An Olympic Moment for One Performer

Hello.  My name is Hilary Ann Feldman, and I am an Olympic junkie.  Yes, they’ve gotten ridiculous in many ways.  They come around every two years instead of every four, so they feel a bit less special;  there is a sickening amount of commercialism now; the expense involved in the opening ceremonies alone has become obscene.   I miss the days when the Olympics were all about the amateur athlete, when winning a silver medal wasn’t considered “losing,” and the  crassness of a medal count was never part of the coverage.  Despite all this, though (and the fact that I’m not a huge sports nut), when the Olympics are on, I am hooked.  Why?

I love watching people’s dreams come true.

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The House That Built Me

Just before I was born, my parents bought a house.   It was an old house, a fixer-upper, on a 1/3 acre lot, with a lovely backyard for the kids to play in… my brother (2), and me (on the way).  They got it for $32,000 or something like that.

The House That Built Me

The House That Built Me

1967 had just gotten underway.  To celebrate, Mother Nature gifted the area with one of those record-breaking winter storms, cleverly named The Blizzard of ’67.  A few weeks later, I was born.  That summer, my parents moved into their new home.  I was six months old.

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When There Are No Words

Today is September 11, 2012.  It’s a Tuesday, just like it was.  It’s a beautiful day, with crystal clear blue skies… just like it was that day.

In the hours, days, and weeks that followed that most unimaginable series of events, I found myself strangely obsessed with watching and reading the coverage.   I turned to music too, of course, to try to put words to my feelings, but there were no words.  What do you do when there are simply no words?  Continue reading

Building Blocks

Remember those wooden blocks we played with as children?  I loved them.
I loved the limitless number of things I could create with them.  I loved the different shapes, the different colors, the feel of the smooth, painted wood in my hands.  Most of all, I loved the sound they made when, after you built them up too high, they came tumbling to the floor.

I miss those blocks.

After a few blissful months of feasting on almost too much musical work, I now find myself in the inevitable period of famine.  I’m used to this ebb and flow of my artistic life, but I willingly admit, I don’t love the famine bit.  Usually during this period, I start creating whatever is to come next.  Now, though, I find myself staring at the proverbial blank page, and I just can’t seem to get going.   I’m… blocked. Continue reading

Where Have All the Storytellers Gone?

As today is the anniversary of “the day the music died,” and as the recent winter storm still has most of life’s operations at a standstill, I thought it an appropriate time to jot down what’s been swirling around in my mind for the last few weeks.

I was born in 1967,  amidst a time of great turmoil in our country.  And, since I’m going to be drawing parallels here, I might as well point out the irony that, as I do, I was born after a huge winter storm, rivaling the one we just had.  I don’t remember that storm, or much about the time in which I was born, but I’ve learned, and I’m living now. Continue reading

Why Imperfection is So Perfect

There are many people in my life who think I’m a perfectionist, which astonishes me.  Granted… I’m anal, to be sure;  I’m highly organized;  I’m a bit of a control freak  in certain situations; my husband says my handwriting could be a font; and I am, as my music director says, a Suzy-Prepares-A-Lot.  But a perfectionist?  I don’t see it.

Perfection is “freedom from fault or defect.”

Where exactly is the fun in that? Continue reading

Anticipation

One of my favorite interview programs is Inside the Actors Studio, and one of my favorite parts is the mini Proust Questionnaire that host James Lipton gives to all his guests.  The questionnaire asks 10 simple questions.  Among them:  What sound or noise to you love?

I love the sound of an orchestra warming up and tuning right before a performance begins.  I love the way the cacophony — open strings, winds, brass, and percussion all playing random bits of music — suddenly morphs into a single concert “A”.   House lights dim.   A collective holding of breath and then… release.

I especially love it if all this happens while I’m standing back stage waiting… anticipating… enjoying a private adrenaline high. Continue reading

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