As I have watched American Idol for some added blog inspiration this season, I am really feeling for the singers during their judgement from the panelists. It brings back a lot of memories for me as a singer when it comes to receiving conflicting advice from your mentors. It can be extremely confusing to the “green” and even not so “green” singer. What do you take to heart, what do you learn from, and what do you ignore?
When 4 people are giving you conflicting advice, or even 2 people what do you do?
It is a very hard position to be in as a singer because we want so much to please the people in charge. We need the job, we want to keep the job, and we have to get the next job. Think of all the pressure and opinions one singing gig may have: your teacher, any opposing teachers on your technique, your conductor, your coach, your pianist, your band members, or director, or choreographer, your producer, your agent, your parent, your boyfriend, the music critic, the audience…
Everyone has an opinion on how you should sing and what you should do to make yourself better. Whether they are talking about your technique, your song choice, your fach (vocal category), your personal style, or your genre of choice.
This is a really tough position to be in. For example on American Idol last night Randy told Katie Stevens that she was singing perfectly in her R&B genre while Simon Cowell said she was a country singer. This is a young girl who is very talented who needs to find her way receiving conflicting advice by two highly acclaimed professionals. How is she supposed to deal with that?
That is a lot of pressure. All you can do singers is pick a few people to trust who have a great record of experience that you respect and listen to them. Then take it all in and listen to your gut. The truth is, it is you standing up there, being judged. You need to feel 100% true to how you are presenting what you’ve got inside from the truest voice to the most honest emotions conveyed. You have to be happy with your outfit and your own hair style. You need to feel connected to your song choice and cozy in your genre selection.
At the end of the day, when the lights come down, the answer is in your gut and instinct. Use a few wise people to help guide you to that true place. You are the one to receive the acclaim or critique of your performance no matter who told you to do what. So own your decisions and choices, but make sure you do so with a professional positive attitude.
-I can guarantee you that you will be judged for them.
Sing well people!
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