Sunday, June 14, 2009


Years ago when my husband (my then fiancee) and I discussed our future life together, and our plans to start a family together, he knew that I invested a lot of time in taking voice lessons and that I loved to sing. I had already explained to him that studying voice had to be part of my life.

He asked me if I had any professional aspirations. There were a lot of reasons why I did not, but the main reason was because I did not feel that I was very accomplished, nor had established any kind of solid technique, so didn't think there was a way. I expect professionals to be the elite class of singers who have consistency, know-how, an even voice throughout their ranges, good breath control, polish, ease, presence, guts .... oh so much!!! Those heights seemed so inaccessible to me. So how could I imagine, back then, that an option of professional singing was reasonable?

A serious amateur singer may have any number of reasons why they do not choose to put themselves out into the professional arena. Some of the reasons may be profound, some trivial, some fear-based, some based on reality. Each individiual has to assess their own situation and decide what he/she is going to do.

But whatever is decided, the principles remain the same as far as getting opportunities to sing. One must do the legwork, the research, the networking, the creating, the daring all the same to make opportunities to sing. It is so important to face that one is the product of one's choices. Not a victim. A life is composed of choices.

When we were children, things were given to us. Here's your clothes. Here's your food. Here's a solo in the school chorus. But when we grow up, we have to provide these things for ourselves.

Amateur or professional, there is going to be no "gig" unless the work is done to make the opportunity for one's self. We cannot walk around like little children waiting for things to be handed to us on a platter. It takes courage to step out of what is comfortable and roll up one's sleeves and get to work on making something in the musical world.

My personal philosophy is that if I do not have any "gigs" that it's not anyone's responsiblity but my own to make or find opportunities to sing. This is true no matter what kind of singer you are.

I am not usually a person of action first. I usually sit and ponder and mull ideas around before I make the leap. It takes me time to gather up my courage. I am somewhat of a fearful person but I am challenging this every day. My current voice teacher has enlightened me to the fact that I am "slow to speak." She was referring to the kind of voice I have, a big dramatic voice with great heft, but as in so many things about the voice, it works to enlighten me about my whole person. Yes! I have been slow to act. Like a sleeping giant. I was the one, after everyone just ran and jumped into the icy cold water for a swim, who stood on the side getting used to the cold water little by little.

My husband is different. As soon as he has an idea, the phone is in his hand and the plan is already activated. But wait, I protest, don't you have to mull it over and think through all the ins and outs? What if it's not a great idea? What if there is a lot of responsibility and work involved? But by the time I get these thoughts out of my mouth, he is already off and running and immersed in the thick of his latest project, typing, copying, phone-calling, delegating, running here, running there. This is the way one gets things done! This is the kind of activation a life can need to make goals and dreams a reality.

Before a person creates something, it is first an idea in their head. It can swirl around and swirl around and remain something of a vision for a time. But one day, when the time is right, even a slumbering giant will make his move.

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