The YUCK of this singing business.
I probably talk about it a lot. But it is a huge issue with our business. The singing business. You just want to get on the stage and sing your heart out, I know. I was the same, I just wanted the job so I could work hard and sing my best for people- no politics. Unfortunately, the steps to get there can be quite ugly. It is very hard to avoid the yuck, as hard as you may try.
I am inspired to write this after a lesson I had last week a student of mine who is fabulous. She is 11 years old and is truly an insanely good little singer. Not only can she sing, she is professional and way beyond the normal maturity of an 11 year old girl- a thrill to teach. (every voice teacher should be blessed with one of these in their studio).
She is a working singer. Meaning she is regularly getting gigs and being paid to perform which I think is amazing at her age. Unfortunately, she is all ready at this young age being put into a lot of yucky situations. And I feel for her. Because, I too experienced very similar yuck in my own singing career all to often.
I don’t want to get into the details of her situation, but essentially she was banned from an audition which she definitely was made to be cast in because of some disgruntled person who took something she did negatively a few years ago and spread their dislike and and contempt for her in a poisonous way to to her people in the industry. As a result she was turned down for an audition by a director who NEVER EVEN MET HER. That’s right, turned down to be heard for an audition (she is 11), not turned down for the part after being heard at the audition.
This to me is unbelievably disgusting. To black list an 11 year old girl from hearsay is so sad. Her resume is huge, she has since then been requested to fly out for a BROADWAY audition because she is so good and professional, but yet, this director who never met her, won’t see her because of hearsay.
But you know what? It does not surprise me. This singing professional is filled with stories like this. There is an ugliness, (or for this blog) YUCK , that will not go away, no matter how hard you try to be nice, do your job, and show up with a smile. There is always someone who you will cross who will not like you and will spread poisonous words about you.
It is a small business in the sense that so many people know each other. As a result a simple ugly incident with one person can spread like a flame onto your reputation for many to hear and judge you about for years to follow, without you ever being able to explain your side of the story.
Ahhhh, you may be thinking, Ariella is so dismal today, where is the hope if this is so true?
The hope my readers/singers, is inside you. Know who you are. Know why you sing. Sing for yourself. Find joy in what you are doing outside of what others think. There are absolutely breaks to be had and wonderful experiences to enjoy in this singing business. But the dark side is there Jedis (really geeky I know), you need to face it and know what it is so that you are not caught off guard when it hits. Be prepared.
This student of mine is amazing, she is able to just push a ahead. She is in New York right now to audition for a Broadway show. Who knows if she will get it but what an opportunity for an 11 year old. And on the bright side and something to hold on to, is that her Broadway audition was given to her for the same reason that the other audition wasn’t, it was hearsay from another director who loved her and recommended her. So just goes to show you. How crazy this business can be.
I wish I could put a glass bubble around all you singers to protect you from the ugliness in this business and allow you to just sing. Unfortunately, I can’t, but you can. Here’s an older blog I wrote on that subject for further insight:
Be strong singers. Know who you are. Try and stay neutral, you never know which one you meet may turn out NOT to be your friend.
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