the methods and means of procrastination

a rock, a hard place, or an anvil?
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So I got bumped up to first chair tonight. Technically, my stand partner should have gotten that seat, but she pushed me up instead. I didn't mind it the way I use to. I had to sit for 2 years as a section of one, so I have no fear of playing, albeit sometimes incorrectly. My chair of preference of course is 2nd chair or at least inside stand. This means I turn the pages and I play the harmonic, lower line. It's what I like to do.

So there I was, staring this great conductor in the face [Note: That is not just an idle compliment; this guy is hands down the best director I have ever played for. More talented than other well paid and more "esteemed" fellows I've had the honor to play under] and we (as a section) get the comment

"Very convincing Violas."


I just don't even know what to make of that comment. Usually we don't get comments, let alone compliments. Usually, nobody knows that we are there.

I've just got too much invested to keep ignoring my viola as I do. In some ways, I covet moving up in the section. Dark, terrible, trembling ways. On the other hand, viola playing for me is very much a humbling experience. Ok, some of that is because I've never really given myself a shot. (I don't practice, I don't take lessons, I show up late, etc.) But in the end, I'm just not a professional and I know it.

What I've been surprised by is what experience has lent to my playing. A few years back I began to be able to "hear" the texture of notes, and understand how it was like painting or drawing or singing. And so I began to play again. It's been great. It's been terrifying. It could be much more.

So, when I'm not beating or building myself up about this, I'm toying with the idea of getting private lessons again. I think I'm in a more mature place then I was the last time. (college was my last gig) It's one of the few ways I can see out of this catch 22, "don't practice in case you are any good" situation.

Once again, my viola playing is caught between my ambition and my self-doubt.

What's Playing: El Captian (sousa) / Concerto (Tulber)
Book: The Samauri
Film/TV: Bejing Bicycle

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