I’ve always believed that I’ve had self-confidence and a fair grasp on reality and my life. What I didn’t quite realize is that I tend to have more confidence in others than in myself. A teacher at heart, I tend to see everyone’s potential for growth and I find myself instinctually able to bring that growth out, be it in the yoga studio, the voice studio, or a simple chat with a friend. However, when it comes down to having confidence in myself as a successful performer, I have often seen it as a lofty, unattainable goal. I watch performers at the Met and my mouth drops and I think to myself, “well, they’re meant to be on the Met stage because opera was born into them. How could I ever compete with that?” A late-bloomer, (pardon the pun) I didn’t even know what opera was (other than the Bugs Bunny cartoons and the opera scene in Pretty Woman) until my undergrad at USC. the LA Opera changed my life. But, if I’m truthful with myself, I never saw myself performing on that stage. I dreamed of it. I set it as a goal. I saw my fellow, more advanced peers on that stage. But I never truly believed that I would be up there. After years of my teachers and peers telling me that I didn’t have the usual “classical” sound and that I had too many technical issues to ever “make it”, I suppose the negativity started to sink in.
With all that has happened these past few years with my voice, and really my life, to finally hear from someone who knows the business say that if I continue on the path I’m taking right now, then next year I can hit the major audition circuit and have a fighting chance is unbelievable. It’s overwhelming and I still don’t know if it has sunk in yet. Finally, my years of hard work, the exhaustion, the thousands and thousands of dollars I have invested, the countless drives from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles, the sweat, and the tears are finally starting to pay off. Soon I will be able to look all of those disbelievers, including myself, square in the eyes and show them what happens when you don’t give up. Heck, I can do that now!
I know better than anyone that I’m not through this yet and there is plenty of work left to be done; but, hearing that I’m coming closer to that light at the end of the tunnel gives me hope.
Tonight I am grateful for my teachers who have brought me this far in one way or another, my hometown fan club which refuses to let me give up, but also, perhaps for the first time ever, myself. I am grateful for my enduring nature which has been strong enough to trudge on even when the hurdles seemed too big to jump over. I am grateful that I decided for myself that it wasn’t time yet to quit, even when people were telling me I should. I am grateful that I have come so far and learned so much. And, even if my “big break” never comes, I am grateful that I never settled for less and I continued to improve on myself. Why live a life of resentment and “what ifs” when you can do something about it instead?
Thank you to all who continue to join me on this journey. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.