I have said many times, being an artist, and being an artist making a living in the business are NOT the same thing.
The luxury of "feeling like it" or "feeling something" has nothing to do with either.
And as my beloved and wise father once said to me as I was having a teenage rant many moons ago - "when did feeling or fair have anything to do with it?"
As an artist we WANT to feel; however as an artist doing a job, feeling can be the death of us.
Artistry is not craft. Craft is the skill that needs to be built to allow the artistic spirit a place to be seen.
As singers we can simplify thus: The voice begins in the imagination; the body must be trained to house that imagination and make it tangible. Training takes time, discipline and focus. Training takes DOING.
We can read all the pedagogy books, manuals, motivational books, and talk about it all we want, but that will NOT build the muscles in order to SING! WE MUST DO IT!
Just like anything else - you cannot be a chef unless you cook; you cannot be a dancer unless you dance; you cannot be a writer unless you write; you cannot be a singer unless you SING! Singing is DOING not wishing, not wondering, not waiting for a feeling.
Doing has NOTHING to do with feeling. The irony is, often when we just DO, we become motivated, exhilerated, inspired in the process OF doing.
I don't feel like exercising. I can read all the diet books I want; I can look at exercises; but until I get off my ass and get on that bike, I won't lose the weight. Wishing is NOT doing. The physicality has to be trained.
Finding your voice, means building a place for it to live! You don't find your voice by reading about voice. You don't find your voice just on the days when you "feel" inspired.
When you are doing a show 8 times a week, or you have an opera in repertoire, trust me, there are many nights you don't FEEL like it. YOU DO IT. It is your job.
If you are responsible for discovering your voice, it is your responsibility to find it! DO IT!
Can you summon your talent at will? Can you DO IT? If you can't yet, then there is still work to do. Work demands a choice, not a feeling, nor an excuse.
The only way you are going to find that true voice is by DOING. By taking time each day to discover the physicality and athleticism of your body and how the muscles respond and build in order for the voice to become tangible. Wanting is not doing. Doing is doing.
Artistry is HOW your spirit lives; Craft is the manifestation of that living in the form of disciplined magic!!!
Dare to quit talking about it and actually DO IT.
You don't have to feel a thing.
Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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