Your Problem Isn't Technical
One of the most pivotal days in my early career was a lesson I booked with THE most expensive voice teacher in New York City.
At this point, I was making good money as a professional classical singer. I was singing with the New York Philharmonic and at major venues, so I was no slouch, but I was having trouble breaking through to the next level.
I thought if I just practiced more, or buckled down, or knew some secret, THEN I'd get my breakthrough.
So I decided to hire THE expert.
I did a few scales, sang a couple of arias, and she gave me the diagnosis.
"Honey - that is one beautiful instrument. There's nothing wrong with your voice. Why are you here?"
I told her I couldn't break into the next tier - and I thought it was a technical problem.
She got so quiet that I held my breath.
She stared into her lap for a long time. Then she looked me square in the eyes.
"You can't make a long-lasting career trying to be someone you aren't."
You have to sing with your own voice. We have a Renee Fleming and a Cecilia Bartoli, we don't have a Shannon Post."
I felt hot, light-headed and mad. This is what my regular teacher had been saying. In fact, I remember hearing it in college too.
She said, "It's not a technical problem. It's a self-development problem. You have to own who you are."
She was right, I'd been taught to manipulate my voice at a very early age to sound like whatever anyone wanted. So much so that I had no idea what my real voice sounded like or who I was.
"How do I do that," I asked.
She didn't have an answer. And neither did any other teacher or coach I spoke with. They could diagnose the problem, but no one knew how to solve it.
And so I started a long, long, long journey of figuring it out.
I felt so lost back then swimming around in the muck with no real direction. It was a dark time.
It's now been 20+ years of sorting through everything I could find from self-help to the Artist's way, to management philosophy, therapy, neuroscience and psychology, to the esoteric fringe.
And when you distill it all down, it's simple.
Before you can "own your sound" or your career you have to figure out who you are.
Knowing who you are affects everything, including your career choice
If you feel lost right now, that's okay. But also, don't waste one more year in limbo. Commit to figuring out who you are.
And you don't have to do it alone. I've been helping people find their authentic career path for over a decade and I'd love to help you find yours.
Please don't put it off or wait till next year. Start now.
Updated: April 16, 2023
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