Bustin’ out

…of my comfort zone. At least that’s what I’m telling myself, anyways. After some web-surfing, mass email forwards from music faculty, and some thoughtful, slightly-confused ponderings of the universe as I know it, I’ve decided to audition/apply for three summer music festivals. Two of them are for flute fellowships, and one of them is for a publications fellowship (sort of like an internship for writing and editing concert reviews/program notes). All three festivals are very prestigious, located in beautiful geographical areas, and totally free if I get accepted.  I’m hoping that posting this online where all seven of my beloved readers can see will push me to actually go through with this.  I need this sort of accountability because:

1) These festivals are extremely competitive. Many crazy talented people from all over the world audition. Few get in. Kind of like the Marines. Only for skinny Asian* musicians.

2) I find competition in the form of musicians much more dedicated and gifted than I am extremely intimidating.

3) I experience intimidation in a very full and active way, letting it drive me into inaction despite grand claims of bravery and 3-hour practicing fits.

4) #3 bothers me.


I highly doubt I will get interviewed, much less accepted, for any of these, but I’m letting myself hope a little bit. Part of me feels totally unworthy of even auditioning for these positions. I feel like you shouldn’t try for such things if you hate practicing (yeah…bout that…). But, there’s also a part of me that is tired of hiding behind the fear I’ve labeled as “realistic mindset” for so long. If the first thing that pops into my mind when I self-evaluate my flute playing is “not good enough”, why aren’t I working towards being what I think is “good enough”? Dude, what does “good enough” even mean? All I know is that the idea of spending six weeks just rehearsing and learning music (for free!) really excites me. That would be absolutely fantastic. And I also know that I can’t spend the rest of my life afraid of putting myself out there, so might as well take this step,with God’s grace. My parents and flute teacher Angela (who first suggested me looking into music festivals) are super supportive of this endeavor, to the point where I wonder why I don’t do crazy things like this more often. [I just got off the phone with Angela , and she gave me all sorts of tips on repertoire lists and CVs in the course of about five minutes, all while taking her kids to a bowling alley. I love her.]

Alright. In the course of her support, Mother has come in to remind me to do “正经事“。So I’m going to go practice.



* I say Asian not because I include myself in this category of excellence but because no Asian child grows up dreaming of becoming a Marine. No, they (ok, we) dream of becoming concert pianists.


2 thoughts on “Bustin’ out

  1. ning says:

    I’m so proud of you Christine! And yes I’m one of those seven readers who will prod you into action :)
    I love that your mom told you to go do something 正经. Because dreaming is really nice but it’s the hours of grunt work that actually leads to the fulfillment of the dream. And the grunt work ain’t so painful once you’ve actually started, each day.

  2. b. chiang says:

    Do one thing every day that scares you. -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Life on the edge, my friend. With His help and it being 正经, of course. ;)

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