I woke up at 4:45am to catch the public transit to the airport. The goal: arrive in Manhattan in time to sing my Zurich Opera Studio audition at noon, and hop on the 1:30pm bus back to Montreal. Mission: accomplished; and what fun!

I think I could get used to whirlwind trips to New York. I am finally beginning to feel at home in that city, so when I stepped out of Penn Station, I felt a sigh of ‘Oh, hello, New York (again)!’ The studio was a 7-min. walk from the station, which made it quite easy.

The audition itself was really neat. Leading up to it I did alot of positive self-talk, and decided that I was going to 1) Take risks, and 2) Show joy – according to Patrick Hansen, two of the things that are missing from many auditions. On the topic of self-talk, as a side note – I think as a performer it is important to realize that whatever validation we are looking for from the panel, we can actually give ourselves before we enter the room. ie: I do deserve this gig, the panel already wants to hire me, etc.

The defining risk of the audition was in regards to Queen of the Night. It was only the second time I was putting Der Holle Rache on the list, and I decided to start the audition with it. It’s impressive, it’s not too long, it allows me to show a strong character and good diction, and it’s actually easy (that’s my little secret). The moment of truth comes after you perform a new ‘starter’ for the first time – what is the panel going to want to hear? BIG SURPRISE – they asked for ‘Chacun le sait’ from La fille du régiment, which shows similar things vocally as the Queen. The trick is to create a whole new character for the second piece – I had alot of fun!

After the audition, I went to Brother’s on 6th ave and 25th st. to get delicious $1 pizza. I found myself in a magic moment of connection with writer, boot designer and optimist extraordinaaire Miguel Silva, exchanging quotes to live by, and learning about each others’ work over pizza. This inspiring man truly believes that human beings are capable of doing anything they put their minds to (within the limit of logic), and encouraged me to replace all doubt and fear in my mind with courage and confidence. This was while he was ripping his pizza crust into tiny bits to feed the birds. Keep an eye out for his book coming out in May – ‘Candel’s in The getto’ (sic – on the back of my flight itinerary; writers don’t need to know how to spell, do they?)

I love the life I have chosen for myself, and I love the art form I have chosen. I will continue to infuse courage, joy, and curiosity into everything I do. You are welcome to hold me to it.