To My Dear Fans,

I receive dozens of fan letters every day here at the Metropolitan Opera House. I regret I cannot reply to all of them but I would like to say thank you to everyone who has written to say they are inspired by my work. And to all the young fans who ask for advice on how to become an opera singer I tell you this: I literally do not know. I just kinda scream and everyone loves it.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to laugh but it’s true. I was ‘discovered’ at age 16 when I was joking around with friends at a Baskin Robbins. I started to singing Mmmbop in an ‘opera’ voice, which is a thing I think everyone does — pretending to be an opera singer. Right? Everyone does that as a goof and maybe they sound ok but it’s 100% a joke! A JOKE! Ugh, sorry, on some level I’m still trying to process that I’m a professional opera singer.

This image from BSK photo shoot of Q3 2012 imgaes.  It has been retouched for the International POP standards. Shoot date: March 19th - 23rd, 2012, photographed by Michael Indresano Photography Inc.,  33 A St., Boston, MA 02127, 617-269-2400.  ,  Ansira job #: 40461. Licensed to BSK. Per Indresano Photography Inc.  Usage is UNLIMTED USE FOR UNLIMITED TIME.

The place that somehow started my opera career haha my life makes NO sense.

Anyway, so I was in this Baskin Robbins ‘singing’ but mostly screaming Mmmbop. At that exact moment, the Artistic Director of the Metropolitan Opera was ordering a waffle cone of Pralines ‘n’ Cream. He heard me and was like, “Whoa, you are a born opera diva,” and I was like, “Haha, duhhh!” For the first year I literally thought we were both doing an insane bit. But now it’s 6 years later and I’m a really famous opera singer so I guess it’s legit.

Sorry, I keep laughing it’s just insane to me. Ok, if you want to be an opera singer here is specifically what I do: I imagine my mom yelling at me. Like, “Honneeyyyyy, whyyy did you park so far from the cuuuuurb? Unnghhh!” Then I just, I dunno, internally pinch my nose and say those words in a high whine. Then I get a little more frantic with it so it becomes more or a scream than a whine. So I stay in that position and say, “JIM? DID YOU JUST OPEN THE DOOR? JIM. I’M NOT IN THE MOOD TO BE SCARED.”

Once I’m ‘in the zone’ I can start singing basically anything and it’s just, like, opera? Again, I really don’t know – I’ve never seen an opera that I’m not in. But I think everyone is just screaming. I never ask the other singers because I don’t want them to be like, ‘Wait, you just scream? Get outta here!’ cause it’s a sweet job.

So that’s it. I just kind of scream and people love it. So, good luck? I mean, “goooOOODDDD LUUCKKKKKKKKK!”

I screamed that last part, did you love it? Probably.


Images via Shutterstock, Baskin Robbins

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