Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

This post is a sort of follow up to my mantra post from a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t want to just drop that post into the blogosphere and then never touch on it again, because the whole point is that there needs to be action. I need to constantly check in with my goals and create steps to get there, and then follow those steps. I’ve got a few things coming up over the next year or so that are really important to me, and I need to put some things into motion to make them happen.

Lyric Theatre Company is doing 9 to 5 the Musical in the spring, and there’s a lead role I really, really want. I’ve never had a lead role with Lyric before, and I know competition for this show is going to be fierce. This means I need to take preparing for auditions seriously, instead of half-assing it as I have so many times in the past. I’m already taking steps toward this goal:

  1. I have contacted a few new voice teachers in the area, and I am dedicated to a) finding a new, good voice teacher (or, if I can’t find someone better, getting back on the schedule with my old teacher), and b) going to lessons at least every other week.
  2. I’m planning to suck up the cost and take a dance class or two in the fall, because that’s my weak spot in the musical theatre world,so I need to work on this.

I’ve already had one intro voice lesson with a new teacher, who, while she was very nice and skilled, was not the right fit for me. I’ve started researching dance classes and crunching numbers to see what I can afford as well.

My fall half Marathon PR goal. I feel like I have been doing a pretty good job of prioritizing my running workouts these last few weeks, but I still need to make sure that I’m doing some cross-training as well. I don’t think a PR is out of reach for me, but I have a plan to help me get there.

  1. Complete 3-4 runs a week with a long run on the weekends, yoga once a week, and spin when I can afford it.
  2. Commit to a short, at-home strength training session once a week
  3. Re-join my running club, and maybe seek out others to help keep me motivated and accountable.

Running club is a challenge, because the Tuesday runs all happen at a local trail center that costs money to access (most of the club members are also members of the trail center so it doesn’t cost them anything), and Saturday runs now start at 7:30 am, which as I’ve stated, is way too early for me to get up on a weekend. But I do have my strength sessions planned (rotating, arms, legs, and core), and come hell or high water, I’m getting back to yoga next week.

Ben and I are planning to buy a house next year. We have a very concrete timeline we’re trying to hit because we’re tired of renting and we’re hoping to start a family soon. Unfortunately, we are pretty cash poor, and with what we’re currently able to save, there’s just no way we could achieve this goal without taking the following steps:

  1. For the last several years, I’ve been paying a LOT more on my student loans than I need to. The goal was always to get them gone as soon as possible, but now we’re realizing that the extra cash would be better used to build up a down payment. So, at least until we get a house, I will go back to paying the minimum on my loans, and socking the rest away into savings.
  2. We are moving back in with my in-laws at the end of the summer. Yup. You read that right. Ben and I have had many long conversations, and we are both completely on the same page. We are planning to put all of our current living expenses into our house fund while we live with his parents.

By taking these two steps, we should be able to save enough for a decent down payment, with some left over for any necessary renovations. It’s exciting and scary, and I am absolutely dreading moving all of our shit YET AGAIN (Ben and I have moved 7 times in the 8 years we’ve been together, so this will make number 8). But I know it will be worth it if by Christmas time next year, we can have our own house.

So there you have it. Just a few of the goals I’ll be working towards in the next year. Of course there will be lots of other things that come up along the way, but these are the three biggies that I need to DO THE WORK to achieve.


Do the Work

While driving to Rhode Island on Friday night, I had a bit of an epiphany. I regularly use long solo car trips to loudly sing my way through all of my favorite Broadway showtunes and soundtracks. As I was singing through the repertoire that I’ve sung through hundreds of times, I could feel that my voice was tired, and I didn’t have the range and control I did last summer while I was working on Chess.

At first, I was really upset and disappointed. How could I have lost so much vocal stamina? Why were these songs so hard all of a sudden? What was the matter with me? And then I thought about it some more, and realized that I have done almost zero serious vocalization since Mary Poppins ended at the beginning of April. Sure, I occasionally sing along with the radio in the car, but serious singing, with warms ups and exercises and singing at full volume? Not so much. So how could I be angry with the level my abilities are at if I haven’t been exercising them?

And that’s when something shifted in my head. I realized I have to DO THE WORK in order to get the results. I can’t expect to stay in peak vocal condition if I’m not using my voice every single day like I was last summer. I can’t expect to grow or get better as a performer when I’m not taking voice lessons, or dance classes, or acting workshops. This also carries over into so many other aspects of my life: running, weight loss, professional goals… the list goes on.

This might seem like an obvious thing, but I feel like so often I just assume that things will “work out.” I skip workouts or don’t do vocal warm-ups on a daily basis because I’ve always gotten by without doing these things before. Yeah, maybe I’m not hitting my goals 100% of the time, but I achieve things often enough that it feels ok and comfortable to just back off, not put in the extra effort, not worry about it. But then, those times when it doesn’t work out, I’m left with the icky “what-ifs?” What if I hadn’t skipped that workout? What if I was working on my belt voice these last few months before auditions? I’m tired of wondering after the fact if I could have done something more to be prepared.

Photo Jul 12, 10 23 14 AM

So my new mantra is do the work. Simple, but effective. It’s a reminder that whatever it is in life that I want, whether it’s a new time or distance PR, or a lead role in a musical, I have to work for it. And then, even if things don’t go the way I want or hope, I will know that I did everything in my power to make it happen. Some things are truly outside my control, but I’ve reached a point where I can no longer settle for letting things I really want slide out of my grasp because I’m not willing to work hard.

Do you have a mantra? What is it? Do you find it helps you to reach your goals?