How to sing while jet-lagged, or try

Gah, its the worst to do an audition or performance while jet-lagged. It's best to avoid it all together, but here are some ways I've learned to deal.

1. Do your normal routine no matter where you are - yoga, stretching, amount of time to warm up. If you skip steps, your body will be like “what the heck?”
2. Sleep is huge when your jet lagged. If you have trouble sleeping like me, you need at least two nights good sleep to feel normal. Unisom, theamine, and valerian root work as sleep aids for me. It’s my mind that keeps me awake. 
3. Focus your mind on the task at hand, not your life at home. That will help you adjust to being in a different time zone. 
4. Water water tea water water tea water. FYI It’s okay to drink Berlin tap water, even though people still drink bottled. Don’t over caffeinate, I did that before my Düsseldorf audition because I wanted to sit in the dining car and read- I think I had 3 cappuccinos. Not good, made me feel jittery and ungrounded.


What to bring on a month-plus gig, and what you forgot

1. French press, to-go mug and local coffee
2. Favorite candle with my home’s smell
3. Robe
4. Different kinds of coats, for every kind of weather
5. Grocery tote bags
6. Envelopes for putting receipts in
7. Picture in frame of loved ones

What I SHOULD have brought.
1. Nutribullet (why is it sitting at my house)
2. Olive oil, salt, pepper and basic spices - and whatever condiments I can put in my luggage. 
3. Ziplock bags
4. Paints/canvas (I’m so bored)
5. My pup.. Oh wait… She’s too big for planes. :(

Emily Birsan
Edinburgh: fastest shoe repair and … haggis

I spent two weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland last month, and because I’ve been uprooting my midwestern homebase I’ve had no time to write about my time in the UK. 

Singing with the Edinburgh International Festival, I was blocks away from the Edinburgh Castle and Usher Hall. Which means most of what was walking distance was pretty upscale shops and very touristy areas… (ick). The day I arrived I came with the heel broken on my concert shoes, so i thought it would be an experience to find a good Scottish cobbler. The closest to me was a chain called Timpsons. It really didn’t feel like a chain. As I entered the store front, I tripped on the door stop and just about fell flat on my face. (totally unrelated.. but funny) The man behind the counter was gracious and helpful. He said my shoes would be fixed in 10 mins, I couldn’t believe my ears! In the US it takes two days. I got back at paid about 7 pounds, not bad at all. 

The shop is interesting, it does locksmith duties, printing, and the most interesting thing is they have a huge initiative to employ ex-offenders. They train in some prisons, and offer a job on release. Out of 300 employed, they know of 6 reoffending.

While waiting for my shoes, I discovered a cafe that was quite an aphrodisiac – called Love Crumbs. With cakes, scones and clotted cream, locally roasted espresso/coffee, and a young laid back atmosphere, I indulged in a flat white and a scone. yum. I definitely recommend it for a luxurious afternoon, or a first date.

Haggis. Went to the Edinburgh Foodie Festival because it was blocks away from our rehearsal space. I had a famous dish called “Haggis, neeps and tatties” The name alone was enticing, right?

Until my colleague told me exactly what was in haggis, I found it to be quite good. Try it, you’ll like it! 

#Timpson #Haggis #tatties #neeps #lovecrumbs

Emily Birsan