Bring Your Best!

Bring Your Best!
Tuesday musings...

I am about to adjudicate the Music Theatre Alberta Provincial Festival.

No - I will NOT be commenting on what I hear specifically on this blog, but it does bring up some important discussions of competition, and the weariness of it, and its place in the larger scheme of things.

What are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before embarking on that competition stream?

First and foremost, why are you doing it?  What does this competition serve?

If you are clear about the REASON you do it, then it shall serve you more authentically.

There really isn't a right or wrong answer;  everybody's reasons can be very different - from gaining more experience, to getting another professional's opinion, to wanting to win some money, to showing off, to - you name it!

What is important to realize is that whatever your reason - it usually comes across.

If you are trying to impress,  you can't try to 'fake' being anything but trying to impress.

If you are trying to win, you will come across like that.

If you are trying to do your best, that comes across.

If you are scared to death, that also comes across.

So be true to your motivation.  I don't have to agree with it, but I can respect it if you are honest about it!

Competition has guidelines - have you jumped those hoops?  Have you truly prepared what is the best possible program to prepare - for you within the boundaries of that competition?  Are you truly prepared or are you flying by the seat of your pants?

Pretending, phony and shallow never read very well.  Don't pretend to be after the "artistic integrity" if you are only there to get a scholarship.  What's wrong with admitting to the truth? "I want to win some money" is so much more refreshing if it's the truth!

And when you say it, you own it.

So if you are going to make the truth known, then be prepared to claim those words.  And you claim it by DOING IT.

If you want to win that scholarship, then you have to do what is required.

If you want to present a well-balanced, artistic and nuanced program, then you must do what is required.

If you don't care, then we see that.

If you fake it,  we notice that.

As an adjudicator, I often don't need to remind a participant she/he is faking/flying by the seat of their pants/don't care/are doing it cause they felt they had to;  They already know that.  I can see they know I know.  I might make a comment that will let them know subtly I know they know I know (!) but why dwell on that?

Don't want to look bad? Just do the work.  Very very simple.

Want to learn to sing?  Then sing. Practice.  Learn.  Devote time and energy to it.

Want to perform?  Then perform.  Practice. Learn. Devote. Work.

Want to compete?  Then DO.  Practice. Learn.  Devote.  Work.

Whatever you have, bring it.  Whatever you want to do with it, be honest.

If you want to impress me it won't matter if there is nothing there to express.

You don't TRY once your foot hits the boards;  You DO.  The trying and discovering and the WORK happens in the practice room.  The DOING happens on the stage.

The DOING allows for your best.  The preparation and honesty allows for your truth to be seen and heard.

Say it. Own it. DO IT.

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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