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Your Day Job

This blog is about treating your career as a job, just as you would treat a day job.

Many of us in the arts have had to supplement our income with some sort of day or part-time job. Participating in the music business is expensive: your money goes to voice teachers, to music coaches, and very often to those ridiculous fees they charge you to even apply for an audition. The rest of your money goes to ‘stayin’ alive’. And what’s worse? The fees that are

paid for your services are less than they were five years ago. As my own agent put it, “$1500 is the new $3000!” - meaning, fees are commonly lower and there are fewer jobs out there.

So how do you manage that career of yours, when a large part of your week is spent at a job that is enabling you to afford a career, but which takes up so much of your time and energy?

With your day job, you show up on time, you use the skill set that got you hired, and then the day job ends and you have the rest of the time yourself. Where do you find the time and/or the energy to work on your own career, your own artistry, outside of the hours that you spend at your day job?

I was discussing this with a singer I know who does, indeed, have a full-time day job. This is exactly what she wrote to me about what she calls her “Daily Dream Deposit Diary and accompanying Morning Magic Walk”:

“I write down everything I’ve done in the preceding day to feed myself artistically or holistically (exercise,meaningful conversations, coachings, writing time, etc.) and I walk from 5th Ave to (my job at) school, doing anything that grounds me joyfully, reflectively in the day. I’ll call my parents, read while walking, write something - it all counts as artistry time and has been so centering and directive for the rest of the time in the day.”

A large part of my work is listening to what singers share with me, in coachings and conversations, because that’s how I can learn from their shared experiences. So I think that a good way of working on your career and your artistry is to gather, no — horde the positive things you hear or read. Get together for meals or just coffee with singer friends, and share insights, ideas, anything that occurs to you, even if you feel like you have to preface it with “I know this probably sounds silly/stupid/obvious/dumb but …” and say it anyway.

All of our work is a process, something that evolves over time. The ideas and images that come to mind are where your artistry begins! Get over the academic idea that there is only one right way of interpreting your material, one way of ‘acting’ the character, and that you have to find it and present it the only accepted way. One of the singers in my studio imagines he is singing an aria about discovering a murder as if he were singing to the ghosts in the movie “The Shining”!

Your imagination is your most important tool. Start trying to understand what your doing for .

There are so many things you can do that are not actually working on your voice. Just look at your aria and start to break it down: who are you as a person and not as someone’s boyfriend or servant. Figure out whom you’re talking to and figure out why.

And I’ll help you figure out the why and what that means in another blog.

Meanwhile, contact me by clicking the link below.

Tell me what you think about this blog, if it helps you, if it inspires you or even (heaven forbid!) if it somehow confuses you. It’s your career, after all, and you want to understand everything that you can do to enhance it!

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