I’ve been thinking…
As a young girl I was always praised for my voice and my signing. Other kids at school were so impressed and encouraged me to sing whenever it was possible. Soon teachers noticed my talent and gave me opportunities to preform at school events.
My vocal coach that I started taking lessons with at thirteen said similar things, and she made it seem like I was great at singing classical music too.
But now, many years after those first encouragements I’ve come to realize that though I may have great potential to become an opera singer I also remember that I had great potential at becoming a pop star at some point too.
When I sang pop music, soul, jazz and blues I was considered abnormally talented and really, really good at what I was doing. When I became a classical musician I had great potential. Now after six years of constant lessons and struggles, I still have great potential as an opera singer.
So my question is, should we be encouraged to do the things we are good at doing or the things we could be good at doing?
Sure one can argue that an opera singers income is a far cry for a pop stars income, but then again a pop star doesn't necessarily have to know how to sing...and anyway isn’t “potential” just a word for, “you’re not good enough....yet.”?
I’m glad in many ways that I’m not a pop star although I sometimes feel if I had that chance to, I could create music that would put Beyoncé to shame, but that’s just me being big headed.
And further more it makes me think about whether I should continue singing classical music and opera with my great potential knowing that I might never be fantastic at it, or should I find a band and leave the strict regime of classical singing and go back to doing the things I do best?
It’s a hard question to answer because I have come farther than where I was six years ago, and somewhere along the way I sort of lost that pop star drive. If I decided to become a jazz singer (which I've always wanted to be, too) I would miss acting most of all. Sure, film and theater are options. I’ve done that and it’s enormously fun, but opera has both singing and acting rapped into one. With my voice type I’ll often get to sing and act serious roles. Serious acting roles are what I love the most about opera.
Either way, feel free to leave a comment. I would love to hear about your thoughts around my thoughts...
xx Erika Grace
Photo by Åke Cappelin