When asking singers new to me what their goals are, inevitably I get one of these two answers from time to time:
I wanna be on Broadway.
I wanna sing at the Met.
As we enter another audition season, another performance season, another academic year, we shall hear these two lines, and many others similar, in many places: the voice studio, the audition hallway, the student lounge...
And as a music theatre veteran gypsy said to me last week while rolling her eyes: "So do a lot of people honey, get in line!"
I shall go one further.
What does that MEAN to you? Being on Broadway? Singing at the Met?
Since you haven't done it, you don't know what the reality of that is.
So what does it represent to you?
Often when inexperienced, or naive, or something else that is vague, we come up with pat answers like this. It reveals MUCH as to where you are in the bigger picture of the journey. Don't worry, we've all been there.
I just want to challenge your language in order to help you find out what you REALLY want.
If you don't know you can't figure out how to do it, or how to get there.
What is it about "Broadway" that appeals? Why? Is it the actual location? Is it the prestige it evokes? What do you need to do to "be there?" Do you even know?
What about The Met? What does that represent? What makes you qualified? Why? What would it
give you? What can you give it? What do you need to achieve and develop to allow you an opportunity to be there? And if that opportunity comes, what does it mean?
The more "pat" your answers are, the more questions I will have!
What do you KNOW about the location you want so badly?
Is it the place or what it represents? What does it represent to you? Why is that the goal?
How do you do that?
How do you develop knowledge, craft & tenacity to achieve it?
Is wanting it enough? What do you actually have to DO????
Start with your answer, or your supposed answer. Allow yourself permission to change it, once you have started to structure what is needed to get there.
If destination is important, then how you get there has to be precise. Do you know what it takes to find that precision? Are you prepared?
Do you even know the questions to ask?
Or, are you beginning to wonder if that "pat answer" has more flexibility? Maybe the journey, maybe the discovery, maybe the work and the self-awareness will actually reveal less rigidness and more fluidity to take paths of possibilities you won't see right away.
The more we learn, the more questions we have, and the more we seek, and the more we learn, and the more we discover, the deeper we become and the clearer we become and the more questions we ask and....
If your goal is a destination only, perhaps it's time to start asking questions.
What's the first question?
Why am I doing this?
Why am I here?
Why is that my answer?
Happy questions! There should always be more of those than answers anyway! Otherwise, why bother seeking the answer if the question isn't asked?
ASK QUESTIONS! LOTS OF THEM!!!!!
They will lead you to more questions, to possibilities, and answers that morph and flex with the growth of YOU!
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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