So last week I went all wonky on SUCCESS and gave you this definition:

by | Feb 3, 2016 | 0 comments

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I am sure some of y’all got defensive and mopey and responded in your head with sassy pants comments.

Note that I did not say paying ALL your bills, or even defined what “paying” is.

Listen, some of you are paid professionals with jobs at universities, or theater companies, or working contract to contract with AEA or SAG-AFTRA. Some of you are seasoned and focused amateurs (as in not paying rent with singing/acting). Some of you are college and high school students, not yet needing to pay rent on your own. And some of you are parents of humans who are making a go of it in this ridiculously wonderful and crazy business.

But ALL of you want to know what success looks like so you can help plan your careers and make savvy choices as you move forward in your goals.

So today, we talk about hard work, risk, and late nights. We talk about what that *is* for a singer/actor.

Hard Work:

Hard Work is doing all the stuff you totally hate to do, but is necessary for you to gain knowledge and expertise in your field.
Hate Music Theory? Learn it. HARD WORK.
Hate rehearsing vocalise instead of just singing? Rehearse it. HARD WORK.
Hate writing grants for your program? Write ’em. HARD WORK.
Hate Mamet? Read him. HARD WORK.

Hard Work is also all the stuff you need to know but don’t yet, so you have to actively seek knowledge on it.

Don’t know how to build a website for yourself? Research it. Write some code. Totally screw up your blog. (Totally speaking from experience here) HARD WORK.

It is HARD because you DON’T LIKE IT and you DON’T KNOW IT. Once you know it, or like it, or both, it isn’t HARD WORK, and then you get to move on to *other* things that are HARD WORK.


Risk is doing something that conventional advice tells you not to do, because you know it works for YOU.
Example: Barbara Streisand’s audition for I Can Get it For You Wholesale
Example: You are not supposed to sing songs that are not your gender. But your Being Alive is simply the BEST Being Alive that has ever been sung, and you certainly aren’t a Bobby of the male persuasion.
Example: Dressing up as the character is so gauche! Or is it? Because you look JUST LIKE Sally Brown.
Example: Rewrite the coloratura for Una voce poca fa or Cruda sorte! Because you know your ability to do three runs into descending arrpeggios, then jump the octave is on point.
Example: Write posts-mails about performing encouraging craziness and to go against conventional wisdom.

Easy Risk-Recognition test! (My gift to you):

You have done or thought of something that is genius (character choice/run/chord progression/etc) and you KILL IT, then you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Oh I could never really do that.”
That thing you aren’t supposed to do? DO THAT THING.

Late Nights:

Late Nights is a euphemism for “Making the time, at the least ideal time, because life got in the way when you were trying to do it at the ideal time.”
My late nights are:
-3am-5am. Before my toddler and preschooler wake up.
-When said toddler is sitting next to me on the office floor, using sharpie pen on the carpet because I wasn’t paying attention.
-Actually late at night, after students: 10pm-1am.

Your late nights might be on lunch, in your car, with a battery powered Casio keyboard. They may be getting up to write subtext for the next role at 7am when you got home at 2am from the current role.
Shoot, your late nights may just be the dinner hour, with your textbooks instead of your besties.
Any time you have to *MAKE* instead of time that just naturally fits: LATE NIGHTS.

Now, please, you tell me! Write me a comment or email and let me know… one from each category~~ What are YOUR Hard Work, Risk, and Late Nights examples?

Next week: Struggles, Failure, Persistence.

Michelle Markwart Deveaux

Michelle Markwart Deveaux (126)

As CEO of FaithCultureKiss Studios, LLC, I lead underestimated humans through the personal and professional development needed to create successful solo and team-based businesses.

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