Cabaret full of Dreams

So the word “cabaret” keeps popping into my life these days. The great Ann Hampton Callaway told me to “do some Cabaret – that’s how I started.” That was last year. And now I have been asked to emcee and perform with the Chicago Cabaret Project on their Voltaire Cabaret nights on Tuesdays in December at Hydrate – a gay club in town that has a lovely back room with a nice cabaret stage.

I was scared to do it at first. I am often afraid to move outside my comfort zone (working a private party with my ten piece band) – people think it’s a fear of success but it’s actually a fear of fucking up and a form of stage fright, slight insecurity and shyness. People don’t believe me, but I am not all about being on the center stage. It’s a huge leap for me. I am embarrassed when people make a fuss over me. My close friends know this to be true.

Then on Monday I stopped by a dear friend’s Cabaret open mic downtown “Monday Night Live” and of course I kicked ass. She has been trying to get me to come by for two years!! And of course I was completely elated afterwards and secretly marveled at how easy it was for me to let go and perform at full tilt with just me and solo piano. I called my BFF Babs and went “on and on” as though I’d never performed before an audience.

I am beginning to think that I have some kind of problem.

Hmm. let me ponder that one… I know!

It’s kinda like putting off losing weight… I know what to do. I’ve actually done it. But man oh man! It takes so long to do it (when you’ve got as much to lose as I do) And it’s a lot of fucking work. And I just don’t wanna… Though I must say that I absolutely love it once I commit to it and just do it. The results far outweigh the pain of putting myself out there.

Methinks I might be having some kind of breakthrough.

I decided to contact (via her web site) an accomplished Cabaret singer named Karen Kohler who just closed a successful one woman show in New York City. She will be in Chicago this weekend to teach a Master Class: “Beyond the Beautiful Voice.” At first, the class description sounded a bit rudimentary for me but after chatting with her I have decided to go and check it out. She is very accomplished and has been traveling the country teaching these classes in Academia as well. Hell, I’ve never put up an acclaimed one woman show in New York! She in turn has asked me to perform in front of the class – as example… I will learn something and I really need to be known by some singers who are really doing it. Y’know? I’m talking Lincoln Center & Carnegie Hall…

Will let you know how it goes.

Two days prior to the Master Class, I will attend a “Salon” at which Karen and another accomplished Cabaret singer KT Sullivan will perform in a private home in the Chicago area. They will be doing bits of a show entitled “Vienna to Weimar” that they are hoping to mount in Chicago. These “Salons” are private fundraisers which will enable them to do the show on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra stage at Orchestra Hall.

Now that’s a dream! I would love to perform with a 60 piece orchestra behind me. I want to sing in French and Hebrew.

But first, a few cabaret nights at Hydrate.

I’ll keep you posted!


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