Thursday, June 16, 2011

Philadelphia...Home of cream cheese, cheesesteaks, and the Liberty Bell


During my east coast trip, I had one audition in Philadelphia, which unfortunately went poorly. I'd been sick with bronchitis over the weekend, and though the audition wasn't until Thursday, I could tell my voice wasn't even close to 100% recovered. I sounded fine when I recorded myself, so I'm sure the judges had no idea I'd been sick. They probably just assumed that any faults they heard were a result of bad technique. My breath support was poor, my high notes were gone or weak, and singing took a huge effort out of me. By the end of one song I felt like I'd just finished a race. I probably pushed a bit to try to compensate for how I was feeling, and I knew within moments of starting that I had no hope for this audition.


I was a bit depressed when I came out of the audition room. I had another audition just 2 days later in New York, and I could tell I was unlikely to be well in time for that one. I'd spent a lot of money on a flight, a train ticket, lodging, shuttle, and taxi just to come to auditions where I couldn't even perform at my best due to circumstances out of my control. I felt fine in general, even during the first couple days of illness, but the bronchitis took such a toll on my voice that it didn't fully recover for nearly 2 weeks.


But rather than wallow in my despair, I decided to do the only thing I love doing just as much as singing - TOURISM! I had to walk a fair distance, but I eventually made it to the main center of town. The pic above is the place where our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. The building is currently being restored.


And, of course, I absolutely had to see the Liberty Bell.



Here's Independence Hall.


And the Statue of Religious Liberty.



I also walked down to the graveyard where Ben Franklin is buried.






When I went to the ticket booth to tour Independence Hall, there was a guy playing this interesting colonial instrument.


Below is a painting of the founding fathers when they were discussing their annexation from the British.



This was the court room. Criminals had to stand and plead their case in this caged box, which made them already appear guilty.



I wish I could remember what this symbol meant. It actually reminds of the Hogwarts symbol in Harry Potter!


These were some of the different meeting rooms.



I unfortunately caught this guy's hair in the photo, but this is a preserved copy of the Declaration of Independence. Turns out the real one is in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, where I'd just been the other day. I must have missed it. I did have to go through it rather quickly.



After the tour I wandered over to a nearby mall, and loved the cute Christmas decorations they had up.


The next day I had to take an early train back to New York for my last audition, so I hauled my bags out several blocks to the subway. Unfortunately the wheel had broken on my suitcase, so I couldn't roll it and had to drag it the whole way. At least I got to enjoy a lovely view of the city from my hotel just before I took off.

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