Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Trouble in Paradise: What to Do When Your Partner is More Successful Than You

By Lily Guerrero

Finding another singer to share your life with can be both a blessing and a curse. You have someone who understands your lifestyle, but sometimes this person becomes your competition, or worse. If they happen to have a stream of successes while your career stands idle, they could become the object of jealousy. How do you separate work from home life when you happen to share the same bed as a colleague?

1. Celebrate your differences.

Maybe you are a great Mozart soubrette, while your partner excels at the serious stuff like Verdi and Wagner. Celebrate the blend of flavors that is your relationship, and remember, if you feel like your significant other is getting hired for more “exciting” roles and gigs, it doesn’t take away from any of the opportunities that you have.

2. Remember, you’re a team!

Their success is your success! If you are sharing a home, bills, or a bank account, their gig is your gig! Take the opportunity to rejoice in the fact that, as a couple, you are successfully “living the dream” and paying those bills by singing. Remind them that you are happy to have a successful partner and that your lives together are built on small victories and contributions from both ends.

3.  Tap into their new network for future opportunities.

If you attend any after parties or outings with your significant other, take the time to meet their cast mates, director, or conductor. A little networking never hurts, and sometimes a company can use your relationship as a marketing tool in future productions. Picture something like “star crossed lovers” or “opera’s power couple!” Just don’t go overboard with the self-promoting. Remember, you are first and foremost a guest, you are not there for an audition.

4. Communication is key!

When you are at home together, take that time to enjoy each other’s company. Problems will arise when one complains about the rough rehearsal they had that day, and the other resents the fact that they don’t have a gig of their own. However, that shouldn’t keep either one of you from talking about your problems. Remember, you’re a team! 

If you still feel that you haven’t expressed all of your concerns, keep a private journal to vent your frustrations. This goes for either person. Journaling is a great way to let your thoughts flow and find your own answers. Plus, it’s always fun to look back years later and see your crazy complaints!

5. Focus on your own strengths.

Maybe 2015 was a dry year for you. Everyone was casting for Puccini operas and you only found a few small, chamber opera gigs. That’s okay! Continue self-promoting, working on your craft, and taking auditions. Sometimes the deck does not fall in your favor, but perhaps 2016 will be full of opportunities for you. It is not a reflection of your ability if you did not get as many jobs as you were hoping. Take a look back at how far you’ve come, and get excited for all the future opportunities! Sometimes, it is best to keep the blinders on and only focus on yourself. Don’t worry about what your partner is doing, they have their own race to run!

It’s hard to watch someone climb the ladder of success faster than you, but always remember, you love this person for who they are and not what they do for a living. Not everyone gets to make a career out of what they love, and not everyone finds a partner with whom to share their life. Luckily, you have both!