I had responded to a post a few days ago on a singer board that was basically "Now what do I do?"
I am always amazed at the unending need by some singers for a "specific plan" to be a singer. If you need that specificity, then perhaps you are not a singer. Perhaps you just like to sing. And that's okay - don't get me wrong!!! But asking for a specific path and not having the sensibility to invest in the growth of self sends me a red flag that perhaps you need to look at another vocation!
Now what do you do? You invest in YOU.
Many have a sense of the cost of things and don't know or understand the value of anything. I have said this before. Investing in the self takes more than just time and money. The multi-faceted development of a human being is not designed to work primarily from that premise. The cost of things is imposed on us by a social-economic viewpoint. The INVESTMENT into self BY self is something else.
Are you willing to discover what that self NEEDS and meet those needs? This is an ongoing compromise and is constantly morphing and changing. Are you willing to recognize it and greet it openly?
HOW do you invest in yourself?
There are the obvious outward things, and there are the more subtle and exceptional internal things.
Are you as healthy as you can be? Physically, emotionally, spiritually? Are you aware of those needs? Do you feed them? Do you nurture them?
Are you aware of your voice and its needs and its reality? Do you know HOW to study? WHAT to study? WHY to study? Do you know with WHOM to study and WHEN?
Do you see your journey til now a chore, a would-a, could-a, should-a - or do you see it as the path to NOW? Can you make choices that will affect your decisions NOW based on then with more information or are you still living back there?
Do you wallow? Do you gloat? Do you be-moan? Or are you open, moving through, recognizing and claiming?
Do you recognize the process is never complete because YOU are constantly in an evolutionary state? And that this is a GREAT thing????
The money you spend on lessons, coachings, classes in voice or theatre or acting or languages or dialects or dance or or or...is only a fraction of the investment in self. It is a tangible exchange, but what you DO with that exchange is KEY. If you are not finding what you need/want/desire, then why are you there? Do you know WHY you are there? Are you spinning your wheels just going through the motions of "now what"?
What are you trying to DO? What are you gaining and wanting to accomplish? The DOING is in the NOW - it is not in the past, nor in the future - but it shapes how we view what comes next!
You can spend money and time and that investment is only a small portion of the enormity of investing in self. If you are not PRESENT to the understanding of WHY then you lose its value in all aspects of investment...you lose the money, your time, and the value of the information given will never penetrate.
I often am told by a singer "Why hasn't someone told me that before?" or "Why didn't I come to you before now?"
Why? It's not because I hold all the answers. It is because YOU are ready to hear what I said and YOU are ready to invest in YOU WITH ME.
You may have been told that before. You weren't ready to hear it. Or you couldn't hear it yet. And if you can't hear it, you cannot DO it. Whatever you have done, has lead you to where you are. There are no coincidences.
Invest in the VALUE of self by recognizing the value of time, commitment, process and developing the evolution of self. You will learn what you are able to learn at any given time. So much of what we take in as artists cannot be developed immediately. Artistry is not immediacy. Artistry is living and breathing and paying attention to each moment of each day with a certain sensitivity, with a certain kind of eye, with a certain kind of ear, with a certain kind of spirit.
Investing in the value of self is crucial for every artist. Knowing the value and claiming that value will always outlive the cost.
"What do I do now?" Perhaps if you must ask that, you need to be still and look around carefully to find the answer. Perhaps the answer does not come from outside, but rather, from you. Perhaps you need some time to discover it, be ready for it, be willing to understand it.
Perhaps being in your "NOW" is critical to have a moment of recognition - of SELF. Of whether you truly are investing in it, or just paying for it.
Susan Eichhorn Young
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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