Lost in Translation

October 27, 2010

I always enjoy looking at the english translation of German websites, because just like your local Chinese restaurant, something always gets lost in the translation. I’m thinking I could make a killing by being the english editor for these sights. Anyway, I was recently on an agent’s website, and while in German this is not at all rude, in English, it just doesn’t quite have the “co-dependent, beat around the bush, let’s not upset anyone” flavor:

There are currently no auditions to be scheduled.

Please send your complete material (CV, repertoire, picture, audio or video) per mail or e-mail. These can’t be returned.

We will eventually get in touch with you.

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House Shoes

October 25, 2010

If there’s one thing Germans hate more than crossing the street without a walk signal, it’s walking through the house in your regular shoes. (There seems to be a lot of faux paux’s with walking). Anyway, lest you offend your incredible German host by trampling upon their pristine floors with your walking shoes, let me warn you to not be an American brute, and take your shoes off at the door. In many German homes, you will be greeted with a shoe rack or basket full of slippers to choose from in many different sizes (see photo above. You can actually buy a package of slippers for your guests). Your friends don’t want your feet to freeze, they just want the crap on your shoes to stay there and not get tracked through the house.

So take ’em off!

Chia Pet

October 22, 2010

Found in a Scottish friend’s apartment…

Success

October 21, 2010

I have completed 3 auditions, and one agent has taken me on! I’m excited about this opportunity, as I think this could be a good match.

More updates to follow…

Be an example!!!

October 21, 2010

I’m standing on the corner at the intersection. I am surrounded by Germans. There’s not a car in sight. My foot begins to move forward to step into the street with the fear, trepidation and faith of Moses when he held his foot above the Red Sea before it parted. Why do I feel fear? Why do I feel trepidation? Because the pedestrian light hasn’t turned green yet!!!!! And the Germans will scowl and point and talk bad at me and scream, “Be an example for the children!!!” (if a child happens to be around).

See, Germany is not like New York…well, no where really is, but most of my pedestrian experience has been in New York and Germany, so that is my only frame of reference for this post. In New York, if the Don’t Walk signal is illuminated but there are no cars, you go anyway. Heck, if there are cars but you think you can make it and don’t mind the gamble that you’ll get honked at, screamed at, or possibly nicked by the bumper, you’re golden! Not so here. Germans will wait from anywhere between 30 seconds to 4 minutes for the Walk sign to appear. It can be 3 am, not a car in sight, and you will find a German, standing, waiting patiently for the Walk signal.

As an American, I find this rather ludicrous. I mean, we have our rules, but come on, we kind of bend them, well, all the time, especially when it comes to crossing the street. And I must say, my New York experience has made me a street crossing expert. But when I am standing there at the corner surrounded by Germans at a Don’t Walk signal and not a car in sight, it takes the courage of Joan of Arc for me to step out onto that street and cross with confidence.

And just in case you don’t have that person yelling at you to be an example for the kids, you will find a lovely sign in bright red that says, “Kinder Vorbild Sein!” (be and example to the children) at some of the cross walks. When discussed with my German friends, they do find it funny and ridiculous and somewhat a robotic, groupthink that they do this, but in the next instant they say emphatically,

“But when there are children around…”.

Ah, my wonderful German friends. How I have missed thee and am so glad to be amongst you once again!

1 down

October 18, 2010

One audition accomplished. Several more to go. I’m learning little tid bits as I go along. All-in-all, a good experience. The agent said he would like to speak with me tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted.

Jetzt geht’s los

October 17, 2010

Tomorrow, Monday, the reason I am here is beginning. I have my first audition ever in Germany. I have no idea what to expect except to go in and sing my little tush off. I’m set for 4 German time which is 10 for my EST friends and 9 for the CST. Send good vibes, say a prayer, think really positive things:). You guys are awesome!

Well, unless your German (or Tom Cruise). Germans don’t seem to have an issue telling you the truth. If you say your hair looks bad, and it really does, they’ll agree and say, “Yeah, it looks pretty bad today.” If you have gained a few pounds, they will not miss a chance to let you know. But, on the other hand, they’ll also let you know if you’ve lost weight.

For example, I saw my friend’s parents for the first time in 10 years. I came into the room and said, “Hi! It’s so good to see you again!” and the first thing out of his mom’s mouth, “Wow! You’ve really lost weight!” I mean, I’m not going to complain about that, but still, how about, “hey good to see you, too” then mention that weight loss.

And then tonight we were looking at wedding pictures of the wedding I missed. And my wonderful German friends sat around and made remarks about everyone in the pictures. “Oh, she is so fat. I mean, very nice, but she is really fat” and “Ach, why did she wear that? No one would put that together. I would’ve worn this instead…oh but she is so nice” And then the best… my friend’s father said about his own daughter, “That’s not a good picture of her. I mean, she’s got a pretty face but her figure isn’t that great.”

Gotta love the Germans!

Wilkommen in Deutschland

October 15, 2010

I have arrived in Germany. My 3rd day here and I think I’ve gotten over the jetlag for the most part. Ambien is a fantastic creation!

I lived in Germany for 2 years, so I understand the culture pretty well, but a return after several years has reminded me of things that I have forgotten. So I’ll share a few of them over the next few days.

Day 1: Kleenex
In America, we buy big boxes of Kleenex and put them everywhere in our house. Not so here. In Germany, you buy your own small, personal package of Kleenex…and you take them everywhere!!! See, there is something about this place that makes your nose run every single time you go inside after being outside when the temperature falls to the 60’s and below. I have never blown my nose more than I have in this country. I mean, I’ve lived in some cold places in my life, but it would ever occur to me to carry around a package of Kleenex. But here! Gooodneeees!

Here it’s not considered rude to blow your nose in front of other people (thank goodness!) otherwise we’d all be running to the other room every 2 seconds to blow our nose. It is considered polite just to turn your head slightly, blow profusely and return to your conversation.

And because this product is so needed, the Germans have perfected the art of the Kleenex. Those things are thick! I mean, I can use that thing 10 times before I have to throw it out! Watch out if you borrow a jacket from someone, because you will find a used Kleenex in the pocket. They have also streamlined (like the good Germans they are) the process so much that they are really cheap. You can buy a package of 20 small packages for a buck! That’s the cheapest thing in this country…too bad you can’t eat them…hmmmm….

Certainly would be a cheap gift for all of you, but alas, we don’t really need them.

Last night in country

October 12, 2010

Tomorrow my journey to Germany begins. The night before any great adventure is filled with many feelings competing for top tier. I am excited about the prospect of the unknown. At the same time, I have a sense of foreboding -no not foreboding, but an apprehension of the unknown. This is one of those times in my life where I am taking a HUGE step into something that offers nothing of substance in return. I feel somewhat like how Moses might’ve felt when God promised to part the Red Sea but Moses had to step out before the water moved. I’d be like, “Yo, God, um, can have a chat? Um, that water is, uh, still there.” God, “That’s the point” Well, that’s where I’m at. I see the water, I see my foot and it is in the action of stepping. What it will land on remains to be seen, but what is firm is that this tour will not be in vain.

For my readers who pray, please pray for me and also for my hubby and for our relationship. We’ve been separated longer, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Pray for those who will hear me audition and for all the people I will meet – that somehow I can offer them a piece of me and a piece of God. If you aren’t praying folk, I would suggest 1) That you try. God might like hearing from you:) 2) If you don’t like option 1 try again and if still not your deal, send your positive thoughts and energy.

The main areas I’ll be living are Freiburg (Breisgau) in Baden-W├╝ttemberg and Augsburg in Bayern, but I will be traveling all over the country. Perhaps I can find an interactive map to put up here so you can keep track of me. Anyone have any suggestions?