I am often told stories by singers about the difficulty they have in finding a community of like minded people with whom they can create dialogue that is meaningful to them as well as developing a support group.
Where to begin…
Becoming a performer is an individual sport. Sure you have a voice teacher and coach; perhaps a drama and movement coach and an accompanist that you might work with or that you use when you can for auditions. But, for the most part you are basically on your own. Because no two people are wired the same way, some people are naturally inclined toward wanting to belong to a tribe or group while others are not. So, if you are someone who knows you work better within a group, it’s up to you to find those of like mind. Often that means perhaps stepping out of your comfort zone. And that in turn might mean getting to know and exchange text messages or tweets with the singer that comes before or after your lesson or coachings. Or if you are in a particular studio, you can ask your teacher for the best way to get to know the rest of the students in their studio as you are looking for a community of singers to get involved with.
Another idea is that most big cities and even smaller towns have several venues where singers get up and perform in a more relaxed situation like a bar, restaurant or club. It’s a great place to not only experience other singers perform and perhaps perform yourself, but also a mecca for networking and schmoozing with new and interesting people who do what you do and it gives you an opportunity to create new relationships. Then it’s up to you to follow through with keeping in touch.
Often there are organizations in bigger cities that are specifically for opera singers where you can go to their programs or meetings to meet other singers, patrons or those who simply love this art form and support it. In NYC there is The National Opera America Center which is a huge organization and they have a beautiful new home on 330 7th Ave. You can become a member for a very nominal fee which entitles you to attend their many venues and master classes or brose their library. They often have recitals and auditions there. They can also often help you with particular questions about our industry if you need that kind of help. And I’m sure other big cities have something similar.
Never leave home without your business cards and ask others for theirs. You could then invite them over for coffee or go for drinks, etc. It’s up to you to create your own world and tribe.
You might see the world as being a glass half empty or half full; you might be more motivated by the carrot or the stick. Perhaps you prefer to make choices from a knowing within yourself or you might be someone who needs conformation from others or hard facts and figures; you may be someone who needs a lot of choices and options or perhaps you like procedures, something with a beginning, middle and end. Yes, there are no two people alike so do it your way, but do it. Get yourself out into the world by creating a plan of action to meet others even if it is uncomfortable at first. It all starts with you. No one else is going to make it happen but you. It can seem a bit overwhelming or scary for sure, but as with everything else you do, it just takes that one time to break the ice for you to put your plan into action to find that community that is of like mind.
So Avanti!! Keep me in your loop. I love hearing from you and using your ideas to share in my newsletters. Carol