Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gotta Have A Break!

"If you want to make it in the recording business, you have to have a break."

"You have to de discovered by someone or you will never make it."

"The odds are so high that you won't make it, you might as well not even try."

"Keep your day job."

Have you heard these things? I have. I've also heard that success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Many people are not prepared for success. They are not ready. If there was ever a holistic thing, that thing would be about a singer who has "made it." A singer has to have preparedness as an artist, a technician, a business person, and also have the emotional maturity and control beyond almost everyone else to be able to not only persevere long enough to get some place, but also to sustain and grow and go from there.

It takes work and dedication consistently to arrive at the point of opportunity in a prepared state. It is more "mental" than you might imagine. Confidence doesn't come from rotely going through exercises or singing songs nonchalantly. There has to be mental preparation prior to practice, during practice, and after practice. It takes a big goal and it takes sufficient faith that it is possible and attainable.

Can you imagine the preparation and the work Michelangelo did to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? I have been there and stood there and looked up at it, marveling at the work. To see it in person is to appreciate it to its fullest. Seeing it in person also makes this quote from Michelangelo hit with more impact: "The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."

When it comes to the business side of music, the first thing to know is that it is business. Business has its own set of rules. Many singers may not have had experience in business or finance. This is evidenced by some of the horror stories of personal bankruptcies of singers who (oddly enough) have highly successful CDs. How can this happen? Easily, unfortunately. It is very easy to misunderstand contracts, if you haven't read any before. Attorneys outside of the entertainment field often do not understand the ins and outs of the music business.

It takes a team and great leadership to launch a career in music but it first takes a singer who is mentally prepared and musically prepared. Oddly enough without such preparation, the opportunities seem to either run away or never even show up.