This week I received notice from several older singers (in their 50's and 60's) who were planning to do big-scale auditions and competitions.
Three of them wrote to me with a similar theme.
They were wondering why they were still pursuing the wild dream to sing so late in life.
One person in particular seemed to be having quite a struggle with her need to be finally recognized for her great talent.
I think it is a common feeling among musical artists.
If you have enjoyed some singing success early in life, you understand the enormous pleasure that comes with performance: the great joy of singing with deep feeling, the thrill of filling a packed room with musical energy, the excitement that comes with the sound of spontaneous applause, the nearly unmatchable feeling when waves of love and admiration pour over you from an appreciative audience.
You give your all.
And it comes back to you with powerful immediacy.
You imagine that this could be your life! Here is the unique opportunity to do something you love with all your heart, while enjoying some measure of fame and fortune.
It is a powerful and seductive tug at a person's heart.
Especially if you are pretty certain that you have what it takes, - if only that big break could come in time.
Few of us ever hit the big time, and it is not necessarily due to a lack of worthy talent.
Instead, it could be due to a combination of other issues that were beyond our control: bad timing, wrong location (we did not live in the right city), family pressures, lack of funding, or ill health at the wrong time.
It could also be due to early-made decisions: a reluctance to be constantly on the road, the fear of taking a major risk, the desire to be free of big-time artistic constraints, or even the fear of eventual success.
And one day, perhaps many years into the career struggle, you realize that you must get practical.
You shift gears and move on.
Your life changes and it may be a great life.
You do well in another job, - have a wonderful family.
Your life is full and deep.
But somewhere inside, the dream of vocal stardom still sits and waits.
Then the opportunity comes once again.
Auditions are announced.
Other older singers have recently made it big.
Your family is grown.
You have the time, the energy, and the richness of life inside you.
And you wonder to yourself, could this be mysecond chance? So what now? How do you approach this fresh opportunity? A Renewed Meaning of Success I have been thinking about this over the past week.
And I spoke with some colleagues who are also singers.
As we discussed what it means to seek singing success later in life, we realized that what singers may be seeking at this point is clarity about what success means to them.
Auditions may be absolutely the right way to go for one person, while another may need a more individually unique solution.
Seeking Clarity on a Renewed Meaning of Success
- Looking back, what would your life have been like if your singing dreams had come true, many years ago? What did you expect? Try to describe in some detail what you yearned for.
- Do you want the same thing now? Does that vision make sense for your current life?
- Is it possible that the person that you are has matured over the years, but your artistic self is still a striving teenager.
- If you still hunger for dream held by your artistic self, but you know in your heart that it is not right for you now, is it possible that you need a period of grieving in order to let go of the old dream so that a new vision can emerge?
- If you cannot attain the great fame that you were seeking, what other kind of singing life would satisfy your hunger? Can you describe it in some detail?
- Can you create short, mid and long-range plans for yourself that do not scare or worry your family?
- Can you be more creative about the new ways to become known? (Internet-oriented, for example.
- Do you feel that you have a message for an audience that is your age? If so, what is that message? What can you offer now through your mature talent that an audience is eager to hear?
In other words, now is the only time you have.
And now is the time to become what you want to be.
So if you have a deep need to sing, get clear on your personal meaning of success - and get singing.
If necessary, may you discover a new meaning of success!