Friday morning musing...
Theatre - be in straight theatre, music theatre, opera - the arts in general really, tend to draw strong personalities to its bosom! Okay laugh! To some of you that's going to sound so tame!!!
As artists and emerging artists, we tend to have larger than life personalities, we tend to be passionate creatures, we tend to be driven, or focused, or a little Type A! And, we tend to respond HARD and react vehemently - positively OR negatively to life and situations, and our emotions are strong and can be triggered often, very easily. Where do you suppose the title "Drama Queen" came from!?!?!
This is another development when you are creating the "team" around you and finding people to work with that you can trust and recognizing that full disclosure is not necessary, but communication skills are VERY necessary to create the ground rules and the boundaries to these unique relationships.
Artists study for many different reasons; not every opera singer wants to be at The Met! Not every Music Theatre singer wants to be on Broadway. Everybody studies and develops for different reasons - and performing is only one of those reasons. Not every voice or every talent has the potential to be a professional! The reasons and the directions are just as complex as the individual that holds them.
You might have a world-class instrument and not have the desire to pursue it and sacrifice for it, in a world-class market. Is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely NOT! It's your talent and you develop it on your terms!! Just remember, your teacher is an artist too - and the temperament will respond and want to challenge you to see where it takes you, unless you COMMUNICATE what is important to you!
Finding a teacher and coaches you can trust is often a painstaking experience and you may have several or many throughout your years of study. However, COMMUNICATION IS KEY to discover fully what you can find with that teacher/coach and how you can grow. Emotional reaction is not reliable enough in situations like this!
Sometimes, through communication, you might come to a place where you have to agree to disagree, or even part ways, because you are just not on the same wave length and it gets in the way of development. That is okay - you earned your way through it and away. Sometimes, it's a miscommunication and once your state your concerns, it was a misunderstanding, or a discovery you can work through with a teacher or a coach, and you can find an answer and move ahead!
Just don't go into passionate disbelief and stew and brood and allow the moment to fester and gain a pulse and a name and take over your life!!! DEAL with issues in the studio - straight on, no fuss, no mess, no emotional investment!
Great teachers and coaches want to know what they can do FOR you and WITH you. They are the professionals and will give you the reasons why. They will suggest, coax, foresee, and help you build and create a stronger foundation in which your craft is mounted. But, even though some of us are sensitive, we can't read minds!!! YOU must tell us what we need to know in order for that space between to be active and healthy and secure!
And if it isn't respected - you can move on. And not be tied in knots because of it!
COMMUNICATION eliminates the need to angst over situations. We as artists have enough to angst over, and feel over...
So leave the drama on the stage....and develop those communication skills for those relationships that will help prepare you and keep you focused FOR the stage!
p.s. teachers and coaches - we need to develop these skills too...!!! If we don't, we can't meet a singer where they are.
Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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