These are questions that I think as artists and musicians, we ask ourselves quite frequently- why didn't we choose something "practical" like business for medicine? Well, the answer to that is quite simple- because somewhere along the line, someone or something inspired us (or possibly even continues to inspire us) to do what we love and love what we do. Today, I would like to share with you my personal story- how I became a classical and opera singer, my somebody and something that inspired me, and a little bit about why I wake up every day and love that I didn't choose something "practical" to do.
It all started for me at the tender age of 11 years old when I was in 5th grade. My grandma worked as a private voice teacher out of her home and I came from a very musical family so growing up I was surrounded by music and the arts. I remember going to my first play, Peter Pan, when I was 4, my first symphony when I was 6, and going to music class was always my favorite thing in school. Then one day my grandma picked me up from school and took my younger sister and I back to her house for a little while and asked me if I would like to come into her studio and sing through a few Disney songs, so I did. About an hour and a half later, I realized just how much time had gone by and that it had only felt like 20 minutes or so.
From then on, once a week I would go over to my grandma's house for voice lessons. She let me pick me own music, we talked about breathing and proper techniques, and most importantly WE HAD FUN! Then one day she mentioned that there was going to be a talent show at our upcoming family reunion that summer of South Dakota and she asked if I would be willing to sing my favorite song there- "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" from the movie and musical Annie. At the time I didn't know all that was involved in actually getting on stage and performing so I said yes.
About a month later, it came time for me to perform at the family reunion and believe me when I tell you that I nearly fought my mom and grandma so I didn't have to go on stage. Finally, quite a few tears and many bribe attempts later, I got on stage. That was the most uncomfortable I've ever felt in my life- like someone had stripped me naked and thrown me on a stage for the world to stare at. The music started playing and I knew at that point that there was no turning back and I started singing.
By the time it was over, I had forgotten all about my nerves and whatever it was that my mom and grandma had bribed me with and all I felt was sheer joy, confidence,and pride. I had done it!
For a while, my mom and grandma still had to convince me to actually get on stage and start singing but soon I grew out of that and was looking- itching- for ways and places to perform. I had caught the "bug"- the performing bug that as performers, we are all too familiar with! And every time I performed, I gained that much more confidence and joy and I knew I couldn't stop and even if I could I didn't want to.
Before I knew it, I was auditioning for college music programs and I thought Where did the time go?! Wasn't it just yesterday that I was singing that song from 'Annie' for the first time at the family reunion? I wasn't until then that I fully understood the meaning of the phrase "Time flies when you're having fun,"
Now, I love that I've chosen a career path that I not only love to do, but one that isn't "practical" or "conventional" because that's not who I am as a person. I knew that I was never and will never be that person who is perfect;y content sitting in a cubicle by themselves with little to no interaction with others all day, every day for the rest of their life. I need something new and different every day, I need a career that takes me places, I need a career that is going to make me happy and be fulfilling and when it came time to audition for colleges, there was no question in my mind that music was what I wanted to do- it's what I needed to do- it's where I belong.
What's your story?