Saturday, September 28, 2013

It's not over until
the fat lady sings

Every imaginable kind of music fills the theaters of New York City each night - highlighted this year at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and now the New York City Opera.

Recently, a casting agent told me that generally there are 90,000 talented performers in the city at a given time looking for work - with only 1,800 employed in any of the venues briefly available.

From Broadway to the Opera Houses to off Broadway to off-off Broadway and other theaters and centers across the city - the need to create and perform remains with those willing to give their talent and passions a chance. While waiting for their "Big Chance" - they generally work in the food and beverage industry - waiters and bartenders - and continue to audition.

Performers always have interesting backstories that are inspiring, much like reality TV. When they come here for readings, it's often hard to say that I don't see them at the top, yet alone staying there. In today's world, where no one wants to work unless they are passionate about it, one can only be hopeful as well as have a day job to pay the bills.

Friday, I read a local Puerto Rican man, William, 54, who always wanted to perform. Short, slim, talented and looking like a singer, he met all the right people back in his 20's, but nothing manifested. He went on to join the military for 5 years, returned home to help his family, then 8 years ago got a job at the VA hospital, returning to music recently. I read him about 20 years ago and told him not to give up on his dream.

In 2013, while recording a song he wrote, it was time for another reading, but William couldn't remember my name. This is how we attract stuff ... William spent the summer solstice in Sedona where he met my friend Jane ... and they got to talking about me. "I know Ellie!" Jane said and gave him my phone number. William and I read together in June where I listened to the CD he had recorded. It was amazing. He returned for another reading yesterday as synchronicities have brought professionals in the entertainment field into his life who are helping him and so I see success and will let you know when the CD comes out.

New York is a city of openings and sadly ... closures.

New York City Opera

While the Metropolitan Opera prepares for a new season, it looks like it's curtains for the New York City Opera. Bankruptcy brings the final curtain down on a company that was called "the people's opera" by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia when it was founded 70 years ago, just after I was born.

They say "It's not over until the fat lady sings" - and opera certainly has its share of buxom ladies. That expression also takes me to the 1996 film about aliens, Independence Day as spoken by Will Smith when he and Jeff Goldblum flew off to "kick ET's ass" and save the world. There is something about Will and Jeff smoking their cigars and talking about the Fat Lady singing that has always remained in my mind. Closure?

Over the past 70 years, millions of people have visited the New York City Opera House which has hosted the premieres of important works, helped the early careers of major singers, and been affordable enough to introduce several generations of New Yorkers to opera. I've read several singers who performed there back in the day, now retired, but still visit.

I've been to opening nights and closing nights and all I can tell you is that the energies are electric and filled with emotion you take away forever.

New York City Opera sings the blues over finances, faces possible bankruptcy   CNN - September 28, 2013
The New York City Opera needs $7 million in fundraising by Monday or it could be closing its curtains for good.