Want to be Happy and Successful?

“You are your greatest asset. Put your time, effort and money into training, grooming, and encouraging your greatest asset.” Tom Hopkins

Often when you enter University as a performance major, you have no idea of what this really means, other than an opportunity to perform and perhaps classes in theory, music history, etc. In the end, the dream is to perform as a professional and make a living doing this alone. This dream might also be more comprised of the romantic notion of travel, meeting important people, and being in the spotlight. In reality, it doesn’t encompass the real work necessary to accomplish this dream.
So what are the components of becoming successful?

  • Know thyself from the inside out and get comfortable with that person. This isn’t always a fun activity, but well worth the work because it clears space to be who you are from your core. Find out what you would defend with your life. Is it justice, freedom, family, or something else? How do you learn best? What are your real beliefs about important issues and why do you feel this way? This is getting to know yourself better. Not always easy or pleasant, but well work the journey.

  • Know exactly what success means to you. No two people are alike in what that means. It might mean becoming a professional performer. Perhaps it about having lots of money. Maybe it’s about being happy and satisfied with your choices. It might mean you eventually want a family so would be willing to take a more casual career path in our industry. Maybe it means not being a professional performer, but staying in the industry with a job in management or working at an opera company. There are so many ways to be successful.

  • Do you have any idea about the business aspects of building a professional career? Know you are more than likely, not going to have a manager right out of university. You will probably be your own manager in the beginning. Do you have a plan of action to get you from point A to Z and is it really doable with a time table that works for you with all the other things going on in your life as you make your way into the professional world. Can you handle having a part or full time job as you move into the real world of opera? Are you ready to make the necessary sacrifices to pursue your career?

  • Do you have a plan B if you decide this is not the path you are willing to make happen? I want to impress upon you that you must listen to your inner voice of self-awareness. That voice knows what you should be doing with your life so you can truly live it gladly, powerfully and successfully. It’s important to find exactly what it is that you always knew you were meant to do.

So, take the time to follow your dream. But be aware of the pitfalls, sacrifices, demands, and disappointments as you travel this journey. Go in with your eyes wide open, without making it emotional or personal, so you can see, hear and feel if you are willing to go the distance. And if you don’t make something out of your own life, someone else will use your life to make something out of theirs. So Avanti! Now that you know what I think about this subject, let me hear what you think.
Ciao Carol

Carol Kirkpatrick

For as long as she can remember, singing and performing have always been in Carol Kirkpatrick’s blood. From her beginnings in a small farming town in southeastern Arizona, through her early first-place triumph at the prestigious San Francisco Opera Auditions, and subsequent career on international stages, Ms. Kirkpatrick has thrilled audiences and critics alike. “A major voice, one worth the whole evening.” (The New York Times) Since retiring from the stage, she continues to be in demand as a voice teacher, clinician, and adjudicator of competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  Combining her knowledge of performance, business, and interpersonal skills, she has written the second edition of her highly regarded book, Aria Ready: The Business of Singing, a step-by-step career guide for singers and teachers of singing.  Aria Ready has been used by universities, music conservatories and summer and apprentice programs throughout the world as a curriculum for teaching Ms. Kirkpatrick’s process of career development, making her “the” expert in this area.  She lives in Denver, Colorado.   YouTube.com/kirkpatrickariaready