Taking Things Personally

Boy, can I relate to this.

I take things personally way too much for someone in the performing business. Or even just in business.

I take it personally when people:

    • don’t attend concerts I’m putting on
    • stop taking voice lessons
    • unsubscribe from my mailing list
    • don’t pick me for something for which I’ve auditioned
    • don’t read my blog (that wouldn’t be YOU, because you’re here)
    • look at me funny

I’m not as bad as I used to be, and I think it’s because my Estonian-accented inner critic (now where could that have come from? And why is she named Renate?) is a lot quieter in her whispers of, “I guess they don’t like you” than she used to be. (Seriously, my mother actually did say that to me when something fell through. It’s amazing I can function at all.)

Some people schedule their blogposts for the whole month. I try to do that, and when I have something in mind that I’m working on, like, oh, I don’t know, the upcoming college audition panel discussion on June 30, I do structure my posts around that and write related things. Other times, I check my Notes file to see what juicy tidbits I’ve saved that I thought could be something.

That’s where today’s post comes from. Seth Godin wrote back in April that,  “When I say I don’t like your idea, I’m not saying I don’t like you.” He goes on to say that we’ve been convinced that our identity is based on what we do and say, and that as a result, we find it difficult to accept feedback and evolve as needed.

As singers, having someone not hire you feels like they’re saying, “I don’t like your voice,” which then makes us feel like they’re saying, “I don’t like you.” And it very well could be that someone doesn’t like us, voice and all, or maybe they like the voice but not us. Not everyone is going to like everyone, for whatever reason. But it’s very unlikely that no one likes you, even if you do have a Renate in your head/life telling you otherwise.

Not taking things personally is the second of the Four Agreements:

Taking things personally... - CUInsight

Don’t assume (#3) that people don’t like you (#2) because they don’t like what you have to offer. Maybe it’s not for them – but it will be for someone else, as long as you’re honest (#1) and are working at the highest level you can right now (#4). All of these factors should be in place whenever you prepare for an audition, a performance, or just in your daily life.

And sometimes, you just gotta say:

I’m still working on it. How about you?

To reserve your spot for the June 30 panel discussion,
What To Know and What I Wish I Had Known About College Auditions, register HERE.
(If you do, then maybe “Renate” will go away once and for all.) 😀

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.

One thought on “Taking Things Personally

What do you think?

This site uses cookies 🍪 (but never oatmeal raisin)

Continuing to use this site means that you are cool with cookies