I got this balloon last week…
So now you know. Me = The Greatest. Not only that, but also #1. So you can all call off any prior searches you may have had going on. You found me.
Leo and I are headed out of town tomorrow to visit the illustrious town of Bloomington, Indiana. His little brother is graduating from Indiana University (a.k.a. my first choice college that I visited no less than 3 times, only to be rejected admission after I applied and auditioned for their music school with a cold and a sore throat as well as my semi-imperfect 18 year old pipes), so we’re meeting up with the fam and spending some time at my would-be alma mater had they not been such dicks, and everything. I’m so excited!
I think my deeply ingrained bitterness remains intact because of the school being the only one I really wanted to attend. And I had been looking forward to going there since I was 16 and a half. And even though I toured several colleges (St. Louis University, Tampa, Boston College, USC…) other than IU, it just was my dream college and where I felt I would be able to get the best education for what it was I wanted to do, which was study opera.
But 18 year old opera singers are tough to come by (i.e. “tough to listen to”). I’m sure it was something they were aware of…the fact that 18 year olds don’t tend to have completely developed vocal capacity, and all. But I was nervous. And the cold? Are ya kidding me? THAT was the time my body chose to get sick? Fuckin’ a.
Also, I had read somewhere that Indiana had the lowest average SAT scores for senior college applicants out of all universities across the US. I thought that made it easy! I could skate by with my crappy SATs, no problem, right? Yeah, except I was from CALIFORNIA. So, maybe they’d want me to have higher scores since I was from a state other than Indiana? I didn’t think of that until a couple of years later. (Hey, I only got a 730 on my SATs overall…so it makes sense that it took that long for me to figure that one out, right? Yeah…)
So when they rejected me both on my ability to sing (which they of course saw no semblance of) as well as on my academic ability? It hurt. It crushed me. I was very, very depressed about it.
USC accepted me, but I didn’t want to go to their crappy music school. *kicks at dirt and pouts* I went to see a performance by their school a little while before I auditioned. It wasn’t very impressive…the performance I’d seen at UC Irvine was more impressive, but there wasn’t any way in hell they would have accepted me, so I didn’t apply there. And then there was the difference in the audition…at IU, I was in a conservatory building. It was on a “practice stage” where they held performances and recitals for lower-level performances that weren’t being held at the IU Auditorium. And the practice stage was the largest stage I’d ever stood on and sung from. The space was HUGE. And I sounded like a fucking mouse trying to sing my arias. It was ridiculous.
(Here's what the regular Auditorium looks like...this is on a college campus, mind you...this is NOT where I auditioned. This was where they hold actual performances they sell tickets to, like the Leid Center at KU...)
(Aaand where I wanted to sing lots and lots of arias and wear fun costumes and stuff at...)
At USC, I was in a small classroom type space. Crowded with people who were evaluating me, and with my family and a friend out in the hallway listening to me sing. It was ridiculous in a completely different way. Like, a non-impressive one, after my IU experience.
Anyway, when USC accepted me, I turned them down. I was hurt and confused about what I was supposed to do. I wound up going to a junior college my freshman year, and then applied to Pepperdine and USC for sophomore entry into an English program instead. I thought that the colds I seemed to have on a consistent basis throughout my teen years would hinder my livelihood if I attempted to pursue the opera career.
And then I graduated from college and realized that the colds were probably caused by stress and being young and everything, because of course I don’t GET colds every year that would hinder any kind of a singing career now that I'm a grown up. Dammit.
Anyway, I don’t think I was cut out for opera, so it was a good thing overall that happened to me.
But I’m still bitter about it. So now I sing the blues. (And I sound pretty good, too…)