Total Pageviews

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Take my survey & enter to win a critique and/or phone chat!

Are you a singer? An aspiring singer? Do you belt it out in the shower?

If so, I'd love for you to help me out by taking a quick survey.

Is there a prize involved? Heck yes! One survey-taker will be randomly selected to receive a free online video critique from me! (What's a video critique? Learn more here >)

So what's the survey about?

In an ongoing effort to bring more beautiful, free, effortless, joy-filled singing into the world, I'm searching for ways to better serve my private and online voice students.

Lately, I've been very interested the concept of fear and what holds us back when we perform. 

Would you mind lending a few moments to offer your opinions? 

You can remain 100% anonymous.

Cool bonus: I'm also looking to phone interview some of you for further research.

If you're interested in potentially having a little one-on-one chat with yours truly, simply fill out the survey as truthfully as possible, leave your email at the bottom, and be sure to check "yes" when I ask you if you're open to speaking over the phone. 

If I feel you're a good candidate for an interview, I'll email you and we can schedule a time to speak.

Thank you, friends! I can't thank you enough for participating!

Love, Felicia




Monday, March 31, 2014

Channeling Fear and Coping With Anxiety



My TEDx Talk at Yale this past Saturday was about "Life Revision." Its full title was "There Is No Final Draft: Keep Revising Your Life To Create Your Reality." I had a tremendous time at the TEDx conference and feel such love for my alma mater! (The speeches were taped by a professional cameraman, so videos of every speech will be posted to the TEDx site soon) (I'll be sure to let you know when that is.)

During my talk I mentioned to the audience members that they could personally get in touch if they were experiencing fear or anxiety and that I would share resources I've found helpful when coping with my own anxiety (which has included panic attacks and light-headedness, on and off for about three years now).

For ease of communication, I thought I'd keep an evolving list of resources on this blog so I can share them with all of you. This list isn't exhaustive; it's just a collection of books, sites, and techniques I've found helpful in coping with my own bouts of anxiety -- particularly surrounding "life revision."

Do you have any resources or techniques you've found helpful? Please share in the comment section below.

TECHNIQUES TO RELIEVE ANXIETY

EFT Tapping - This is a branch of self-administered acupressure technique that combines "Eastern" and "Western" approaches to dealing with anxiety. I mentioned it previous in a blog post and am a HUGE proponent of the practice. I've used EFT consistently and still use EFT in my life (all self-administered, for free) and have found it to be incredibly effective in de-stressing my system and calming my body's previous ingrained panic responses.

I highly recommend you check it out -- even if it sounds New Age and whack. To start, all you need to do is read this book by Nick Ortner (I'll list it again in the books section below). He also has a great website to check out, which explains EFT tapping and can get you started. Take a leap of faith! You won't regret it.

Meditation - I used to hate the very idea of meditation because, to be honest, it freaked me out. I hated sitting with my own thoughts, for fear that my mind would go crazy or that I would have a panic attack.

To start off small, I enrolled in Deepak Chopra and Oprah's free 21-day meditation challenge. They have ongoing programs (all free) and what they'll do is send you a meditation audio file each day, right to your inbox, and you can practice in a structured, safe way. There's a community aspect, too, with forums and comment sections where people can share their experiences, which for me was very enriching and made me feel not so alone or afraid. You can check out the latest offerings from The Chopra Center here. Leave a comment below if you enroll, and perhaps we can do it together!

Another place for good free guided meditation is a website called the Fragrant Heart.

Yoga - Yoga just straight-up makes me feel better. I love DoYogaWithMe.com which offers TONS of free yoga classes that you can do right in your living room.

Singing - Singing for stress relief has been huge for me. The act of singing a song and minding your breathing is very meditative in and of itself. It's actually impossible for your body to be anxious and breathing calmly at the same time, so the act of singing with controlled breath can instantly calm you and help you work through a bought of anxiety. I'm exploring this concept more formally and hope to report back in the future on more specific ways to use singing to help you with your fear and anxiety. Stay tuned...

Improv - Enrolling in an improv class helped me deal with anxiety and created a safe environment where I could be free to say YES to any impulse and channel some of my energy into a freeing form of performance. This might be a bit out-there for you, but I would highly recommend you explore improv classes -- even if you're not an actor or performer.

BOOKS I TURNED TO WHEN I FELT LOST

Below is a smattering of book titles all over the map. My favorite books on fear and the groundlessness of life have been authored by a Buddhist nun named Pema Chodron. She is wise and rather earth-shattering in her philosophies. Also included below is a book on EFT tapping, which I described above, alongside some other titles on spirituality and energy which may seem way out there for some people. I found them personally helpful, and hope you'll consider giving them a shot, too!

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics) - Pema Chodron

The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics) - Pema Chodron

The Pocket Pema Chodron (Shambhala Pocket Classics) - Pema Chodron

The Tapping Solution: A Revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living - Nick Ortner

E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality - Pam Grout

I hope these resources can prove helpful. I will keep adding to the list as I uncover or recall new stuff. Remember, if you're feeling stressed, anxious, or afraid, you are SO not alone.

Love,
Felicia

Monday, March 24, 2014

If You Dare: Come See Me Give a TEDx Talk At Yale

Hi, friend.

My name is Felicia Ricci and I'm giving a TEDx Talk at Yale this Saturday. My tentative topic is REVISION.

How do you revise your life to create your reality?

Needless to say, I'm pretty freaked out, especially as I sit at Starbucks, writing the world's longest manifesto on Life and its myriad questions.

REVISION.

Part of my thesis is that revision sucks. A fact of which I'm painfully reminded as I revise, revise, revise, revise this here TED talk.

Oh, TED. Who are you? If ever I meet you, I'm going to give you a friendly slug to the chin. You know one of those light punches that says You old so-and-so but is underscored with actual hostility?

At least I have five more days.

With this in mind, do you want to see me talk? Lord help you, you can reserve your ticket here. If you come, be sure to laugh any time I make anything resembling a joke.

Or maybe I will convey my thoughts through interpretive tap dance. There is no way to know.

Love and Life Questions,
Felicia

Friday, March 7, 2014

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Singing

What?? Two new singing tips video in one week?? I've gone insane!

This new video answers a question I get a lot:

"Felicia. What can I do to improve my singing technique, right now?"

Some of you may think the answer is "nothing," but that's actually not true. Of course, anything worth achieving takes lots of practice, and this is certainly true of singing. But there are a few things you can do -- right now -- to enhance your sound and improve your singing technique immediately.

Check out the video below for my best 3 tips for making big singing strides -- today!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

VIDEO: How to Sing "Let It Go" From Frozen

Hi, singer friends! I've been getting a lot of questions from my voice students and from many of you via social media about how to sing "Let It Go" from Frozen in the style of Idina Menzel, so I decided to make a quick vid giving you some singing tips on how to approach the super challenging (and fun) ending which sweeps up to a high E flat.

To sing "Let It Go," I adopted some key vowel modifications that will help you pop out the high belting easily and without tension.

Check it out below and let me know what you think!




Learn more about Belt Your Face Off here >

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It rained in spain, y'all: ("My Fair Lady" recap!)


This past month I performed as Eliza Doolittle in an all-Yale concert version of My Fair Lady at the Shubert Theater. It featured Yale College graduates (including yours truly), Yale School of Drama alumni, current graduate students, and wittle bitty undergraduate cherubs with dewy Anime eyes and sugar-plum dreams!

I promised a recap, and here it is: a play-by-play of the insanity.

Because it was, in a word, insane.

So, in case I didn't say this before, we put up the show in a week. Sure, some principal characters rehearsed briefly in NYC in the prior months, but for the most part everything was thrown together in seven days! Seven days! To put on My Fair Motherf-ing Lady!

(Meaning, before performing, we ran the show exactly...zero times. Zero! Not until opening night (er, day -- since we opened with a matinee) did we perform the show start to finish, or even run certain scenes in the second act. Ah, the magic of theater!)

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cockney time: My Fair Lady is this month in New Haven!

In just twenty days, I'll play Eliza Doolittle in a concert version of My Fair Lady at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, alongside some amazing Yalies of past present -- including David Alan Grier as my dad, Doolittle, and Reg Rogers as Henry Higgins!

In anticipation of this exciting event, I've been brushing up my Cockney accent. Watch the video below to see what I mean. (Official My Fair Lady press and ticket info is pasted beneath the vid.)

Hearts! --Felicia


Performed by a company of Yalies past and present, this production of My Fair Lady will be led by Tony nominee Reg Rogers YSD '93 as Henry Higgins and Tony and Emmy winner David Alan Grier YSD '81 as Alfred P. Doolittle. Felicia Ricci '08 is Eliza Doolittle, and Hans Tester '82 plays Colonel Pickering. Bill Kux YSD '83 is the narrator, and the role of Freddy Eynesford Hill is being played by an undergraduate, Jeremy Weiss '15. Ticket prices begin at $18! Please purchase tickets through any of these three easy ways:

Ticket prices begin at $18! You can purchase tickets through any of these three ways:
Online: Here 
Or call TICKETMASTER: 800.745.3000 
Or visit: Shubert Box Office at 247 College Street, New Haven, CT 
SPECIAL OFFER:  A limited number of VIP ticket packages are available for both performances.  Along with the best seats in the theater, you will receive a goody bag of specially themed MFL gifts, a post performance Champagne toast with the stars, and, with the 
8:00 p m VIP package, an invitation to the cast party held at one of New Haven's fashionable lofts.
2 pm VIP ticket package, click here 
8 pm VIP ticket package, click here

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sledding is not as fun when you have no sled

Here is the most recent chapter in my ongoing love affair with winter. It features my large fiancé Marshall and our Only Friend, a man we met at a coffee shop one time. (Because Marshall and I moved to Pennsylvania about a year ago, we're still in the process of becoming socialized beings -- so when I say Only Friend I'm basically exaggerating. We have at least two friends.)

To the delight/dismay of weathermen and women everywhere -- who literally cannot stop using the word "overachiever" to describe every snowfall ever -- it snowed a lot this week! With Patsy Cline as my inspiration, I decided to organize a day of sledding so that those of us in our late twenties could see through the eyes of a child, i.e. forget about our mortality for several fleeting, snow-powder-filled moments. (I have a lot of great ideas like this. You might say I'm the Peter Pan in our gang of adult children.)

There was only one problem: nobody had a sled. We didn't even know what a sled looked like these days. Should we get a toboggan? I suggested a one-horse open sleigh, but instead it was decided that a flat circular plastic disc-thing would suffice.

Wrapped in long johns and giant unattractive coats, Marshall, Only Friend, and I headed to Wal-Mart, where a store clerk texting on his phone told us that all the snow discs were officially sold out.

"No!" I screamed.

"Yes," he said.

"Oh well," said Marshall.

"Too bad," said Only Friend.

"No!" I screamed again.

Then I ran away, down an aisle.

Soon I found myself in the Holiday Clearance section (obviously), and a lightning bolt of inspiration struck me, similar to the moment when Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. Underneath a giant wad of Christmas lights were large red things called "Wreath Holders."

Round, plastic discs!
  1.  
For just $7.97 (after a 75% discount) we'd found our sleds, and communed with one of history's greatest inventors. Next we drove to a mountain by a library. 

Okay, it was a small hill.

There were even some authentic kids there.
The thing about invention is that you can't expect everything to go perfectly on the first try.


Our Wreath Holders traveled about ten feet, then ground to a halt. On either side of the hill, appropriately aged adolescents whizzed by, cheering and laughing death in the face. I considered offering one of them $50 for a real sled. Only Friend advised against it.

Only Friend sits on the hill.

It wasn't so bad, though. We sledded. Sort of. For five seconds at a time each of us really, uh, plodded? Drifted? Just kind of coasted at a slow, walking pace. The Wreath Holders did their best, until my feet went numb and I coerced everyone to run back to the car. 

But I have no regrets. Neither does Benjamin Franklin. 

And so I leave you with a timeless bit of advice (Benny Franks-style):

Get to a Wal-Mart early, if you want to go sledding. And wear thick socks.

--FLR




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow day pics

While I've been known to complain about sand, I actually love the snow! These past few days Pennsylvania saw about 8 inches of snowfall, way more than predicted -- "an overachiever," in the words of the poor meteorologists who seemed genuinely bewildered and embarrassed by their oversight (it's okay, meteorologists, we forgive you; no one, least of all your Doppler radar, can understand MOTHER NATURE).

Two of Marshall's gym clients ended up canceling today, and I was working from home, so we decided to break at halftime and go outside and frolic. We ended up shoveling for like an hour, and then we decided to make a snowman! We gave him wild pine hair and Victorian buttons. Then Marshall scooped a bunch of snow into a pile and, like a wintry Michelangelo, scraped and molded it into a charming, overgrown snow bunny.

Below are some photos. They're really cute, so try not to vomit.

Happy December!

--FR





Sunday, December 8, 2013

Broadway Spotted took my singing course! And you can, too

If you're a lover of theater and Broadway, you've probably heard of the popular blog Broadway Spotted, which features all kinds of awesome theater-related articles, updates, and community events like book clubs (they even read my book, Unnaturally Green!) and, most recently, Broadway Secret Santa (of which I am happily a part!).

I bring this up because, today, Broadway Spotted herself (himself?) (the identity of its author remains a secret!) took my belting course, Belt Your Face Off! and wrote an awesome review!

Even cooler, the blog is currently offering a totally sweet promotion for readers, running through the month of December (or while supplies last):

1) Get $30 OFF your student enrollment with the code ISPOTSANTA, or --

2) Maybe even cooler -- if you're a Wicked or musical theater lover -- you can get $20 off BYFO enrollment PLUS a free signed copy of my book Unnaturally Green with the code GREENSANTA. There are only 15 copies available, so first come first serve!

This promotion only runs for a few weeks and has limited spots! Redeem your coupon code by clicking on the above coupon links, or by filling out the form below, or by visiting www.beltyourface.com, scrolling to the bottom, and clicking BROADWAY SPOTTED DECEMBER PROMO.

Weeeeeeeee!