Seasons Greetings and a Merry Christmas Eve!
Well, you haven't heard from me in a while because I have been caroling all over the ding dong place, from Los Feliz to Valencia, Orange to Claremont, Beverly Hills to Marina Del Rey, and one gig that wasn't even a block away from my house.
Gobs of rehearsals, lots of driving, overseeing the making of my caroling costume, and did I mention rehearsals? My caroling book has over 100 songs in it and I sing alto for this company - that means, I'm typically not singing the melody and it was A LOT to learn.
The actual caroling began almost immediately after Thanksgiving. We did a promotional at a mall and then the gig emails started to flood my inbox.
One of the most frequent ones was a reoccurring gig at the famous Tam O'Shanter in Los Feliz which was rated as the #1 restaurant for the holidays in the country by Food Network this year.
Needless to say, the place gets packed. This caroling company has been singing at the Tam for decades and the patrons come back year after year specifically for the carolers. We go around, table to table and take requests.
Fulfilling these people's holiday wishes and seeing their faces light up when we sing makes it all SO worthwhile. I even have a few moments where I myself get a little choked up, or covered with goosebumps when we hit that penultimate moment in "Carol Of The Bells".
I will be singing there again today (Thursday aka XMAS EVE) from 2:30-6pm and again on the 27th from 4:30-9p.
I also want to tell you about my costume. We dress in "Dickensian-Era" garb and have to source our costumes individually. So, I went to my trusted source for all things handmade - my sister. She and my 88 year old grandmother (a once costume director for a small theatre in OK) teamed up and logged over 100 hours making my costume. I found the vintage pattern on Ebay, had it mailed to her, approved the fabric and off they went! It's absolutely incredible what they did and it constantly gets compliments. Every time I put it on (which is a lot lately), I get quite sentimental.
Here are the full details of the making of the costume on my sister's blog: BIFFTASTICA: THE CAROLING COSTUME
I ended up making my bonnet as time was running out. I'm pretty pleased with it and I kind of surprised myself when I discovered how savvy I was with a glue gun.
So, there you have it, my whole fall/winter in a chestnut-shell. 2016 is in view and more plans and changes are in motion. I can tell you that I will continue to sing, that's for sure. I said it this time last year and I'm happy to say that when I look back at 2015, I did what I said I was going to do. That feels pretty good.
I hope your holidays have been and continue to be fantastic - here's to 2016!