This summer, I participated in the University of Manitoba's Contemporary Opera Lab, which for me was roughly like Maury sending a crack-addicted 14 year old teenager to boot camp. I spent most of my time fighting real, real hard. However, in the end I realized what an enriching, worthwhile, blah blah blah experience it was.
A good portion of this was due to our conductor Karl WhoselastnameIforget, who had a very interesting view on being a musician in this world.
It goes something like this:
It's like you're an alien and you come down to Earth and you see all these other aliens walking around. Say, ten thousand of them, and they're all trying to blend in with the earthlings. Except they don't blend in and they can't for the life of them understand why. The earthlings, while not really sure why, certainly know that the aliens don't fit in and simply accept this as fact. So you have all these aliens who don't know that they are aliens running around being very confused. Enter you. You go up to all these aliens and say, "Um, hey, so the reason that you feel out of place on Earth is because - guess what, kids - you're aliens."
The ten thousand aliens then look at you and in one smooth, cohesive motion their mouths open:
It was a brilliant analogy. We don't fit in; we weren't designed to. It is a necessary function for art that it be somewhat removed from that on which it is acting. If one is too immersed, then it is impossible to interpret and art cannot be literal. Otherwise, it would simply be life and the phrase "art immitating life" would become "life immitating life" and that makes no sense.
Next, I had a very funny time on Friday night. I'm not a huge drinker, but when libation is the cue of the night, I'm usually on top of it like a fat kid on a Smartie. However, I was not feeling especially inclined towards inebriation and therefore spent a hilarious, sober time interacting with drunken folk. My friends are not the sloberring, obnoxious sort of drunk you see at the bar but rather people attempting to carry on social interaction while in an extremely altered state. It makes a good time for Jane Goodall-ing. Most importantly, they tell you how amazing you are and for a compliment whore such as myself, c'mon, there's nothing better. Special thanks go out to my three drunken soprano friends for giving me love for the opera scenes I've done with them. It tickled me. Oh no, wait. That was Brendan.