Tag: Music

2nd Week in February

Fun projects on the horizon this week:

– My voice teacher has arranged a coaching session for me this week with her voice coach. I’ll be coaching with a collaborative pianist/opera coach from Julliard on Friday! I’ll be singing Faites-luis mes aveux by Gounod and Sommermued by Schoenberg. This will be my second coaching session with her within the past year, she’s such a fantastic coach.

– If I survive studying for my German test, I’ll be writing a creative non-fiction story about the untimely demise of my great great grandparents to submit to Hard Freight! It’s a bit more inspiring than you think. I need to have it done by the 17th, and I haven’t started it yet… However, I trust my writing abilities to have it done over the weekend.

This day will be slightly busy but not as bad as last week. I have to not get distracted working my lower range now that my voice teacher taught me the vowel brightening trick… I constantly want to sing along with Karen Carpenter now.

PS, I’m going to try this exercising for 30 minutes a day thing. We’ll see how that goes…


They’re Watching You

privateeyes

Hey. Private eyes. They’re watching you… And you asked for it. No, this doesn’t have anything to do with conspiracy theories, Big Brother, Joseph Stalin and the Communists or the novel 1984 by the brilliant George Orwell. It has everything to do with a website you’re consciously signed up for and advertised your life on…

Everyone seems to wish to become a larger than life reality TV star on Facebook. No one seems to care that their private lives are on display, like a circus for all to see. Are you trying to create your own gossip website about yourself, people? Seriously. It looks like it by all of the crazy statuses you’re posting about yourself.

“O.M.G. I am sooo mad @ him he is making me soo mad i hate himm”

“i am tired of everyone being jerks! u all kno who u r!” (This oddball may also even post the names of people upsetting them.)

“i love this girl soo much she is my world” Blah blah, include a lot more romantic details and such…

And let’s point the big, fat white elephant out in the room here. All of the stupid pictures of yourself drinking and looking like a fool are not flattering. Who do you think you are? Kim Kardashian? P Diddy? Do you think you are glamorous or cool by doing this? (They’re not people to emulate, by the way.)

Service - Charlotte '08 National Youth Fine Arts

We seem to have an attention hog generation, whose addiction is promoting their entire lives to the world. It’s as if they are on their own stage, not even caring who knows every detail about their lives. Generations before us seemed to understand that creating your own rumors was a dumb idea… We humans thrive on gossip and seeing the demise of others when we often feel terrible about our own lives. That’s not an idealistic concept to assume such things but it is the truth.

greatgrandmaandgrandpa

(Great Grandma Sandra and my Grandpa)

A few weeks ago, my Sicilian Grandpa gave me some advice about being private – for your own good. His mother, Sandra, who emigrated from Sicily to America when she was in her 20s, told him that: “You shouldn’t tell everyone about everything that is happening in your life.” He continued with what else she told him, saying, “They may act like they care when they ask you what you’re doing, but as soon as they’ll listen to you, they’ll turn around and use what you told them against you. You can’t trust everyone.”

And believe me, a full blooded Sicilian would know the meaning of trust… And betrayal. Don’t believe me?

marlon_brando

Two words: The Godfather. Sometimes I wonder if Don Corleone was an influence on my Grandpa. Anyway, I digress… Really, people don’t change. Even if my grandma gave that advice to my grandpa 60 years ago (Before Facebook, computers and even LCD alarm clocks), it still stands today. People don’t change much.

It’s not to say you should go live in a cave and not share anything about your life with anyone… I have a Facebook account also, to keep in touch with family and friends easily and make new friends. But you have to be careful about what you share. Some say you shouldn’t have anything to hide about your life, which is true, but your most intimate thoughts should not be broadcasted on the internet for the world to see. (It’s called a journal, people).

I mean even when I was 9 years old, journals were being sold that had LOCKS on them. Now instead of locking away their most sincere ponderings of the heart in a lock and key journal, kids are now broadcoasting every whiff of the mind on the internet!

Nobody thinks that Facebook is almost like Big Brother – or private eyes. When you’re on Facebook, you should act like theres spies on the lose trying to convict you of everything. I mean, I prefer to call them Facebook creepers. They are private eyes, and they’re watching you.. Hmm. They see your every move… Watching your every move….. Hmm, I feel a song coming on!! (Surprising.)

Thank you, Hall and Oates, for practically writing the Facebook theme song in the 80s. You may have trumped Nostradomus on this one!

But, okay, the point being, any time you’re about to publicly insult your ex, or complain about how bad your mom and dad are for not letting you go see some gruesome movie – or you’re just plain ticked and feel like ranting on about anyone you please, or posting those foolish pictures of you being drunk and/or insane looking.. Remember … Private eyes, they’re watchin’ you!


Autumn Leaves

Autumn in Pennsylvania

Autumn in Pennsylvania

In the Mid Atlantic states, we always get a special treat every year around the end of October. It’s autumn foliage. It is the silver lining on the cloud of that big snow storm that comes billowing in as soon as October ends. I love warm colors, so it gets me very excited to see the lovely colors against the blue sky. Reds, oranges, yellows… So pleasing to the eye!

When my family and I went to Orlando this past August, we noticed how the trees are different, of course. The trees there don’t change, or lose their leaves. We thought that had to be great for you Floridians everywhere! You don’t see the trees look lifeless and barren. But my mom had made the comment, “The thing about our trees in Pennsylvania is that they’re more hardy!”

That’s true, it may not be pretty to see our dormant looking trees in winter… When everything looks so lifeless and dull, but when spring comes around, sure enough the trees come back to life… Maybe, looking even better than before. And when trees change colors in autumn, it becomes one of the most beautiful processes in nature.

God reminded me that the same is true for people. It would be nice (And probably comfortable) to be a vibrant palm tree in Florida, in the same sense it would be nice to have a life without hurtful changes… Always looking alive, beautiful and have everything under control. But the fact is, we wouldn’t be as strong. As humans, our lives should reflect more of the trees in the north. autumn2 We should always be changing, growing, and shedding our old ways. As you can see, God makes it an even more beautiful process for His children than for trees. Just as those autumn leaves show their true colors through the process of moving into the hard winter times, humans show their true strength when faced with hardship and total dependence on God.

So, you summer lovers (I being one of them), remember the beautiful process of change, and dependence on God. It all brings its beautiful rewards!

Now this is slightly off topic but very on topic, I must share Nat King Cole singing “Autumn Leaves”. I’ve worked on this song before… I must dig it back out in honor of autumn. The lyrics to Autumn Leaves were originally written in French by Jacques PrĂ©ver.

Annette


No Business like Show Business

It’s come time that I finally get down to business… Quite literally. Business. Show business! That feels so cool to say, you know… Show biz… I imagine some Italian mobster from the 1950s with a cigar in his mouth, waving his hand around authoritatively from the directors chair when I say that. Which is a fond memory for me, considering I have a huge Italian (Actually… Sicilian) family on my moms’ side!

“Piano Nostalgia” by Annette

That was a bunny trail, but a fun illustration nonetheless. I’ve prayed about it, and thought about what I like to do, and what God has equipped me to do… And I feel He’s leading me into the arts. Of course, I’ve always been into it, but now it seems He’s specifically leading me into playing piano and acting. Oh, and writing. Because I always have something to say!

I really didn’t care much for playing piano when I first started taking lessons. It was such a chore, because I didn’t see the use for it! But somehow I was able to keep going and feel inspired by people like Rachmaninov, Chopin, Michael W. Smith and other nice pianists in their respective genres. But now it’s getting exciting! I did those competitions for the past two years, and now I have a job playing at a church. It’s been such a joy! Is it a lot of work? Yes, but that makes me appreciate the skills I build even more.

And acting? Oh, it’s just effortless, fun and never dull.

Josephine March
Me, as Josephine March in 2008

The tough part with choosing acting is, there are not a lot of opportunities to do it in the area I am at. But somehow God will make a way! I’ve played tons of different roles, and they’re always so different and fun. I’ve played Josephine March from Little Women, various characters from the book The Phantom Tollbooth, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz… The list goes on a bit. When you’re an actress, it’s like you have multiple personality disorder, but enjoy it. A lot! (You can quote me on that.)

And I don’t need to explain my love of writing! I love to tell stories, I love to write stories, I love to hear stories. Truth, fiction, in a book, in a magazine… It doesn’t matter. As long as it requires a good imagination, I’m there! I wrote my first story at the age of 4 and never came back from that place called “Creativity” ever since. Maybe I’ll share my first dabbling in writing with you someday.

And this all sounds fine and dandy, having an imagination the size of jupiter and a sixth sense for adventure… But oh, can it be done? Can it be successful? Can you do it without starving in a bad economy that’s already taxing its artists? People have told me “Oh, that’s nice, Annette… Playing piano, acting, writing… But you do realize you’d be broke! You need a back up job.”

Let me tell you something about crazy artists. They can’t have a backup job. You can’t separate a wild imagination and a passion for the arts from every day life. You can’t turn off ideas and ambition when you get up and go to work at the office all day staring at a fabricated gray cubicle and a computer screen. You can’t just ignore those ideas for the next big story, concerto or performance… Or that groundbreaking idea that can change your life could be gone forever and forgotten!

And so, there you go… Again I ask, can it be done? Good question. You and I are both going to find out in the years to come.

Annette

Oh, and a side note. I updated my About page a little bit.


An Update

Hi world, I’ve been silent lately but certainly not bored! After graduating high school, I busied myself this summer with receiving my boating license (Enabling me to drive a jet ski legally), participating in an arts competition in Orlando, FL and I just got a job as a church pianist! This has been one of the most exciting years of my life so far. But it has also been one of the hardest.

Today, I’ll share with you a little work I’ve done on the piano. I’ll be posting some new piano videos within the next two weeks. I’m currently working on a jazzy version of the hymn, The Solid Rock. But here are some songs to keep you occupied in the mean time, including the song I did for competition in Orlando. Enjoy!

Annette