Dear Natalie,

It’s been a very long day, which cannot end without this little letter I’m about to write to you now.

I just had a remarkable day, including my weekly lesson with Eidan. We finished working on “The Old Red Hills of Home” from Parade, and I sound great in it. It was our first song on which we worked together. The learning experience itself was immense, aside from learning the song itself, I learned a lot from the process of learning. We worked on delivering a message across and showing off emotional capabilities through voice and presence. It is remarkably helpful to be 29 and experienced at this stage. Really makes learning quick and efficient.

After class with Eidan today, I felt capable, but my throat hurt a bit and I was thinking about your advice to seek vocal training, in addition to audition coaching – to keep my technique up. My problem is financial more than all. I feel so calculated with every step I take, with every expense. I am putting my money on this – on successfully auditioning. it’s good thinking to plan ahead and make sure my technique is backing me up, so that I don’t find myself in a production, GD willing, battling polyps and sore throats. Still, I’m counting every dime I’m spending.

I work for a startup company – Perception-Point, who are amazingly kind to me. I work half time, and as far as they’re concerned I can work up to a full time. Unfortunately, the way I filed for income tax, I work only half time, so if I exceed my monthly expectation – income tax bites my ass real good.

In the local show biz, I’m currently performing in West Side Story of the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv. For the first six months, we were running over twenty shows a month, and the pay check was overflowing. We have just recently down-sized to just over ten shows a month, and the pay has dropped accordingly. So money is becoming a bit more tight. I want to keep up my lifestyle which really isn’t that lavish. Still, my future expenses for my great leap forward are accumulating. More about that in a future post., but the bottom line is I feel like I’m struggling.

If a year from now I find myself struggling to get hired in new York, I don’t know how I’ll feel about it. Will it feel like I’m repeatedly knocking myself against the wall? Who knows? If I recalibrate my plans, will I feel sorry for myself, or would I be happy to have given it a try? Will I have enough money to sustain my endeavors?

I’m a proud member of the Y generation, and we ask questions. Those of us who are keen on hard work are in for a big world open before them. You are welcome to join me on my journey to the unknown future.

Natalie Lipin is my talented friend whom I met in the West Side Story rehearsal room. She has recently joined the touring Broadway show of “RENT” in America. I am so proud of her. I wrote this letter to her, and told her I hope to turn it into the first post in my “making it” blog. Thank you Natalie.

עם נטלי בבר 2
Natalie and I in West Side Story, Cameri Theater, Tel Aviv. Credit for photo: Ronen Ackerman