So, the year is tiptoeing forward. Things are still slow musically. Not much news.
But Opera Language Circle is advancing great. We were 8 people last night- one of my “core” teachers, two people who came last week, two friends, and two people I didn’t know who had found us on NFCS. We all had a really good time. It was exciting to me that everyone tried so hard even on their worst languages, and kept English completely off-limits until we were done. What a change from the first meeting two weeks ago (has it been such a short time?) where I kept barking, “KEIN ENGLISCH! KEIN ENGLISCH!” Well we all worked really hard but ended up having a really good time- everyone not only said so, but gave off a really happy vibe. And all seemed really determined to come back next week, even those who thought they might be busy.
I think I spent too much time dominating the conversations- not because I’m the best at the languages (though if you average out the three I’m probably the best overall), but because I’m not afraid to open my big mouth. I have to work on making sure nobody clams up for half an hour. I tell them before they come “Yeah you can just listen,” but in reality I’m gonna make them talk!!!
The best part is (and this was one of my main goals) that I’m bringing industry people together who didn’t know each other before. We are already finding plenty of mutual friends and colleagues between those of us who had never met before. I love bringing people together, catalyzing friendships, making connections to help people find jobs, start projects, etc.
I put up a group on Facebook- I don’t know how to link to a Facebook group so just search for Opera Language Circle. I used it to post some links on language learning and lists of common words.
Other news. I didn’t want to put this at the top because I don’t want to bring anyone down. Aerial silk death last night. I found out about it this afternoon, and it we had a moment of silence in class tonight (because naturally he was a friend of my teachers. It’s a small world). Reading the news reports, at first it sounded like an aerial silk act, but then the latest information said he was using a metal chain? I dunno I suspect there might be some miscommunication there- somebody said “hanging by a chain” but they were referring to the rigging. ‘Cause doing a drop (which is what it sounds like he was doing) from a chain sounds REALLY painful, even if you don’t fall. Here is the latest article. Another article says a sash (sounds like silk), another says a ring (which makes no sense?).
I didn’t know this person (thank god ’cause I would be pretty upset), and this is gonna sound really insensitive, but I actually find this story reassuring. To know that in this day and age, in our super-sheltered culture, people still die for art. Not even just dying doing what you love (people always reference the musicians on the Titanic), but dying BECAUSE of what you love.
It’s also very grounding to be reminded that what we do is that dangerous. We always say it is, and we hurt ourselves all the time, but when somebody actually dies, it reminds people to respect the risks we take for their entertainment- and it reminds us to respect those risks, too. Sometimes I think it’s amazing that we’re allowed to do what we do. Yes, deaths are very rare, but in our lawsuit-driven, protective culture, it is a refreshing surprise that we can get away with doing something- both in class and as professionals- so dangerous, without anyone shutting us down or instating strict regulations on us.
And I still think it’s worth it.
So be careful this week, everyone. But not TOO careful.