The beauty of cream...

The beauty of cream...
I am now in the summer of my 27th year of teaching...how is that possible?!
Granted, I wasn't teaching full time throughout, but have always maintained a teaching studio during those 27 years in some form or other.

Now,  this is my primary focus.  It has become clearer and clearer to me that teaching is my first best destiny.  I will sing when I can (not able to perform yet due to our accident just over a year ago) but I will concentrate on what it is I believe I can truly do FIRST.

As I see the singers, the artists, the performers, the dreamers,  the delusional (!) come through my studio and watch them on stage - as well as the colleagues and peers and mentors I admire and learn from - I see cream.

The saying is "cream always rises to the top".  It is true.  What is interesting is, what is "the top"?

What I am truly recognizing is that "the top" doesn't have to be an "A" house, or Broadway, or a creation of "arrival" or "I've made it". 

Cream rises and is obvious WHEREVER it is.

The lack of knowledge and integrity frankly, ASSUMES that if you aren't singing at a certain house, with a certain conductor,  in a certain production,  you simply aren't good enough.

SO wrong.  Period.

Cream rises to the top in community productions, semi-professional productions, off off Broadway, in the middle of nowhere, Fringe church basement theatres right up and through the so-called bright lights of Broadway and The Met and La Scala. 

What isn't cream exists in all those places too by the way.  Just because you are on Broadway or at The Met doesn't make you cream.  And, just because you have decided to work only with smaller companies, or do semi-professional work, doesn't make you NOT cream.

Cream rises because it DOES.  Where it chooses to reveal itself and develop from has everything to do with the artist - and I DO say artist.  Real cream rises, because there is an artist breathing and living their craft.  Where they choose to do that,  and where the business chooses to welcome them is always an interesting dance.

Some choose to simply work locally.  They do not desire to pursue a career outside of their town.  They can still rise to the top in their own environment.  It's not a shame. It's a choice.  If they are happy and content,  then that's enough. 

Some are simply met with roadblocks - in life, in the business.  They are cream,  they rise, and they are ignored.  Either the business makes a place for you, or you make a place for yourself.  Wherever you land, you still rise.  Unfair?  Who said it was fair?!

"You should be singing...." fill in the rest.  Says who?  Why?  What makes where you sing more important that WHY?  More important than WHO you are?  WHAT you are about?

The business of theatre is full of mediocre - often times, trying not to be found out.  However, even in the mire of lowest common denominator,  the cream still rises.  It simply cannot be stirred into the melting pot of what makes people comfortable or what doesn't feel threatening.

Cream rises, and it is embraced or often, dismissed.  Some pretend it simply isn't there.  Some don't want to acknowledge its existence at worst, or at best, want to try to marginalize it.

One thing is certain,  real cream - the good stuff - will always reveal itself.  WHERE it reveals itself starts with the self-realization it is there at all.

There is a hierarchy.  It doesn't mean only the cream gets the prize, or only the cream works.  The business reveals that daily, just look around!  However,  the hierarchy by definition, reveals itself in the DOING.  The status, the ability and the action of that allows the cream to be realized and nurtured, or realized and ignored.

Regardless,  cream is cream.  There is no denying it.  You can pretend it isn't cream, but it's cream.  It rises, and it's GOOD.  It is TRUE.  It exposes what's not and it is separate from what it is not. 

You can be singing/performing/discovering anywhere.  The place is not the issue.  The reason WHY is the issue.  The decision WHY is the reality.  Cream or not.

In 27 years of teaching,  cream is rare.  I see it coming, even in its rawest form! I have seen it on stages worldwide,  and in small black box theatres and cabaret houses, high school auditoriums and on church platforms.  If we acknowledge it, nurture it,  it makes ALL of us rise to the height of what we can do and claim to do.  Cream doesn't have to be threatening.  It should be challenging!!

We don't all have to be cream, because we are not.  That doesn't mean we don't have a role to play,  and don't have a journey to explore to find our best selves and truest selves.  Just release assumption,  and discover and acknowledge and grow!




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

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