summer sessions, so I'll just be taking from her outside of Belmont courses. For any of you Belmont students reading this who are going into Classical Voice Performance as a major, try and get Dr. Coleman as your teacher. She's an absolute genius. :) She'll kick your ass into next week, but you'll be so much better as a performer as well as a human being that it won't matter. I will be forever grateful to her amazing teaching methods and talents. But I digress...

This is my fall schedule (17 hours... Help me, God.):

Harmony III (MWF 9-9:50am)
Intermediate French I (MWF 1-2pm)
Opera Theatre (M 5:30-8:30pm & TR 3-4:50pm)
Ear Training III (TR 10-10:50am)
Speech (TR 11am-12:15pm)
Oratorio (W 3-4:50pm)
Intro to Mathematical Reasoning (TR 5:30-6:45pm)
Private Voice (TBD)

So that's my schedule until January of next year. Oi. Busy, busy, busy... But that's how I like it. I always feel like I should be doing something. I don't know if that's a good thing or not, but I just feel like if I'm not doing something to further my education then there's a problem. You know? I'm already two years behind. Time to step it into high gear, I guess. :)

Moving on... There's quite a bit to catch up on, it seems.

I was in the opera production this past semester, and it was absolutely wonderful. I loved it. The spring operas aren't actually full productions -- they're kind of set up like a review of several operas and operettas, actually -- so we did a myriad of scenes that actually turned out to be rather good. I was in 2 of them: a scene from Dialogues of the Carmelites (an extremely compelling story... you should check it out if you haven't) and another scene from La Boheme. I was the 2nd Prioress in Dialogues, and I played Mimi in Boheme. I loved both scenes so much. Dialogues was great because the lines were unconventional (very Poulenc), and there were huge ascending jumps that were just so much fun to sing. Boheme was fantastic, because the scene Dr. Whitten (the director) chose for us was the final, death scene. Oooh, it was so dramatic, and the melodies were so beautiful. It was so much fun to act, too. I just loved it. Puccini can write anything he likes for me. Thankfully, he was fond of the dramatic soprano voice, so there's a good bit of material of his for my voice part. Wahoo! Joy!

I'm actually in the opera in the fall as well. We're doing 2 one-acts by Gian Carlo Menotti. The first is The Medium which is about just that. From what I've heard, it's pretty ballin'. haha Very dramatic and so on. My voice teacher, Dr. Coleman, is actually playing the part of Baba, the main character. It's too advanced for any current students, so that's fine with me. :) I can't wait to see her in the performance and rehearsal situation. It's going to be a great learning experience. We're also doing Help, Help, the Globolinks! That's the one I'm in. I play a music teacher named Madame Euterpova. Now, this is an opera I've not heard of, but apparently, it's about aliens who have an aversion to music. This is what Schimer.com has to say as far as the synopsis goes: "A busload of children becomes stranded when the vehicle breaks down. It is soon surrounded by unearthly globolinks, who are repulsed by musical sounds. A child goes off to get help and the children are saved by the intervention of good music." Yeah, it sound hokey, but I think it will be a ton of fun. I'm going to be working on it with Dr. Coleman this summer, so it's going to be all memorized and everything by the time rehearsals come around. I'll be a good little performer! :)

Now on to other business. I am proud to say that I am no longer single. haha Who would have ever thought that day would come??? Surely not I. His name is Brandon Scott Christian, and I work with him at the Green Hills theater. Well, that's still applicable, I guess, but being that he's switched to the graveyard shift (He does all the maintenance there. You know, fixing broken chairs, changing light bulbs, cleaning stuff, etc...), we don't really see much of each other at the theater. We've been dating since March 18th, so we're close to 2 months, now. :) It's kind of hard, though, to pick an actual date to designate as a start date. We were "talking" for a good long while before we went out on our first date. It was so cute. I wished Brandon a happy 1 month on April 18th, and he said that it was actually more along the lines of 2 months, being that we started talking on February 24th. Call me silly, but I didn't even remember that date. It's funny, I don't really come off as a super romantic person on a day-to-day basis, but I'm the biggest hopeless romantic there is. I love romantic gestures, cheesy stuff, and all that crap. I want my life to be a romantic comedy, you know? And Brandon allows that for me. He's super romantic, too, so it just works out. :) There's more to our relationship than that, of course. We have this bizarre connection that I know I've never experienced before. There's this complete and utter vulnerability and honesty there that originally threw me for the biggest loop ever, but now it's just... I don't want to use the word comfortable, but it is. It's a comforting feeling to have complete trust in someone, knowing that they would never do anything to hurt you and knowing that they felt totally safe with you as well. He's a cook, so I can get awesome food whenever I want (and whenever we both have time to get together and sit down to eat. He works at the Green Hills Grille along with the theater, so he's pretty busy himself. I don't know how he does it, honestly. He goes into the Grille at 4pm and works until 10:30 or 11. After that, he goes to the theater and works there from around 11:30 to 7 or 8 in the morning. Then he goes home and crashes until he goes back to work later that day. It's crazy, I tell you. But I admire him for his determination and will. He wants to pay his bills and get out of debt, and with his mind set the way it is, he's bound to do it. :) Anyways, I'll do my best to keep you updated on that front as time goes on.

You know, I think that's all for now. I'm going to go put one more load of laundry in and then go to bed. Whew. Today has been an extremely productive day. I feel good. Now I just need to start writing again. I've written a little bit off and on every once in a while, but nothing of any consequence. After I get the house all ship-shape, the plan is to write like a demon and get a good frame for my story written out. :) Wahoo. But anyways... Time to go. Au revoir.

~Stef

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