It’s the New York City Marathon today. I know many who are out there running.
It got me musing…
What are you actually READY to do? And, if you aren’t ready, what are you willing to commit to, in order to be ready?
As singers, we MUST think athletically. No matter the genre, we have to think athletically, or the business and the demands will simply eat us alive.
So, as I look at the runners in the Marathon today, no matter their natural talent, their desire, their goals - what are they ready to do today?
Each one of them has their own “best”; their own "goal”. But how did they get there? Did they just wake up and say “I think I’ll apply to run in the NYC Marathon”? Then not commit to the ongoing training and cross-training necessary to be healthy, able & strong in order to cross that particular finish line without injury?
We, as singers, need to commit to this mindset. We also need to be honest with ourselves.
What are we actually ready to do? Right now?
Can you do a consistent 16/32 bar cut? Can you do it the way you want to in the audition room? Can you learn the sides for the callback? And then, what if they offer you the role? Can you “do” the demand of that role, in that show?
Can you sing your audition arias back to back to back for an audition panel in order to be considered viable to perform that role in their house?
It’s okay to say no. No I can’t. No I can’t, yet. No I won’t do that particular role, that particular show. No, and….
Every singer is unique. You have a unique physicality, a unique sound, a unique psyche. Until you truly commit to discovering what that true triple threat is all about, how will you know what you are ready to do, if you are ready to do it, when you are ready?
“It’s good enough” isn’t good enough. It’s just not. The business treats us like equipment. If we break, or can’t do it, we are simply replaced. Notice how the language has changed from “role” to “track” in music theatre? You are part of the assembly line. Yes, it’s ridiculous, but you don’t have to fall for it. You can be bigger than that. You can know more and be more aware than that.
You can be honest about what you want; about what you have; about what you have to do in order to access what you want, in order to see if that’s actually a good idea or not.
This is called training. This is called process. This is called craft. This is called technique.
Even the greatest of the greats train, hone, develop.
Why do athletes watch themselves on tape? Why do athletes go out after a match or game and keep practicing? Why do they cross-train? The athletic mindset is something each singer who says they want to pursue a career must embrace and develop if they want a chance, and then a chance to last and thrive!
So, why not take inventory? What are you ready to do, right now? If you aren’t sure, then it’s time to find out! Who are you training with? Why? What’s the focus? What do you do for your voice training? Your body training? Your mind training? What process are you developing in your artistic pursuit? Why do you audition exactly? If you were offered that dream role/job today, are you ready? Could you say YES and jump into that process or would you be scared out of your mind?
Whatever you are ready to do NOW, step up to the door and walk through. That’s the first step, and the one we keep coming back to, with each new realization of readiness. The NOW changes as the door changes.
Trust the process - but FIND it first. Don’t assume anything. Commit to the NOW so you are ready for that - whatever NOW means for you.
The marathon is ongoing. It’s about form, it’s about pacing, it’s about staying present and knowing what is needed based on what you have and what you ready to DO.
There is only one you. Commit to that, Choose you first. See what happens!
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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