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What’s that a picture of? Boxes? What are they for? Oh wait, that’s right. This “kreative” couple is moving to New York City to chase their dreams!
All right, all right. Calm down everyone, just CALM DOWN! Oh wait, I’m the only one who’s not calm. Okay, I’ll calm down. *clears throat*
Yes, my friends, Perry and I are moving to The Big Apple to chase our lifelong dreams. I am going to be attending New York University (NYU) to pursue a Master of Music degree in classical voice, and Perry is going to be pursuing sports PA announcing and play-by-play work.
You may be wondering…how did this happen? Why are you moving? How are you getting there? Are you bringing your cats? (Yes, we are bringing the cats.)
In The Beginning…
Years ago, I imagined myself graduating fresh from college, getting married, immediately moving to New York City, and getting cast in a Broadway show upon arrival. (Yes, I know those were lofty goals. I was young and naïve.)
Obviously, things didn’t exactly happen like that. Believe it or not, New York requires money to live in. (#sarcasm) And a lot of it. Not only that, but life happened. I got married, settled in, and had to figure my way a little bit in this new life that Perry and I were creating. And, like many couples, we experienced some bumps in the road along the way (let’s just say life threw us some major curve balls!).
So yes…life went on. We remained living in the area where we both grew up. I worked as a paralegal to try and save up money, all the while keeping one foot in the door of performing as much as I could: I participated in local auditioned choirs, became a freelance singer for churches in the area, performed improv and sketch comedy at some of the larger venues in our area, and finally, found myself wanting to train my classical singing voice again.
In 2013, I did just that. I asked my college voice teacher for a referral, and ended up with a teacher who helped change my life. She gave me the opportunity to not only train my voice, but encouraged me to take voice lessons as a non-degree-seeking student through the university where she teaches, so that I would have the college credit for it.
I became hungry for more, and even won some voice competitions during my new studies. (Has anyone heard of NATS here? The National Association of Teachers of Singing competition? Well, if you’re curious: In 2015, I placed first in my division at the state level and third at the regional level. I don’t guess that’s too shabby for someone who hadn’t trained formally in years!)
The Decision to Pursue Grad School
Something else I had considered in 2013 was the possibility of going to grad school, but to be honest, I hadn’t narrowed down my focus enough to even know what I wanted to do with it. Sure, I could go get my Master of Music or maybe a MFA in Acting (as a music theater major, I could’ve done either, really), but I didn’t know what was best for me. So honestly, I’m glad I didn’t pursue grad school in 2013, and instead focused on whipping my voice back into shape until I found my focus.
There were several major turning points for me in the decision to apply to grad school:
- The aforementioned placing in state and regional NATS competitions, solidifying my confidence in my abilities as a singer.
- Singing a “junior” and “senior” recital as part of my non-degree-seeking voice lessons, allowing me to accomplish something I had never done as a music theater major.
- Being hired to sing as a professional chorister with the Virginia Opera in my first opera, The Flying Dutchman (you can read more about that experience by clicking here if you’re interested).
- Participating in the Torggler Summer Vocal Institute in the summer of 2015. (Back then, they still let older (i.e. age 29) singers participate – now I believe it’s only high school students. If you know any highschoolers interested in singing, this program is phenomenal!)
In the fall of 2016, I had auditioned for and found myself cast in another production with Virginia Opera (their “Opera in the Park” outdoor show), and then in the chorus of Puccini’s Turandot in the following spring (you can read my first-hand experience about that here).
As you can see, things were lining up for me in the singing world, and I wanted more. That being said, there just was not much more available in my geographical location. Being cast in Virginia Opera productions is about as far up as a classical singer can go in my area as far as I know. And while I was pursuing all these things, Perry was out conquering the sports PA announcing world, finding himself near the top of his field in our area as well.
So here is where I provide this disclaimer: I am SO GRATEFUL for my day job as a paralegal, where I have worked for over 10 years. I am even still working as a paralegal and plan to continue to do so (part-time) during my studies at NYU to bring in some extra income.
Now, that being said – as you read above, I never intended on being a paralegal for the rest of my life. I was waiting for the opportune moment to leave and pursue my passion. I thought 2013 was it, but when I look back, I know that at that time, I needed a clearer vision as to what exactly my passion was, as well as some good, old-fashioned performing experience.
After a grueling process of applying to six graduate schools, being asked to audition in person at five of those, flying around the country to said auditions (between rehearsals for Turandot), turning down another opera chorus offer because I was too busy to add it into my schedule, and working full-time somewhere in there…I now find myself accepting an offer to attend New York University’s Steinhardt School of Music’s Master of Music in Classical Voice Performance program!
On top of that, next fall I intend on applying to an additional post-master’s certificate in Vocal Pedagogy, where (if accepted) I will learn more about the anatomy and inner workings of the voice from a teacher’s perspective, so that I will be able to fine tune my future students’ voices in a healthy, holistic manner.
Last But Not Least
I have been wanting to share this news with you for a very LONG, LOOOONNNNGGG time. Like, SUPER long. But I wanted to wait until the pieces really started falling into place. For goodness’ sake, we didn’t even find a NYC apartment until just last week! Perry and I also had to make sure that all of our family and close friends were aware of the news before posting it on the blog as well.
Anyway – we can’t wait to share more updates about the big move to NYC as things really get rolling here! We have boxes everywhere and are kind of in limbo until we get all moved up to NYC, but feel free to ask any questions about applying to graduate school, auditioning, and/or the moving process to New York! You can ask by clicking “comment” at the top of this post. 🙂
P.S. If you’d like to follow our big NYC adventures, please SUBSCRIBE below to receive KreativeKouple.com updates straight to your inbox! 🙂