Greetings, dear reader! Today I am writing to you from the graceful and intimdating Engineering Study Hall of MIT. This is my view when I look up:
Crazy, right!? I'm in Boston to see one of my best friends sing his heart out with the Boston Pops on Wednesday and Thursday; yet another thing that I'll file into the category of "crazy, right!?" But enough about where I am let's talk about where I was on Saturday.
Saturday night a few friends and I gave a "just for fun" recital in Montreal; just a chance for us to make some music because we want to. A novel concept. Often in school we are prescribed performances, and this trend can continue throughout our career. But I think we can all agree that we all crave for the times in our careers that we will have gigs scheduled into our calendar, as once we did in school. It doesn't matter what kind of voice you have, at some point, for no fixed or predictable time, we struggle to have our voices heard. It's for a number of reasons, really, but whatever the reason, we tend to glamorize success and sweep our plateaus, our failures and shortcomings out of the spotlight. My very best friend and sister of all things singing and silliness, Sara Casey, sang in this recital with me. Sara is an amazing light/high soprano (though, at the moment, she is letting labels be). Afterwards, she said she'd had a realization in the past week; it's not just big voices who have a waiting game to play. All singers have their own path, their own development, and their own times of stagnation and advancement.
Now, I am an infant in my voice type and also in this career. I say this with no true ounce of experience (except that I know it will be a solid 10-15 years before my voice settles and I'm singing the rep my voice is meant to sing). But let me assure you, readers of the singing variety-especially those of you who are recently out of school, your voice has it's own journey to make. It's a bizarre way we carve out our careers. I think more than any other field, we have to rely on other people's advice and experiences to form our careers. And then from those guided decisions to say, apply for auditions/competitions/accept the offer at that school or program, we have to deal with another level of approval from that deciding panel, and THEN yet another level or approval from the audience when the curtain inevitably rises. Feeling defeated yet? Don't worry, the reviews will come soon enough.
This, dear reader, is something all of us crazy performers go through. All the while, wading through each other's wins and losses, comparing and judging our talent to our colleagues and to our past selves. We ask desperately, "Why did she get in to that program and not me!?", "Why did he win? He constantly sings flat?!", "Why didn't I get cast!?" etc. etc. Fear not. There are SO very many singers, and only so many ears to hear them. If you stick with it, work hard, set yourself realistic goals and remain positive through the bitterness of rejection, I believe that your time, and mine, will come. Am I being a foolish optimist? Of course! If I was a realist, I wouldn't be a very interesting artist.
Thanks for reading! Sam
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