I often give tasks to my future self. Many times this is simply a fancier way of procrastinating, but sometimes I am truly grateful for the wisdom of Past Sam, and I am hopeful for Future Sam to continue the kindness and intelligence. Today I would like to give a few words of advice to my younger self about singing, life, and the zen art of being able to hold on to the correct pieces of clothing. I have chosen to write a letter to 17-year me. I had finished high school and I was really nervous about taking a year off before applying for university. That, and my high school boyfriend dumped me (after prom, of course.)
Dear Younger Me:
Sam, I know deciding to take a year off was a tough decision, what with your friends going off to Universities and colleges all over the place. but rest assured, this is the pace of life you will have to get used to. The "hurry up and wait" of the ENDLESS Les Mis tech rehearsal will foster unbridled patience when stuff goes awry in any rehearsal, and guard your sanity in life. Singing is a long marathon, and this year is going to make you so grateful that you are pursuing your true passion.
Keep practicing piano. I know it seems like the cruelest chore, but it is so good for you.
Cherish this upcoming summer working at camp. It’s gonna be some of the best months of your life, and next year (sadly, your last year working there) won’t be so great.
Cherish the time with your whole family, but especially your grandparents. They are such an important part of you, even when they drive you crazy.
Take care of yourself. Dieting and exercise isn’t all or nothing, and sometimes those three hour naps aren't the best choice. Go for a walk!
Preparing to sing big repertoire does NOT mean you should sing thru Mimi’s arias every day. Work on your languages and keep listening to great singers. Yes, this means Maria Callas. You're a fool to not like her right now.
Trust your parents. Be kinder to your brother.
You will have different friends than you have now, and some of the same. It’s okay. The ones who aren't as close with you anymore are still with you, and it doesn't undervalue the wonderful time being spent with them right now.
Not getting into UofT is going to be the best thing to happen to you, I PROMISE. Also, you think you know about rejection and unfairness in the singing world but MAN OH MAN, you ain't seen nothin yet! It's all good! Keep your stick on the ice, and be nice.
You don’t know everything. In fact, you know very little about singing. Listen. People want to teach you things-they want you to be even better than you are. No one likes a smart ass.
But most importantly: Being who you are, exactly in the present moment to the next, is the greatest gift you can give someone, because we’re mostly trying to be who everyone else wants us to be. Strangely, this is the way we grow: by showing up exactly as we are, ready to be who we will become.
Also, keep those Orange pumps. I MISS THEM.
Lots of Love,
27-year old Sam
Being a Si...
November 14, 2017
For performing artists, the question "What do you do for a living?" truly resists simplicity. You get bonus points if the follow up questions are eith...