My father wisely stated, “one day you will likely have to do something other than music to make money.” Wait, what?! Hold the phone. I didn’t sign up for that! I just want to sing. That’s what God put me on this green earth to do.
As it turns out for me, Dad was right. Along with being a musician, it also seems God put me on this green earth to develop crucial communication, organization, and mobilization skills which have made all the difference at the negotiating table as a performer and as a developer of new music content and ideas.
For over five years, I worked as a paralegal/office assistant at a law firm in Los Angeles. What could this possibly have to do with a career in music? Surprisingly, a great deal. There are politics in every field, I discovered. Understanding that quickly, helped me stay focused on the work and not the drama.
I worked at this company while pursuing private studies in opera and performing in local productions of opera, musical theatre and in TV and voice over. This situation wasn’t ideal. It was exhausting, grueling, tedious and there were many times I wanted to give up. But this job was a lifesaver. It provided a way for me to continue to move forward as a musician while having a steady paycheck and health insurance. Though the work required very little brain power, the people I worked with at my day job were very supportive of my pursuits as an artist. The energy I had left at the end of the day was focused toward my passion and made it possible for me to keep going, creatively. It is easier to keep hope for the career you want to have alive when you are surrounded by people who find your passions interesting and different. I stayed away from people who were upset by the lack of work opportunities, and those with perpetual anger at the world. To keep the joy of the process of making music alive, one must surround themselves with those who love living it.