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A Singing Career
There are many people who start out as performers and become disappointed that they don’t become the next Kelly Clarkson or Bernadette Peters. There are many fantastic performers who quit within a few years. I was happy to be able to do what I loved best, performing. I didn’t care if it was for ten dollars or a thousand.
Of course, as you get older you find that there are many, many great singers. Many good voices. That does not mean that you can’t be one of them. It just means you have to work hard. So how do you distinguish yourself from the others to become the performer you want to be, maybe even a star?
First you have to know you want to sing more than anything else. Whether it is in a rock band, a musical or an opera.
Performing looks easy, but it takes dedication and hard work and can be extremely stressful. The reward of course is wonderful as well, which is why those of us bitten by the showbiz bug choose to torture ourselves.
Always keep learning how to be a better singer
You want to make sure that you are as knowledgeable in your field as you possibly can be. You should always be reading, taking classes, generally improving your skills. Take workshops, go see people you admire, and listen, listen, listen.
I teach music theory, sight singing, and ear training along with your regular vocalise (that is fancy talk for vocal exercises).
This comes in handy when you are asked to learn a song that you may have never heard before. You want to be able to learn quickly so you can concentrate on interpreting the song. You don’t want to be caught up in the technical aspects of singing when the director is trying to imagine you performing the song. He or she can’t do that if you are struggling to learn notes.
Practice Your Singing All The Time
You need to make sure that you are physically at your peak. You should be doing your vocal exercises at least 15 min. to a ½ hour every day. This will ensure that you can sing anytime of day or night.
How many times have you heard the excuse “its too early in the morning, my voice hasn’t warmed up yet”. With consistent practice you will never have that problem.
Exercise, Fitness and Dance
Also, what about your body? What makes someone a good singer? Well, you have to have good, strong breath control, good posture, a good ear and flexible vocal chords. So, I suggest you have a nice comfortable workout routine. You want to be as fit as you can be. No one wants to hear you gasping for breath as you try to hold out that note, or see you slouching when you sing. If you have ever sung opera you will understand how important it is to have great breath control. Some of the best “workouts” in singing I have ever had came from singing arias. Exercise will give you the flexibility, posture and control you need to help you with your singing.
I suggest if you follow the musical theatre or pop singer route learning dance techniques is only going to make you more valuable as a performer. As I am sure you know many pop stars do their own dancing and Musical Theatre and dancing sometimes go hand in hand. Also, it just simply gives one confidence to know that they look and feel their best. It doesn’t hurt either that if you are exercising and dancing that you are going to look good too. You want to be able to compete on all levels. You don’t want to lose a part just because you were out of shape and the other person wasn’t.
Make sure you take some acting classes as well as your voice lessons. How you interpret a song and make an audience feel your story can make all the difference. You need to be able to perform a song not just sing pretty. Moving an audience takes more than just standing there and belting out pretty notes. You don’t want to bore your audience. Some of your biggest stars don’t necessarily have the prettiest voices, but they can sure sing the heck out of a song.
Keep a look out on finding Master Classes and other training by musical professionals, these can be unbelievably helpful and motivating and teach you tricks that have taken other people years to learn.
Earn a Living While You Earn Your Way
In my experience the one biggest obstacle I came across was how to find the money to take the classes, the lessons and afford to pay my bills, my rent etc…and find the time to audition. It can be exhausting and monetarily draining to live this way. So, I encourage you to find creative ways to make money.
Many singers will do weddings on the weekends. A lot of people want one or two songs sung at the church and it pays well and doesn’t take up your whole day. Many church choirs will hire a few select singers to sing the lead vocals. Again it doesn’t take a lot of time out of your day, you get paid and you’re keeping your voice in shape at the same time. Look for jobs that use your skills and that are flexible.
Obviously, everyone knows waiting tables is the standard job of most performers, which I have done and you will probably do as well. I found children’s theatre to be one of the best sources of income for a performer starting out. Usually, it was during the day, it paid well and I was performing which I loved and I was also teaching and giving back to children. It was most rewarding.
Singing with a band is also another great way to perform in front of an audience, practice your skills, and just have a great time doing what you love.
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