Singing. It is what I think about when I wake up in the morning and it is what I think about as I lie in bed at the end of each day. I cannot fathom doing anything other than singing. My gift has gotten me through all of the best and worst times in my life—everything from a near fatal car accident and the sudden deaths of two friends to the feeling of joy and thanksgiving at my first professional engagement and the thrill of being rehired. I do not know where I would be now without my music. Singing continues to breathe life into my soul.
I believe that I was put on the earth to sing this beautiful music to heal my life and the lives of others. Singing allows us a chance to express that which we would not otherwise communicate. It also gives our audience the possibility of connecting and relating to the music we sing. Even when the road is complicated, music sees me through.
I will never forget my first voice teacher telling me that if there was anything else that I would rather do than sing, I should do it. Enduring all of the hardships that come with a singing career can be taxing. Sometimes it is so hard to remain inspired. Keeping an encouraging and constructive perspective is key to surviving. When I get a “no,” I turn it into finding my next opportunity. The weeks of travel are turned into a new adventure. I ask myself, “What have I learned from this?” Focusing on the positive is leading me to being my best singing self.
For me, success is singing the best I am able consistently and expressing the music without reserve. A few months ago I was diagnosed with a rare condition which left me with only 40 percent mobility. I had been in chronic pain for some time. I continued to go to voice lessons and coach my arias even though I felt lost in my body. Physical therapy twice a week and continuous determination has kept me progressing. Finally, I decided to take an audition which led to a leading role. I persisted through the pain and countless hours of practice to make sure that I was singing to the best of my ability. Success came when I represented the best Emilie I could be on stage. It was an amazing and new experience that I would never trade. The blood, sweat, and tears paid off when I was asked to come back and sing for another event in the season. Thankfully, I am still on the road to recovery and never will I take for granted another valuable opportunity.
I believe that as a singer I am responsible for the voice that I have been given. My instrument is a sacred gift that I must cultivate so that it will flourish in its time.
Emilie Joudi Vick is a native Floridian living and teaching voice in Orlando. She continues to search for a diagnosis, but is hopeful. She is completing a recital of healing through music. Last March, Emilie had the honor of being mentored by Marcello Giordani. You can contact Emilie at firstname.lastname@example.org.