This Wacky Economy

This week I lose 8 – possibly 9 – students. The majority of them are because of graduation. However, a couple are because of the economic hardships that American families are facing right now.

I’m always willing to work with people who are having troubles. I remember when I lost my day job in October 1990, right when I was starting to make some significant inroads in my singing career – getting roles with Opera Theater of Northern VA, bit parts with Washington Opera, etc., and thinking of going back to school for my masters. I had to go to Marianna, my teacher, and Gillian Cookson, my coach, and tell them that I had to stop working with them because I had no income and was having trouble even finding temp work (the job I’d had for 3 years used MultiMate word processing software, and suddenly the standard was WordPerfect, which I didn’t know). Both of them agreed to work with me on a deferred payment basis. I worked with them for no charge for about 6 months, and as soon as I started working again and had some income, I paid them both. I have extended this courtesy to people who I felt were talented and who I would hate to see interrupt their studies. And I’ve been compensated. Emotionally and financially.

I am not willing to work with people who are deadbeats. That sounds harsh, and I don’t mean people who don’t have money. I mean those who for whatever reason are willing to take your services and defer payment without making arrangements. If this kind of deal exists in your own head and you haven’t talked it over with me, it’s not an arrangement, it’s taking advantage. And it’s not going to happen any more. I don’t care how talented you are, if you aren’t upfront, there’s no relationship, professional or otherwise.

I only meant to post a link to an article from Making Music magazine about how “Music Fits the Budget,” but I went off on a rant. Ah well. I have that right, don’t I?
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Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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