Running the Gauntlet

Running the Gauntlet
part two of yesterday's musings...

As one dares to and has courage to discover one's true voice,  there is then a landscape a singer needs to navigate.  That landscape is called the business.

The business is not necessarily welcoming, and often can be hostile.

The business is not necessarily loyal, and often dismissive.

How do you function here?  What tools do you need to develop to stay true to your artistry, and yet find a place to inhabit in the business?

Often you will sing for many who know nothing about voice.  They have the authority to make decisions, but no real knowledge to back those decisions up.  This is when type/fach/likeness comes into play.

Authority is one thing;  Power over is something else.  Power is something YOU relinquish.

YOU can still decide how you wish to navigate the mine field called "business".

Ultimately,  you decide what truths you wish to offer or not. Sometimes, in business, keeping the truth or certain truths to yourself in order to get through/get to, is necessary for survival.  Keep the truth to yourself is not denying the truth.  Revealing the truth at the proper time is recognizing where you are.

You cannot reveal the truth, nor keep the truth quiet if you don't know it!

You need to discover truth about your artistry and your instrument to recognize when you compromise, if you compromise, with whom you compromise and how you compromise.

Recognizing likeness, type and fach should begin with YOU.  You should create this and not allow someone from outside to impose it.  Creating a structure around your artistry to enter the business will allow you to navigate more fully and more effectively.

Recognizing "business-speak" and using that to your advantage and not dismissing it is crucial to your ability to navigate the maze.

The business, your friends, your family, may all try to impose their judgement on you.  Your judgement of your ability, your artistry, your raison d'etre must be sound.  Then and only then can you make allowances,  and maneuver  through the maze of business!  Learning how to recognize judgements for what they are and who they are from will then allow you to make allowances, make changes, dismiss or reveal accordingly!

Knowing the truth of who you are, why you are, where you stand, who you stand in front of and why you stand there is CRUCIAL  and NECESSARY to make a way through this business.

Then, and only then, will the business make room for you, or you will make a place for yourself.

Nobody has ever had a career singing or dancing or acting "like" somebody else!  There is no such thing as two exact duplicates of anything.  Before there was a Leontyne Price, there was nobody like Price; before there was a Barbara Cook, there was nobody like Cook;  before there was a Pavarotti, there was nobody like Pavarotti;  Who were these people before the business knew them: themselves.

 "Like" or "type" is simply a way into the maze.  It does not define YOU.  The business does not define you.  You define yourself within the business.

Finding out what the business expectations are, challenges us as artists who choose to weave ourselves into it to find out for ourselves what is negotiable, and what is not.  Once we know the truth, we can then negotiate the bottom line.

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

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