So. There has been one consistent question I’ve gotten in the nearly 3 (!!) years I’ve been blogging. I can’t call myself a ‘blogger’ because I don’t live for a machine. I’m a graduate student, activist, yogini, part-time professor, full-time curmudgeon, and future cat and sweatpants lady. I can’t be bothered to call my corner of bitchery on the internet a ‘job’. Besides, it doesn’t pay me at all. It’s more something that’s fun. Entertaining word vomit for the masses. Oh, joy.
Back to the task at hand. The one question that I keep getting over and over again is, “You’re the one who does all the plays, right? When are we going to hear you sing?”
It’s something I’ve put off for a long, long time, mostly because I didn’t want to get made fun of by my friends, slammed by my critics (all 3 of you) and pimped out by the people who are higher-up than me. So be advised: I am not putting this video up on my blog to A) get a record deal or B) secure the marriage proposals of Ryan Gosling or Chris Evans. That is not what this is about. This is just me, finally attempting to be comfortable in my own skin. A few things have happened in my life that have led me to this point, and I don’t feel okay with discussing them to strangers (although I consider you more acquaintances I’ve never met than strangers, but the point is slightly moot), but let me just say that I feel pretty fearless at the moment. I know exactly what I want, and I’m slowly attempting to get it. This video is a reflection of getting to a point where I can put myself out on an emotional limb and not really worry about getting ripped apart. (although I’ll probably get heart palpitations for about half an hour after publishing this.)
On to the video. But first, a backstory. I’m a writer, we all love some backstory.
As most of you know, I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in straight theater, but my true and intense/obsessive love are musicals. I’ve been singing and dancing since I was 4 years old, ever since my Mom bought me the New Kids on the Block and Tiffany tapes. My earliest memories of inside Gampel Pavilion are hiding behind a basketball hoop, crying, as my sister and several members of Dad’s team implored me to come out and sing “Tomorrow” from Annie. I still have a complex about that show. I moved to NYC, developed tremendous performance anxiety, and haven’t done a complete musical in about 3 years. I did a revue last summer that was tons of fun, but it was an amalgam of songs culled from different sources.
These days, my singing is reserved for the shower, the car, and my nephew. I swear, my rendition of “ABC” is a huge hit in the Stigliano household. But I was doing a lot of thinking about what kind of image I want to present of myself on this blog. Yes, I’m a nerd who spends most of my time reading about medieval manuscripts and flailing about how one of my graduate seminars is dealing with texts like Scott Pilgrim and Watchmen. But I also have another side to me that likes to cook a late dinner after yoga and sing Sara Bareilles into the internet machine. So…I hope this video will give you a better look at the side of Ally that rarely comes up on the blog.*
*I am a classically trained opera singer, so don’t worry…I’m not one of those idiots on American Idol who swears they know how to sing and then they sound like someone is bludgeoning a weasel with a violin. I actually can sing my face off. But bear in mind, this video is coming from two years of zero voice lessons and coffee, both of which aren’t too kind to your vocal cords. So be nice.
Ignore my obscenely large forehead, the really bad glare, my constant looking down at the lyrics on my phone, and the fact that it wasn’t until the end of the video that I realized I have my sweater on backwards. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography really takes the juice out of your noggin. Singing and writing are the only times I feel my most emotionally exposed. Rated X, for Xtremely Vulnerable.
The song I picked, “Send me the Moon”, is one of my favorites on Sara Bareilles’ 2010 offering Kaleidoscope Heart. I like it because it comes at the tail end of an album that does a lot of really expansive and experimental work with Sara’s sound, and it offers a quiet closer to an otherwise pretty loud and take-charge record. It’s simple, sweet, and carries a message I think a lot of people can relate to.
I also apologize for the sound issues…I was apparently too awesome for my computer’s mic and there’s some reverb.
Now off to read more Benjamin Franklin and collapse into bed. To appropriate my TA class motto, “Words is Hard.”
Myself and my forehead thank you in advance for your mature critique, if you have any, of this video.