Getting in and Staying in the Business
Part I – The Big Picture: Ideas to Ponder
1. What constitutes success?
2. It’s the journey, not the destination!
3. Don’t get too specific too soon
4. Be open to a path that you might not even be aware of now
Expanding on these points:
1. Make sure you define what success is for you. It may be the Met, it may be running a college opera program, it may be a voice studio in your home – as long you as you are defining it, obstacles cannot keep you from having your career.
2. Every day you sing is a day to cherish and remember – even if you sing at La Scala one day, it may be your Junior Recital that holds your most special memories. Try to realize that, every day you sing.
3. If you only look at one stream career wise, you may miss an opportunity that may fulfill you.
4. What, you don’t think being an Artistic Director is cool?? Your vocal career can take you many places you haven’t thought of yet. Try to be aware of strengths that you develop along your journey that may hold you in good stead as your career evolves.
Part II – A Corporation of One – You!
It is never too early to begin to think of your career as an independent corporation with you as CEO.
Why? And what does this concept do to help?
1. By thinking of yourself as a business, it depersonalizes disappointments. Instead of every unsuccessful audition being soul shattering, you realize with your business model, that a reasonable success rate is one in ten. This will help keep you balanced. Remember, baseball players makes millions of dollars for getting a hit three out of every ten times to the plate!
2. The Business model idea keeps your thinking linear. When you’re not auditioning or working, you are practicing, coaching, etc. Instead of these activities seeming like frustrating holding patterns, they become a dynamic part of your business.
3. You being a corporation of one makes everything you do professional, because everything is feeding into the stream that is your career. The confidence this engenders will undoubtedly help you feel stronger as an auditionee and performer.
Part III – Your Options
1. Advanced degrees, artist diplomas, etc.
2. Various Young Artist programs
3. Teaching positions
4. Church work – director, paid soloist
5. The European option
6. Arts Administrator
a. Artistic Director
b. Executive Director
c. General Director
d. Artistic Administrator
7. Stage Director
8. Arts Writer
d. Technical vocal author
9. Artist Manager
And last, but not least, the one we all think about the most….
10. Free lance singer
Whatever strategy you decide on adopting for yourself, if you maintain flexibility and a sense of discovery, you will give yourself a great chance to stay in this career, and be connected to the art form we all love!