Yes, we all do and will continue to make dumb mistakes in life. But just remember in the singing business you will always be remembered for those dumb mistakes, so try and avoid them by being professional at all points of your career.
Here are a couple of my own stupid move confessionals of mine. Perhaps admitting them to the “public” will help free me of them!
The stupid young singer I was- (totally embarrassing to admit)
Out of college I was given a lot of work by different opera companies, I didn’t realize what a big deal that was. I was very young to the business, during that time and I became overwhelmed by all that needed to be done. With all my responsibilities, I pulled out of a production that I was supposed to understudy the lead in because it didn’t seem important to me and I really just didn’t want to do it with all the other work I had going on.
What I should have done was declined the offer from the beginning graciously, but I was too uncomfortable to say no. I kept thinking I would some how deal with it. I never even opened the score to learn the music and then pulled out just before rehearsals started claiming personal reasons.
This was sooo dumb of me, and so irresponsible. I was so self absorbed (normal for that age but…) it was just to understudy the part so somehow I felt it was ok at the time. That forever marked me with that company. Something I would never ever do today, but yet years later I will be remembered as a flake by them.
You must remember that your actions effect everyone around you, not just yourself.
After that last minute drop out of mine, someone was sent in a scurry to find a replacement. And then some other poor singer had to rush and learn a part. Totally not fair of me. I’m sorry for that!
My senior Recital
To contrary belief, the world does NOT revolve around you
Being an Opera singer was my whole focus and world for many years. When I was a senior at USC I had a senior recital. This was my main event in school a full length recital that I performed with accompaniment full stage my own program etc… This was my whole focus- lived and breathed it.
Anyway, the recital went great, and I filled the theater. But, there were a few people at that time in my life that I had been working under regularly in the music business doing concerts, mentoring with etc… Some of these people did not attend my concert and I was extremely hurt. I would even say I felt betrayed by them for not attending. As a result, I held a “childish” grudge against them, was cold and sulky when I saw them, tried to make them feel guilty etc… HOW LAME I WAS!
These musicians were older than me and professionals with their own lives and families. I could not comprehend them not attending my marvelous event on a Saturday night. But in fact, it was not their responsiblitiy to be there. I can see now, how hard it would have been for them to attend every concert of every musician that they new and that it really was not a big deal on their spectrum, even though I am sure they had wished me their best.
I should have just sent them a copy with a big smile, and left it at that with no expectations of them watching it. It proved me to be unprofessional that I took it so personally them not being at my concert.
The truth is, not everyone is going to be your fan. Let your fans be your fans, but never pressure that out of someone. You don’t want to come off bratty, and childish.
The better you get, and the more concerts you give, the more people will come. You should not have to beg for it. I probably am the opposite at this point to a fault. I rarely let people know, (unless they are on a fan mailing list), that I am performing because I don’t want anyone to feel that pressure in our friendships to attend my concert. I never want anyone to feel obligated.
All in all, these events happened, but they are not isolated, and I am sure there are many more I’ve done. The impression you give once stays with people. I still encounter these people in different capacitites years later now and I always feel a bit dumb and “young” around them as a result of my dumb actions in the past even though I have had many years of experience and success in my own life.
Remember, you never know how these people will be in your life in the future and to whom they may spread these stories. Try and keep your reputation squeaky clean. Be professional at all times.
Do you have any sage advice on dumb acts that have stuck to you? Come on, help our readers prevent your own mistakes by sharing them with us! I would love to hear back from you!
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