Over the past two years I have slowly transitioned away from my former email address of firstname.lastname@example.org and to full time use of email@example.com which before, I only used for my students to contact me when I was still teaching private voice lessons. That said the Yahoo account gets checked a few times each day and the other one I maybe log into once a week or so. So today I went to log-on and sift through the hundreds of spam and junk mail that normally fill the inbox to see if there were any legitimate messages waiting for me. I typed the usual www.myname.com/mail expecting to see the netmail log-in screen, but instead I saw one of those generic domain parking pages come up in the browser window. Hmm…maybe I misspelled the URL? I tried again. Nope. Same thing. It’s a NetSol page and it says, “Myname.com expired on 5/21 and is pending renewal or deletion.” Wow.
Five years ago, when I renewed my domain name for awesome deal of one-hundred-dollars-for-the-next-five-years I thought, “sure, that’ll be great. I am sure that in five years I’ll still need my domain name even if my website changes before then…” By “changes” I was hoping that meant being picked up by an artists’ management firm and having my website design overhauled to coordinate with the style and layout of the other artists on the roster.
Well, here I am…five years later. Age thirty-five and not a managed artist and no longer a professional singer. (In operaworld being thirty-five years old is still considered quite young and yet having certain professional credentials by that age is seen in the business as an indication of whether one has the capacity of “making it”). I am not even teaching voice lessons, for that matter. So there’s honestly no real need for my own domain and website to exist. Still, today, when I saw it was gone, it felt weird. I admit that I had a small twinge of melancholy for I no longer have a place on the web that features my bio, my reviews, my resume and stage photos. It’s no longer useful to this married-mom-in-the-Midwest with a nine-to-five desk job. Sometimes that life, the one of the struggling-artist-scraping-the-funds-together-to-travel-on-a-transcontinental-red-eye-flight-to-catch-an-audition, seems like an entire lifetime ago. But it really was just about three years ago that I decided to give it all up. Until then, I had spent most of my life making my dreams of being a professional performance artist a reality and suddenly, as my late twenties gave way to my early thirties, I was no longer satisfied with that trajectory. I had never imagined that I’d ever feel compelled to give it up, but I did. The only singing I do these days are acappella intonations of made up ditties and repeated refrains from childhood lullabies. No piano, certainly no orchestra and for the most part, no vibrato. Just simple singing of simple tunes in a simple way. It’s quite amazing that so much has changed in such a short amount of time.
Five years ago, when I renewed myname.com domain for another five years I had aspirations of being thirty-five and singing leading roles at The Met. Of traveling across the Atlantic to make my debut in some vintage European opera house and translating my stellar reviews into English so I could post them proudly to my Press Page. Of appearing through the stage door at midnight with my naturally curly hair coaxed into swoopy, romantic waves from being pinned into circles under the wig I had worn on stage that night. Of smiling graciously, saying “Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it” or “...it’s always a privilege to perform this piece” while signing programs with the autograph I had so carefully practiced to look effortlessly artistic and befitting of a diva. Of wearing sparkling, silk gowns and sipping imported wine with well-known maestros while cleverly negotiating my next big debut. The person that paid a hundred bucks to have five more years with her own plot in cyberspace never imagined that she’d ever give up singing. Or get married. Or move to the Midwest. Or have a day job. Or have a baby. Today? That person is happier than she had ever been when she was her own dot-com. Go figure.