Monday, 24 June 2013

A welcome message


Where does the time go? How am I nearly 40? I have been at this singing/acting lark professionally for around 15 years, with varying degrees of success, but it feels like only yesterday that I took my first singing job in the chorus of Opera Holland Park. I was paid £900 in total for an entire summer season in 1997. In those days they only did three operas so I was part of the chorus in Tosca, Iris (great piece by Mascagni for those who don't know it) and Eugene Onegin. I doubt the fee has gone up much since then, but, despite the paltry monetary reward, I had a wonderful time, made some life long friends and I did think it would be the start of a very starry career. It was the start of a career that is for sure and there has been the odd star involved but, as with life in general, things rarely go the way you think they will. So as I approach the milestone age of 40 I am tired, cynical and seem to have much more fun commenting, always with love (except for Katherine Jenkins), on other singer's attempts to achieve perfection as I will never attain it.
I love singing, I really do, and no matter what you think if you have ever heard me, I am mediocre at best. I have accepted this and it does not change the fact that I still love singing. They do say "those who can, do and those who can't, teach" so it is unsurprising that I find myself teaching from my little garret (not Lesley) in Croydon, although I am prepared to travel!!! I do have an ability to hear someone and know what they need to do to make it better which is quite handy when you deign to call yourself a teacher of singing! My style of teaching involves a lot of tweaking as opposed to actually teaching someone to sing. In fact my company tagline is "everyone can sing" (although if anyone has ever heard my brother sing they may dispute this fact). We can ALL "sing". We just don't all necessarily sing, naturally, in tune. Everyone's ear can be trained, and I include my brother's ear in this. 
I should point out I haven't given up on the singing. I am still slogging away and going to every audition possible. Two weeks ago I sang an operatic aria in one audition, a Pat Benetar rock song in another and a bit of Mary Poppins in a third. I am nothing if not versatile. I will keep striving for perfection because it is a bit like a drug. When I don't sing it does feel like withdrawal and I am itching for another fix. I really don't mean to be flippant about drug addiction, I know that it is a ridiculously hard habit to break, but anyone who goes through the amount of auditions and rejection I go through surely also sometimes think an addiction to a Class A substance would be easier to handle.
With all that said, I welcome you to my blog. I plan to comment on any singing I hear over the coming weeks. If this is something you would like to read then please just follow my blog and I will TRY to make it interesting for you. Nobody wants reading to be a chore!

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