I saw a thread on FB the other day. It was initiated by a dear friend and colleague of mine. She aired the challenges of now being a music teacher after 20 years of experience after becoming a singer. Quite a number of other singers chimed in. Good singers. Singers with a reputation, with big roles and exensive tours under their belt. Me included.
I started to reflect on the imbalance of how much work we put into what we do, how much skills we have and how little pay there is available for the average singer. I mean, if you’re a star you will get paid what you deserve and even more. But if you are never “discovered” the money simply won’t reach you. Doesn’t in any way mean you’re not good enough. It only means there wasn’t enough room for yet another wonderful singer.
Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer.
But if there are many, many, many good singers around for one single role? Because seriously, how many can play one role in any given production? How many Donna Anna, Lucia, Pamina or Violetta are there capable of doing an excellent job? Answer: Many, many, many!
With the current situation in the world where opera houses are being closed down all over the place, many artists experience an unfairness. All that labour, paid with crumbs. Why did you desire to become a singer? Why not a lawyer? Can you relate?
You have no idea how much I can relate. You have no idea how much I’ve cried and cursed over the years while becoming a singer. Or perhaps you do? Perhaps you cried too, for hours? You probably did! Still do?
Blaming yourself. Blaming others. Feeling envy. Felt the unfairness of it all? The hopelessness and pain of all that rejection. Not because you where bad. Not even because “they” where better, or even as good as you, sometimes. But just “because”.
I still experience rejection as I still wish I could earn all my money through singing. I still wish producers would call me to say they want me, me, me. ME to come and fill the role. ME to perform one of my wonderful, innovative programs in their festival.
But they don’t. They simply don’t and at times I experience a deep sense of rejection. A rejection from the industry as a whole. Rejected even though no one said NO right out loud. Silence is also a kind of rejection. I have to comply. Reluctantly at times, like today. Or with shrugging my shoulders, like most of the days. But not today. Today it is reluctantly!
Yes I do have a passive income. Not as big as I would like, but it is there and I’m grateful. It didn’t come by itself though. I worked hard to acquire new skills and I still do. Skills to earn money online. Most of the time its fun. Sometimes I feel exhausted. I have another tear rolling down. And always I have my longing for more singing in my life to keep me moving forward. For that to happen I need more funding!
Are you telling yourself lies or are you ready for the truth about yourself, your singing, your age, your finances, your career? Or should I say our lack of career, your non singing, your desperation and your empty wallet?
There is no “later” in store. There never is for anyone, at any age. There is only now! When there is only NOW, there is only truth left! What about you?
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