Remember the old McDonald's jingle "I'm loving it?" That is how I feel about being on stage performing. I am currently in rehearsals for a production of Carmen with a local opera company, Finger Lakes Opera. I am not singing a lead, or even a comprimario role; I am in the ensemble. While that may not sound compelling, the amazing thing about it for me is how I feel during and after rehearsals, even when talking to people about how rehearsals are going. I am so full of energy, life, and excitement, that I can barely contain myself. This is how I know what I am supposed to be doing with my life.
We are reading and discussing The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by Rev. James Martin, S.J. in a young adult group that I facilitate at my church. This is my second time through the book and the primary thing that has struck me both times through is that God plants your deepest desires in your heart and they are God's way of showing you what you should be doing in life. There has rarely been much question about the desires on my heart, but it seems to have magnified in intensity over the last couple of years. I now not only desire to be performing, but I long for it. When I am not in production I often feel like something is missing in my life.
Part of this new excitement when performing comes from my experience last year. Since my time with the New York Opera Studio I have continually become more comfortable in my body on stage. This ability to open up on stage has allowed me to really explore things and let me fall into the characters I am portraying, even in an ensemble situation. While rehearsing for Carmen, I am also preparing for my debut as Ferrando in Detroit next month in Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte. These months of being able to immerse myself in the world of opera have shown me how I need my life to be if I am to be truly content with my occupation. My goal for the coming "year" is to find more ways to envelop myself in this world and make this desire a reality.