Dirt Roads and Opera

May 31, 2011

The adventure continues.

Last weekend, my husband and I went down to Pensacola for an audition. Now, I’ve made this trip to Pensacola a number of times. I’ve auditioned for them a few times (as a side note: the folks at Pensacola Opera are quite possibly some of the most wonderful people to audition for. If you’re in the area, go see a show. Their season is January thru April) and my brother went to flight school down there, so I’m used to the drive. I’ve almost got it memorized.

Well, we hit a little snag in the road when all of a sudden, all 3 lanes of interstate traffic came to a halt in Alabama. Now, I’m quite used to this now because pretty much all of I-65 in Alabama is one big construction zone. If you’re wondering where all that Obama stimulus went? It’s in Alabama, Mississippi and Harlem. No joke. Those are the only places I’ve seen signs attributing the massive funds to that stimulus. But I digress. So I suspected that was the issue. Always the impatient driver, I pulled out my handy little phone, told Google where I was and begged it to tell me what the problem was (Remember, I was stopped, so therefore, not technically using my phone while driving). Well, there was no info on why, but it did definitely tell me that the traffic was stopped for the next 15 miles! Being the astute driver I am (oh yeah, I’m really smart), I decided that was outrageous, and we exited the interstate to take the back roads.

The backroads were awesome! Well, that is until everyone else had pulled out Google, found out that there was a serious problem and discovered our backroads. Stopped once again in traffic, I once again submitted to the almighty power of Google to find out the backup was 5 miles long. At this point, many people would give up. But not me! Oh, no! There are many more roads to take, and if they exist, I will find them!

Needing refreshment and a potty break, we stopped at quite possibly the nicest gas station I’ve ever seen in Jemison, Alabama. The cashier informed us that an 18-wheeler tanker something or other had overturned and both directions of the interstate were shut down. We asked if there were other backroads. And, of course, there were.

Taking her advice, and with the direction of the almighty Google, we set out away from the backed up traffic.

Now, because we were glued to the almighty Google, we didn’t really pay attention to where we were going. We did what Google said. It was kind of like the game of Simon Says. We saw another back up ahead, so we made a quick right turn to outsmart them all. Well, that right turn turned out to be a dirt road! So here we wer, in a brand new rental, driving down a bumpy dirt road on the way to an opera audition. Really? Is this really my life? Granted, I grew up on a dirt road in Arkansas, so I am very familiar with the art of navigating the dirt road. But on the way to an opera audition?

We followed that little dirt road until it hit another state highway, turned again onto another highway, hit another back up, but this time decided to follow the locals in their huge 4×4 trucks across a field (oh yeah, you can’t stop me in my little Chevy Cruze rental, baby), skirted that back up, followed more back roads, made an emergency turn again that spit us out on yet another dirt road! Yes, folks, 2 dirt roads in 30 minutes. I haven’t been on that many dirt roads in a day since I moved out of Arkansas at the age of 10!

Eventually, we made it back to the highway and outsmarted all of those other people who were too scared of those dirt roads. But not me. Why? Because I am an opera singer. You can’t stop us. We are, er…um…too stupid to stop. If we see an opportunity, we go for it, no matter what.

But what you should also be reminded of in this story is that people think that being an opera singer is glamorous and exciting. I hope that by now, if you have been reading my blog for very long, you are not that naive. I’ll give you exciting, but glamorous? Well, you know better.