Often times a singer just getting their feet wet within the industry of performing still believes that the life of an artist is romantic, filled with a particular kind of sweet suffering and struggle. It’s the La Boheme syndrome; it’s our quixotic fantasy of the mid 1800’s way of life with all its passion, intrigue and sweet drudgery. But it’s 2010 and you need a real purpose to follow if you want to become a professional singer. Don’t be fooled or caught up in what you read or hear about the lifestyle of the “stars” of opera. That for the most part has been hired out to a PR firm to help create an interesting story to help keep them appealing and in front of the public so they can sell more tickets, CD’s and DVD’s. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype you hear or read about the opera singers who are at the top and imagine yourself living that kind of lifestyle one day.
Not to burst your bubble, but every current singing career of note has been done the old fashion way, by taking that very first step on this journey, which involves: commitment, dedication, hard work, working smart, networking, and doing business each and every day until they reach their ultimate goal.
Being successful at anything has always and will always require one’s capability to do the work required from the very get go to build that career. And that means knowing how the business works and then engaging in it each and every day. You have to know what the game is, what the rules are and then most importantly, understand how the game is played, which most times has little to do with the rules.
“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi
And of course the more you not only talk the talk, but walk the walk, the better and more comfortable you become with the process. Yes, in the beginning setting up your business and figuring out how and what things work best for just you, is a matter of trial and error. Yes, there are mistakes and failures along the way, but that’s not an excuse to stop and feel sorry for you. That is your opportunity to look at what went wrong, pick out the good parts if there are any no matter how small, use it all as feedback, move on and eventually try applying that lesson learned to a similar situation in the future. How much more beautiful could that be!
There are a many processes available to choose from. I guess the problem then becomes, well, which one is right for just you? You might notice that some part of one and other parts of others work for you, but each whole process doesn’t. Great, so take the parts that work and put them together and do a trial run noticing where you might need to add some things or where adjustments and a bit of tweaking need to take place so you feel satisfied with your beginning model of your virginal process or system. And yes, you do need to try many different processes and systems before you know what parts of them might work for you. And yes, once you find the different parts that make sense to you, you will probably need to try different configurations with them until it finally congeals.
“Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton
This process of elimination is necessary partly because we all have different internal wiring when it comes to things like how we are motivated, how we make choices, etc. Notice whether you like to work alone or feel more comfortable collaborating, whether you work best with the overview, the forest or perhaps you do better with the detail, the trees. Maybe you like my rules for me, my rules for you or perhaps you don’t have any rules for anyone. How about being convinced about something, do you need a number of examples, is it intrinsically automatic or do you need some time to look over the materials. How about your stress response? Do you have the first blush normal emotional response, which then returns to a more normal emotional state or do you go to the extreme and stay in that agitated emotional state all day, or do you feel nothing and those that get all emotional in response to stressful situations just annoy you. Do you take outside information and process it against your own standards or perhaps you need outside sources, you know getting references or feedback before making decisions. Which inner language system do you prefer when communicating with others and also when you do that talking to yourself in your head. Do you prefer visual words, like, “I see what you saying”, hearing words like, “I hear what you are saying” or feeling words like, “that feels right to me”. Then there is the issue of whether you are an options lover or like procedures more and last but not least is how you choose to deal with change in your life. Do you like everything to remain the same so change is difficult for you, or perhaps you are at the other extreme where you need change all the time, or you could be in the middle of that where you like things to remain the same but will do change if it isn’t too drastic. Lots of potential for distinctive combinations of wiring here for sure!
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I hope that from all of the above information I’ve just given you, you are motivated to find your own process, your own system of doing business. And that always starts with the first step. Gradually you will start to comprehend and appreciate the subtle differences in the way we are each internally wired and hopefully will take that into consideration when communicating. I also hope that it will encourage you to try various and sundry processes and systems picking out from each what works just for you and then taking the time to figure out how to put it back together again in some meaningful configuration for just you.
So as you can see, it’s up to you to figure it out and when that transpires you will relish the journey because you understand where you are on the map, where you ultimately want to go and how to get there your way.