My Personal Professional Guide
1. Be happy if you may sing
2. Your body is your highest good and your instrument
- Make sure that body, voice and mind are healthy and stay young for as long as possible.
- Eat reasonably and tailored to your respective life situation.
- Do sports moderately, learn relaxation techniques and rest deliberately. In case you do get sick cancel early enough.
“One man’s meat is another man’s poison!”
- Create mental stability.
- In this visual job, your appearance is important. Dress appropriately and take good care of yourself and the way you look. Learn how to style and do your make-up. Learn to be modern and up-to-date on the one side and develop your own personal style on the other.
3. Always be perfectly prepared
- Start learning your parts early so they grow on you and leave you time to think them through from all angles. Make a list of your repertory roles which you would like to sing in a coming period and start learning them early.
- Read secondary literature.
- Learn to prepare roles by yourself. Try to work 70% independently. Once done, put the last 30% into the hands of a coach, repetitor or actor. Do all this long before rehearsals start.
- Get familiar with how to use a recording device to control precision, intonation and text understandability.
- Take good care of your music and write down all information you need.
- Learn foreign languages.
4. Be accessible
- Make sure your contact information is known in the business.
- Be reachable and answer calls and e-mails quickly.
- Take good care of your business contacts without being pushy.
- Use the modern ways of communication and stay up - to - date.
5. Be happy you may travel
- Accept that the job as a singer demands flexibility in travel. Learn to accept the burdens of travel and the problems it might cause and see them as a challenge that can be solved easily.
- Learn to plan and organize your travel yourself. You have the time-cost-control and are independent from others.
- Learn to organize your life away from home the way that you can stay in touch with your loved ones and still do your job abroad without any regrets or feelings of guilt.
6. Be friendly and act constructively
- Try to stay friendly and constructive even in difficult situations. Solve misunderstandings quickly.
- Be courageous and seek a dialogue. Ask in case you do not understand e.g. a directed concept. Have it explained to you the way you can be a positive part of it. Do not limit your possibilities by a premature judgement but use your chance to develop yourself.
- Accept difficult productions as a challenge that helps you develop.
7. Singing is craftsmanship and art
- Learn your craft of singing on the one side and be able to let go on stage and “deliver” an artistic exaggeration in your singing and acting on the other.
- Your soul must be out on stage!
- You accept fears and trauma regarding your singing as a task you have to overcome, and you trust that its solution will lead you to “your” place in life.
- You accept that you as a singer are undergoing a constant development and look forward to what is next.
8. Learn from your mistakes
- Learn from your mistakes and accept them non-judgmental as a chance for development.
- Try to minimize your personal error ratio over time.
- Discipline becomes your second nature. It earns you stability and trust and is the basis of your work.
10. Be honest and act efficiently
- Be honest with yourself and others.
- Be efficient in your dealings with money and your retirement plans.
- Be straight with your taxes and put aside the amount of pre-taxed fees that belongs to the government. If it turns out, you are eligible for a tax refund in the end be happy with this bonus.
11. Think and act positively
- Be realistically active.
- Leave your personal problems at home and your professional problems at the theater.
- There are dependencies in professional singing. Dependencies from agents, theaters, directors, conductors…. You decide yourself how far you can, want to and must go. You also decide – mostly for financial reasons - how submissive you want to be to the will of others.
- „No“ is he most important word for a singer. You alone decide what you can and want to sing and when. You sign the contract (contracts protect you and the organizer). YOU are on stage and face the audience. Each “no”, as hard as it may be, carries you on as a singer, because you learn to take responsibility for yourself.
- Never forget: it is „just” theater. In a way, the profession has become your life, because we are involved with our entire body and our soul. There may be situations as a singer where you just have to function.
- Decide smartly!
12. Be yourself
- Find the balance you need as a singer in body, spirit and soul.
- Follow your instinct and trust in you to know what to do.
- Be yourself!