Wrecked.

Tonight marks a perfectly fine evening turned disappointment personified because the following conversation (more or less) occurred between Husband and me:

Me: “I woke up with Wrecking Ball looping through my head this morning. I don’t even know why.”

Husband: “I don’t know that song.”

Me: “I’m quite sure you do. It’s really overplayed on the radio.” *sings a few bars*

Husband: “Nope. I don’t listen to the radio anymore.”

Me: *blinks*

For those of you new to the show, may I remind you that Husband has intentionally gone out of his way to purchase Ke$ha and Selena Gomez mp3s, while I opt for stuff from Fitz & the Tantrums or Imagine Dragons. (There’s some silver lining in this because the last Amazon haul resulted in Husband discovering that he quite likes all the songs I chose because they’re superior is why, so not all is lost. And he hasn’t gone totally off his rocker, purchasing entire Ke$ha albums or anything wretched like that.)

Photo courtesy of mirror.co.uk

Photo courtesy of mirror.co.uk

But. Not only am I becoming increasingly familiar with the lyrics, I’m actually totally enjoying it. Never mind that I’ve disliked Miley Cyrus since the inception of “Hannah Montana.” Never mind that I’ve chosen to opt out of the VMAs videos that went viral on principle alone. Never mind that I’ve avoided the music video and all the spoofs with Nic Cage’s head. Never mind that she’s a really average pop singer. It’s just a catchy song, you guys, and I think deep down you know this.

This is probably the point at which you expect a photo of Miley Cyrus, in all her naked glory, atop a wrecking ball. Or Nicolas Cage, in all Miley Cyrus’s naked glory atop a wrecking ball. But I’ve got principles, and you know it, and I’m completely unwilling to degrade my blog with either. You’re welcome.

This has made me do a lot of thinking (you know, for the past few hours … whatever, I’m feeling introspective), and I’ve decided that a True Music Snob, like unto myself, is such only when deciding to hell with it, I’m going to like even the most sold out, corporate crap if I want to. I know there are starving musicians in the Pacific NW who have to hold day jobs who hold more talent than Cyrus ever will for the duration of her really bizarre, mostly sad life. I know there are easily a dozen female singers I can name off the top of my head who are and will forever be better singers. I know the whole “I wanted you to let me in, I should have let you in” bit really doesn’t make any sense (although to play devil’s advocate here, let’s go ahead and take a minute to think upon the lyrics of “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen).

Should you be curious, the song did, in fact, loop through my head all day long and continues to plague me even as I sit here in bed, waiting for my sleeping pill to kick in (on a totally unrelated note, there’s something really discomforting about having to take four medications for one anxiety disorder, and when I say sleeping pill, I really mean “anti-depressant that makes people so damn tired, they decided to give it to insomniacs, but I’ve got the added bonus of more seratonin, which my dumb brain apparently cannot produce on its own no matter what.”) There’s something kind of meta about the song being a wrecking ball in my day, when you think about it.

Hey Remember How I Used to Blog?

Here’s what happened.

I took a lead role in a community theater production over the summer, and then I basically had no free time. I worked a half-time job (I know, I’m a total wuss because I wasn’t even working full-time) and spent dozens and dozens of hours rehearsing and performing and whenever I was on the computer, I didn’t really feel like blogging.

*Because sometimes I’m just a bad person.*

And then I quit my job and went to Disney World and got sick and started makeup artistry school, and I realized my blog wasn’t going to write itself (last colloquialism of the post, I promise) and I was probably losing followers, and the last thing I need in my life is for fewer people to like me. I just really like being liked.

So.

Let me tell you about the time I auditioned for a lead role in a professional theater company because I didn’t really know what exactly a professional theater company entailed and figured it would be more or less the same as community theater, except paying (which, I mean, is sort of accurate except NOT EVEN AT ALL, I AM SUCH A MORON). So I put on a dress and did up my makeup and worked with both voice teachers on my 16-bar cut (yeah, I have two voice teachers now, no big deal) and met my best friend, K, at the theater to razzle dazzle a bunch of strangers who would either receive me well or look at me, stone-faced, and say “thank you” after I sang. And to be honest, I figured this was just my foot in the door for the production staff to start getting used to my mug.

Husband + iPhone = best headshots I've ever had. Seriously.

Husband + iPhone = best headshots I’ve ever had. Seriously.

As it turns out, they liked me well enough (see also: I’m Asian-American in Utah — but seriously the director laughed several times in all the right places, so I think they did actually like me, and it’s just an added bonus that I’m, like, the one Asian actor in the entire state) and told me, upon finishing my audition, that they’d like to see me back the following day FOR A LEAD ROLE. This was baffling to me. I thought perhaps they were confused. I left before they could change their minds.

But here’s the thing. I realized in high school, after a brief stint thinking I might end up on Broadway, that I’m a great singer, a mediocre actor (this has improved thanks to my most recent director, Andrew Hunsaker, to whom I am eternally indebted), and a bad dancer. So I changed my plans because a lot of people on Broadway dance. It’s just kind of a thing, although why I have no idea because I think singing and acting SHOULD JUST BE ENOUGH, thankyouverymuch.

And I’d auditioned for a dance-heavy show.

WHICH I realized the day of callbacks, when almost every single woman was donning a leotard and the world’s shortest skirts and dance tights and character shoes and tap shoes, and I was walking around in my H&M leggings and then sitting in the corner eating glue, waiting for my turn. And then I kind of blew it. I was funny enough and charming enough and I sang really well under the circumstances of getting over a nasty head cold I picked up in Disney World (yeah, I got sick in Disney World, how lame is that). But dancing.

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

To be honest, if I’m at a dance or a mixer (I don’t even think those exist any more, and I don’t really have a lot of opportunity to dance these days unless I make it so, see also: the dance party I threw together post-Aida when we were breaking down the set, and by “we,” I mean the rest of the cast while I danced around holding an electric screwdriver so it looked like I was participating — I kid, I kid … that was more or less how it happened, but no one ever had anything for me to do, or perhaps they realized I’d be ultimately worthless in their attempts to go fast and just had me be guardian of the tools) then I’m not too bad. I’ve got a good sense of rhythm and I’m very bendy and limber and I can get down. But if I’m given choreography, particularly that of the fast variety, and I’m surrounded by people who know what they’re doing, I kind of freeze up and forget how to move my feet at the same time as my … everything else. And that’s what happened. I shuffled my feet around and stared very intently at the feet of the man to my left, which almost led to a collision, and I walked away feeling rather dejected.

But we’ve got the race card. And I was called back for a principal role at a professional theater on my first go around, so every once in awhile, I am struck with a false sense of hope like maybe, just maybe, I’ll make it into the show. As a set changer or something.

Something you should know and might already know if you’ve been following my blog or are my friend: I’m ridiculously impatient. Ridiculously so.

I just found out tonight that casting won’t occur for another 2-4 weeks. WEEKS. As in I will probably see at least 4 more photos of baby bumps from a couple friends. As in I could go on the Special K Challenge and lose 6 lbs. As in I could grow my hair out almost an inch. Things just HAPPEN in 2-4 weeks.

Ugh. Gross. Put me in a medically induced coma. Cryogenically freeze me. Anything to make the time pass.

Trying to Die

One time my parents were hiking, and a little boy was finishing up the trail with his mom, beleaguered, falling behind the group, when he said, “I’m trying to die, Mom.” That’s kind of become a running thing with our family because, as it turns out, we try to die a lot when it comes to anything physical.

Tonight I began non-music rehearsals, which meant I would be blocked and staged, and that sounded like a lot of fun. Naturally I wore a rayon top and pegged jeans because, I mean, what else would I wear to a rehearsal with the choreographer?

Photo courtesy of eatsleepdenim.com These are clearly not my legs because we all know I'd slip and break my head in shoes like this.

Photo courtesy of eatsleepdenim.com
These are clearly not my legs because we all know I’d slip and break my head in shoes like this.

[A backstory you should know: When I first met the choreographer, a lot of words came out of my mouth like, “If you feel like it’s appropriate to choreograph dance moves for me” and “I took African dance in college” and “I like to dance a lot.” Because … you know.]

As it turns out, the man took me seriously, which led to my learning some very brief choreography (and by brief, I mean, like, eight counts worth, which I imagine takes me about eight seconds) in my rayon top and pegged jeans, led to my being hoisted up on two dudes’ shoulders and digging my fingers into their clavicles so tightly that I imagine they were waiting for them to snap under the pressure, led to my being eternally grateful for a slow part of the song so I could catch my breath. From, you know, those eight seconds and being lifted up. Being lifted up is kind of taxing, is all I’m saying.

Photo courtesy of hancinema.net KOREANS. KOREANS DOING "AIDA".

Photo courtesy of hancinema.net
KOREANS. KOREANS DOING “AIDA”.

I’m trying to die, you guys.

My Plight

Remember that time David Archuleta sang “Imagine”? I think most people liked it, but it mostly made me want to shoot myself in the face because the Beatles are the I Ching, and frankly no one should really be covering them, especially a kid like David Archuleta. Sorry if you were in love with it; I was not.

Photo courtesy of archuletafanscene.com

Photo courtesy of archuletafanscene.com

Or have you ever heard someone cover Christina Aguilera? And you think to yourself, “Wow that person sang pretty well, but it sure wasn’t half as good as Christina” (you may as well know right now that I have a major crush on Christina’s vocal chords, and she essentially can do no wrong aside from butcher the national anthem, and I think she’s the greatest female vocalist to ever live).

Another random factoid that will truly have something to do with the rest of this somewhat muddled post: This one time I was watching an interview with Steve Carell, rather early on in his career, and he was telling whichever talk show host about how he landed the iconic role of Michael Scott. He was really excited that his agent had quite the promising role till he watched a few episodes of the original “Office” with Ricky Gervais, and then suddenly he was petrified and really didn’t want to bother going into the interview.

Photo courtesy of popwatch.ew.com

Photo courtesy of popwatch.ew.com

I mean, the guy was kind of right.

The point is: When someone has perfected something in a way it seems as though no one else can, that’s a lot of pressure on anyone who wants to replicate it. Chances are everyone will be comparing you to the original, despite any differences you may have, despite the fact that you’re performing it with your own interpretation, etc. etc. And as you can probably tell, I’m a little nervous about this whole having the lead part in a musical business because AS IT TURNS OUT, Heather Headley is magnificent.

Photo courtesy of thebroadwayblog.com

Photo courtesy of thebroadwayblog.com

My fellow lead can rest really easy because Adam Pascal was terrible as Radames.

The other issue with which I’m really grappling is that Heather Headley has different vocal chords than I do. But seriously, Black people are biologically different in the voice department than the rest of us, and without boring you with anatomy or science, the bottom line is: they’re more better. They’ll always be more better. There will never be another more better set of vocal chords. This wasn’t really proving to be much of an issue till I listened to the full soundtrack and discovered a really great Gospel/Spiritual style song, sung, of course, by Aida.

*screeching brakes*

To catch you up, I am literally the whitest non-white kid to ever walk the face of the earth. People are regularly baffled if they’ve met me over the phone first because they see me and wonder where the heck Mary is and why this random Asian chick is there in her place. I don’t speak any other languages. I don’t have any sort of distinguishing accent (unless you want to consider the lack of accent of Pacific Northwesterners to be an accent, in which case sure, fine, whatever). I can belt out the high notes just fine. But ain’t got no soul.

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

Forget about it. I throw in my towel now.

Most of my friends have been extremely encouraging, telling me how I’ll be great and to not worry, but I’m pleased (no, really, I’m genuinely pleased) that two of my friends and my voice teacher all admitted that my best will still lack soul and potentially fall a little flat. I mean, it just is what it is. You get some little Asian-American adoptee from suburban Oregon, and she’s only going to be able to do so much, man.

Photo courtesy of ebay.com

Photo courtesy of ebay.com. It’s Carolina Blue, in case you were wondering.

 

Killing Me (Not) Softly

Husband and I, upon entering a fresh, new, fun-loving marriage, discovered we had opposing tastes in music.

And not like, “I’m a little country, he’s a little bit rock-and-roll,” which is cute enough to be an entire song. He loves … hard rock? Heavy metal? Whatever Metallica falls under — that is what he likes to listen to.

Photo courtesy of fanpop.com

Photo courtesy of fanpop.com

But there’s this weird caveat that allows him to also really enjoy Top 40 Hits, and I swear before God and all these witnesses, one time he intentionally purchased a Selena Gomez song off Amazon.com because he just liked the way it sounded. Husband. My husband.

I really enjoy alternative music, which he lovingly refers to as “garage band music” (false) and generally makes fun of because of the lyrics/music/sound/artist/band name/appearance of  the lead singer (and I’ll give him that because a lot of them look like they’re homeless and really morose, with messy hair and little pants). I once managed to drag him to a Sondre Lerche concert in a real craphole, and he spent part of the night watching “Forrest Gump” on the television in the corner and the other part wondering why the girl across the stage from us was staring us down, rather creepily, while singing every. single. word. of Sondre’s songs.

Lots of skinny boy chest right there. Probably he should keep that locked up.

Lots of skinny boy chest right there. Probably he should keep that locked up.

And by now you’re probably wondering how it is that was survive even short road trips to his parent’s home three hours away; clearly, that’s taken care of by our similar love of Dance Hits of the 90s. He has 100 of them.

No really, he has an album called The Top 100 Dance Hits of the 90s.

Since he had several gigabytes of music he rarely listened to (putting the iPod on shuffle was a real joke — we’d get “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind, followed by some Croatian pop hit — long story there — and then something much like Narada … I know, clearly I have superior taste in music in this relationship), he decided one afternoon to go through each album, listening to it and then determining how many, if any, songs he would actually save to his 1 TB hard drive (because maybe he’ll actually need that much storage). I was rather pleased to hear this plan — in fact, my parents are doing almost the exact same thing with their records, and there’s something about my husband and my parents doing the same thing that just really makes me excited.

But I failed to realize that would mean he’d be pulling all his crappy music out and listening to it, song by song, sometimes ad nauseum because “Oh man I forgot I had this song!,” and it began to wear on me. Like this morning, when I was treated to Rammstein (literally anxiety-inducing), Limp Bizkit (terrible AND embarrassing), and The Offspring (shoot me in the face to put me out of this misery now, please).

We finally settled on “We No Speak Americano” followed by “Like a G6.”

I concede.

Confessions of a Music Snob

I’d like to consider myself a pretty reasonable individual. ie, I’m not like my ex-boyfriend who referred to Muse as a watered down (potentially inappropriate line here) version of Radiohead.

I listen to Top 40 music because most of it’s catchy.

I think most other music snobs would like to kick me out of the music snob club because of this, but I will retain my membership for the rest of my life — once a music snob, always a music snob. I’ve just been more willing, as of late, to expand my horizons, kitschy though they may be.

So while you’ll probably hear me listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros or Kishi Bashi the majority of my work day, something by Justin Timberlake is probably going to make its way into my playlist.

20/20 Experience. Seriously, people, it’s so good.

So. Meet Shazam.

Shazam

I’m not ashamed to admit that the sole reason I wanted a smartphone was to download the Shazam app. Because you all know how it used to go — you’d hear a rad song on the radio, you’d try to memorize part of the lyrics, you’d go to Google and type them in and then you’d sift through till you found the song and artist. And then you’d buy the CD because who downloaded music? That wasn’t even a thing.

(To teenagers worldwide, I’m not even going to go into detail as to how you’d find a song title or artist before the internet. You relied on the deejays not being jerks, mostly.)

(Also, a little shout out to my fellow late twentysomethings/early thirty year olds who’d record a song from the radio onto a cassette tape several times because the deejays kept talking over the intro.)

For those of you who don’t know what Shazam is, it’s basically magical. You touch to shazam and then it magically tells you the song title and artist of whatever song you’re hearing at the time. Say what!? I know. Mind blown.

But I’m particular. I only reserve Shazam for songs I actually like and am interested in, I don’t know, adding to my playlist at work or maybe even purchasing. I have a discerning ear.

Meet my most recent tags.

Shazam Tags

Oh, I’m sorry, Shazam, it says here that a song I purposely wanted to find information about is actually performed by Justin Bieber. So that can’t possibly be right.

*face/desk*

I die. My worst nightmare has come true: I was listening to the radio, and I liked a Justin Bieber song. I ALSO LIKE CAPITAL CITIES AND THE LUMINEERS, YOU GUYS.

A funny thing happens when you like a Justin Bieber song. You start questioning everything you believe. You no longer trust yourself. You consider skipping work and going straight to Plato’s Closet (which, let’s be honest, is probably a lot like how hell will look, sound, and smell like).

I naturally immediately changed the radio station, searching out something with stomping or shouting or maudlin lyrics, but that station was just playing commercials and I had to settle on Rihanna.

My life. It has gotten so bad.

Mary Sings a Song (or two)

What’s been keeping me so busy lo, these past many days, has been an amalgamation of vocal competitions and a musical in which I was cast as a dancer (that’s a joke) and a new kitty (perfection, my life is complete) and an innate desire to stay in bed for eternity (the sheets, they are just so soft). And aside from the cat finally dominating and forcing us to move a teacup display into the spare room and clear off a space for her to take up residence on the dresser and the windowsill above it to either look outside or stare at us while we sleep, like a creepster, not many low points have happened.

Except one.

So, you might as well know now: I have a seizure disorder. And before you start flipping out about that, I use the words seizure and disorder pretty lightly because to my knowledge, I’ve only had one grand mal seizure in my life, which led to a fun trip to the ER in an ambulance (without any underwear on — that was a fun discovery while waiting for a cat scan, let me tell you). And then I went on medicine and then I was fine for forever.

Although … sometimes I will be struck with an odd inability to form words, like I’m having a stroke or, you know, a seizure.

(Kind of sick that I’m writing about this in a humor blog like it’s humorous because probably it is not, but I’ve come to find out about myself that it’s the things I shouldn’t find funny that are, inevitably, hilarious).

It was in that room that I secured my position in the finals.

It was in that room that I secured my position in the finals.

So I went to my vocal competition this past weekend and kind of killed it (I’ve yet to decide if I’m more pleased with the cash prizes or the free Cafe Rio meals or the gift certificates to a beauty school that promises some sort of great scalp massage treatment) in both divisions. But before I knew I’d killed it, before I was presented with gifts and prizes and compliments and what seemed to be a straight up offer to play Christmas Eve in “Avenue Q,” while I was still competing against a bunch of girls in really cute dresses, I became somewhat dumbfounded.

Yep. Had a mini seizure just right in the middle of my song. But of course no one really knew except for me, so it was more or less the appearance of forgetting the lyrics and changing my character’s name from Morales to Moreallen. Yeah. Moreallen. Like that’s a real word or something.

My voice teacher’s face during this episode was priceless, by the way.

Yet I killed it and won and got prizes and I suppose the real low point in all of this is that my opponents (opponents? That doesn’t seem right. It’s not like we were wrestling each other. Other competitors?) lost to a girl having a seizure.

And, sure, I’ll post a video of it because I’m nothing if not shameless.