I'm currently at a bit of a crossroad in my life.
I love singing and opera, and since the age of 15, it is what I have wanted to dedicate my life to. I started training towards a career as an opera singer.
Cut to 10 years later, aged 25. I moved abroad and spent a year figuring things out and reflecting on my life.
I still am extremely passionate about singing and opera, but something has changed.
I had dreams of becoming a professional opera singer, and up until recently, this has been my main goal. However, the older I get, and the more knowledge I gain about the industry as it currently stands, I realise that this may not be exactly the right path for me. This is not because I lack the competences to be able to do it, but simply because there are aspects of the career which are revealing themselves to be potential deal-breakers.
Let me be clear, it is not the work which I have a problem with, and I am NOT putting an end to that: I love to sing, I love the music, I love to immerse myself in all that a performance entails, I love to learn, I love to refine my skills, I love the personal growth which happens as a part of improving as an artist, I love the business side of things - marketing, networking, and all that jazz...
My main issues with the career itself are as follows:
- The uncertainty and lack of security: I'm a planner, a worrier, a stresser, a panicker, a perfectionist. These traits are not a good thing when pursuing a career as a performer. My stress levels are often higher than they probably should be, and throughout my life, this has often been reflected in performance.
- Waiting: I'm not someone who likes to rely on too many external influences when it comes to getting where I want to in life. I am ambitious, and am happy to seek/create my own opportunities. Of course, sometimes it is necessary to wait, and I appreciate that there is a time and a place for waiting. However, I am at a point where working jobs, which do not lead in the direction I want, just for money to be able to afford my next lesson or audition application, is getting tiresome. Waiting on approval by people with power. Waiting on phone calls and emails which may never come. Waiting to be given a chance, at last, once you stop being told that you just need to wait. It is not the fact of having to wait that is difficult; the problem is that there are so many THINGS to wait for.
- The cost: It is expensive to pursue opera singing. From degrees, to lessons, to coachings, to outfits, to audition applications, to auditions themselves, to marketing expenses, and the list goes on... all out of your own pocket. My bank account balance and student loan debt are increasingly growing in priority.
So, where am I at?
I am currently contracted as an au pair until July, so I have until then (the sooner, the better, however) to figure out my next steps. At this point, there is one option in particular which is standing out to me, where I would be still working in the opera world, just not as an opera singer. More on that if it happens. I'm also listing my other options.
Whatever happens, I still intend to continue to develop my skills as an opera singer, and to continue to seek opportunities to perform etc at a high level. I have some performances coming up, which I am very much looking forward to. I will just be placing less of a focus on making that my career. Allowing myself to broaden out a bit, and do more of what brings my life fulfillment. I'm still on the same road, I'm just changing lanes.