Sunday, December 05, 2010

0.2 cents

Being on the road for quite a while, I was thinking about early investments for singers, and came up with a short list, in no particular order.

(Invest in):

Do it while you are still young. I need not say any more. Nobody has a perfect technique, but the ones who actually get to work professionally and *maintain* it, are the ones who arrived into the business in a pretty descent shape already.
You keep on perfecting your technique as you develop , and you keep learning and correcting over the years, (and thanks to experience), but your basic foundation should strive to be as little faulty as it can, *before* you get out there.


Same as Technique. But I can not stress more how *important* it is to be able to understand the words and the grammar of all the languages you sing.
slightly less important , but this would make your life SO much better, is the ability to communicate with your colleagues, conductors and directors later on (and you WILL find that if you work in Europe, English will NOT be the language spoken around). This will also help immensely to elevate your comfort of living as an international citizen. (It makes a huge difference if you get lost in a foreign country and still can ask and understand directions in the native language).

3)Friendships and relationships

Being on the road makes you so detached already, by default, from your friends and family.
MAKE AN EFFORT to keep in touch with everybody, and I mean: EVERYBODY, and I mean: EFFORT. Actually *invest* your time into Emails, phone calls, Facebook, whatever can keep you an available, good friend. The more random acquaintances will unavoidably, gradually drop out of your life, as you are so absent, so try to keep your profile up in order to (at least) keep your good friends and important relationships around.
{You will find later how nice it is to be in a foreign country and have a whole list of local friends to invite for dinner (or to be invited!)}.
Loneliness is a major factor in our life. Having available friends to you, whether they are physically or virtually around,and being an active, real friend to them, is a very important thing, both ways, I find.

4)What's important to you and makes you comfortable

Are you attached to your 15 year old stuffed Teddybear? Do you sleep better knowing you have a sleeping pill around, just in case? Is your French coffee presser and turkish coffee is something which gives you comfort every morning? Are you in need of a Macbook pro/ iphone/ + Internet WiFi key? TAKE those things with you, by all means. Make yourself at home, because this WILL be your home. What you carry *with* you in your suitcase might be the only thing to soothe your aching heart.

5)Your mental health and spiritual state

This is a hard one, because you might think it gets better, but frankly it doesn't. The more you are on the road, the more obstacles cross roads and question marks are bumping into you.
Pressure, instability, loneliness, burdens, decisions, doubts, will try to sink you down. Try really hard to have something or somebody (yoga? meditation? guru? religion?help books?) to help you balance and bounce back.

6)Your physical shape

This is very connected to the mental shape advice, and I can't stress out enough how important it is to get into SOME kind of a routine with exercise. The more you do it , the better the world around you would feel and the better you'd feel about your self.

7)Your image

Invest in your image. Whatever it might be. What you put out there is what they will want (or not) to buy. Decide on WHO you are, try to be your own PR manager, represent your self the way you want people to perceive (and buy) you, as if you were a product, which in fact- you (kind of) are.

8)Human relations

You need to be charming, in some way. What you lack in technique, looks, or general goods , could be filled in by your human relation skills.

9)Good luggage

Seriously- for me: one of the major things. Investing in a good piece of luggage (or a few) is my number one rule. Traveling the world with a four- wheeler samsonite (and also a carry on) has changed my existance. Life is so much better. Spend that money , you won't regret it!

10)Travel/ accommodation

Don't try to save a buck on how you travel and where you stay.
avoiding an extra connection, 4 hours lay over or a dumpy cold and empty hotel room, will make your life so much nicer.
When traveling becomes your world, your hotel room is your home. Make it nice for yourself and your entire being will be elevated.

11)Support circle

Along your career, you will be subjected to unimaginable amount of opinions and criticism. You will be reviewed, you will be loved and hated, you will be watched and no matter how well you think you did, it is never going to be well enough for some.
Pick only a handful of people in your life whom you trust. Make them your support circle. They should be the only people you can TRULY listen to, take advice from, and still feel safe and loved and constructive.

12)Etiquette skills

Like languages, it is important to know when to talk how to talk which fork to use for which dish and how to approach people.
You will find that schmoozing and having fancy meals with fancy people is as large a part as the actual singing.
If you can't stand social etiquette rules, it's fine too,. You can always acquire a "bad boy" image and play against the rules. That's an image too. But before you do that- Know how to behave anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!! R U sure U don't go to teeching / instructing career in the far future??!!
Very impressive indeed!!

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Zhibek said...

I must say: inspiring)

8:53 AM  

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