I am now a classically trained singer who has an eye on making my living from singing, and I have been wrestling with these questions (amongst many others) for several years now:
How do I go about getting head shots?
How do I prepare for an audition?
How do I prepare for a role?
What school should I attend?
Should I continue to go to school?
Whose advice can I believe?
How can I pay for this?
What is the nature of the professional singer?
Are competitions useful?
Should I move across the country? Or world?
How will this affect my family?
Why am I doing this?
Choosing to be a professional performer is a major decision and should be taken seriously. One the one hand, you ought to just “try things out” and “let things happen” to see whether you enjoy performing and are good at it. There is nothing wrong with performing for the sheer love of it and having no professional ambitions. On the other hand, decisions must be made if you do have those ambitions.
And this is a good thing.
Decisions and taking responsibility for them are part of maturity. Making choices as an artist is essential. And so, the more clear and deliberate choices that we make as human beings, the clearer we will be in our medium.
The medium that will be most discussed in this blog is singing, voice teaching and the other skills that may be necessary for success at those ventures.
I am currently a graduate student who has a wonderful voice teaching assistantship. At this school, I have had the chance to perform in some very cool shows where I created two roles for new musicals. I have also been the bass soloist for Bach’s St. John Passion. I have had excellent teachers at this school, and I feel that, yes, I could with enough effort and patience go and sing for a living. This Spring I will graduate, and from there my future looks as expansive and incomprehensible as the desert from a mountaintop.
This blog will be a running commentary on questions that I face as a teacher and as a performer. I hope to have interviews, reviews, pedagogy as well as advice on managing one’s career as I learn how to manage my own. I hope that this blog will eventually be a service to others who are facing these questions in their own lives. And though I will improve as a singer and human being with age, I will always try to approach my mediums through the eyes of a beginner who always has more to learn.