Wednesday, April 27, 2016

No Summer YAP? No Problem! 6 Ways You Can Give Yourself A Professional Boost During Your Time Off

By: Julie Tabash Kelsheimer

By now, most of us know if audition season resulted in a summer performance contract or not. If it hasn’t, don’t forget that there are plenty of important ways to grow during your time off stage. Here are some tips on how to advance your career this summer:

1) Examine your current aria package. As we develop as singers and humans, our arias should grow with us! It’s easy to stick to an audition package that is comfortable and familiar. However, we shortchange ourselves by not adapting our aria packages to represent our musical or emotional growth. Time away from a gig could be the perfect opportunity to navigate new characters and music that represent where you currently are on your musical journey.

2) Learn a new role or two. Didn’t get cast in the role you were dying to play or cover this summer? Your time off could be a chance to start working on a different dream role. As singers, we could probably list more than a handful of roles we’d love to perform, but we might not know the roles as well as we’d like. If you’re not preparing for a young artist program or another gig, take time to choose and learn a role that showcases the work you’re doing as a singer. Who knows? Next summer might find you singing that role on stage!
3) Boost your online presence. Give your website a little spring cleaning! Don’t have a website yet? Now could be the perfect time to build one. Keeping an updated and active online presence lets others see not only your achievements, but also your commitment to developing your craft.

4) Network. Not being a part of a summer YAP doesn’t mean you can’t stay well-connected with industry professionals and supporters. Consider writing and emailing a newsletter that highlights your professional accomplishments over the past 6-12 months. Keep directors, conductors, colleagues, and patrons in the loop about any recitals, roles, or concerts you’ve performed, degrees you achieved, competitions you’ve won, or other professional goals you’ve reached.

5) Get moving!  One of the chief complaints for not having an active, healthy lifestyle is lack of time. Perhaps having a short gap in your schedule could be the perfect time to get on track. Having an active life not only boosts confidence, but it also gives us energy to be our best selves both on and off the stage. Whether it’s joining a gym, going on outdoor runs or hikes, beginning an at-home workout regime, eliminating most sugary or processed foods from your diet, or experimenting with new healthy, wholesome recipes, find a few fun ways to commit to building a healthier you.

6) Reconnect with your non-musical self. View your time away from a YAP as a gift rather than a curse. As much as we all want and need to be the best professionals we can be, it is also important to remember all of what makes us who we are. Whether it’s taking a trip, planning a staycation, visiting with close friends or family, reading a handful of good books, or delving into a hobby, be sure to stay in touch with all of your passions! 

Enjoy spending time focusing on you. Developing our professional and personal selves is a duty that never takes a break!