“There’s a prejudice against this in the industry; an idea that, unless you’re near the end of a very successful international career, you really shouldn’t be doing anything professionally other than singing and maybe teaching a few lessons or giving a few master classes here and there. Somehow, if you aren’t singing ALL THE TIME you aren’t serious, or successful, or something. Producers aren’t the only ones guilty of this belief; we singers spend a lot of time aggrandizing our workload for the benefit of colleagues, as well,” writes Cindy Sadler in her recent post The Secret Lives of Singers.
I read on nodding throughout the entire post and I bet you will too. Singers arrange their lives and their income streams around being a musician. In the present day, it can be near impossible for all but the most successful singers to earn a total income simply from singing. In fact, I admittedly advocate for emerging divas to diversify their income streams (see: 29 Days to Diva: Day 16 — Get a Side Gig.) It is important for us to disallow ourselves from feeding the illusion that Cindy mentions to ourselves, to our closest friends and family, to our agents, and to the general public. It was disenchanting to me when I first started working and could not figure out how “everyone else” was doing it. How could those other singers pay their students loans on those fees? How are they getting health insurance? How this, how that, etc. etc. etc… We all have our secret lives but I encourage you to comment on Cindy’s post and disclose a few of the ways that you make it work.
Click here to read and comment on Cindy Sadler’s “The Secret Lives of Singers”
Ezra Donner says
Right now I think of teaching as my ‘day job’. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t take tremendous pride in teaching, nor does it mean that I don’t recognize the amazing opportunity this gives me to touch lives. I feel incredibly lucky to have such a stimulating and worthwhile day job, and I know a lot people, doing lots of different kinds of work, feel the same way.
Thanks for commenting. I agree with you. However, I think people still make a judgement between teaching and office day jobs. That’s why it is so important for us to stick up for all of our skills – no matter the areas they are in.