Communication is Key

In any relationship, communication is key.

Whether it’s a marriage (and I’m on my second, so I can verify this is true), a friendship, or a work relationship, it is essential that you communicate.

Something that I’ve noticed much more of since I opened my East Coast studio is that people don’t answer:

      • the phone
      • emails
      • texts

And it’s really frustrating.

I get the phone part. I hate the phone. And I used to talk on the phone all the time.

And emails – I’m so far behind on emails right now after my trip – well, I was behind before I left and now it’s just ridiculous. But they’re all emails in my promotions and forums tabs, not my personal ones. The personal ones I answer right away.

I try to keep my emails clear and focused with a call-to-action so that people know what I’m asking for. I’ll admit my emails used to be much longer-winded, and I’m trying to focus on one call-to-action per email (which means that I have to send multiple emails, and I hate to do that, but it seems to get better response). I try to include “Response Requested” in the subject line and that seems to have some effect.

But people don’t answer them. I’ve been told by young people that they find emails intimidating because they come from authority figures.

I have no idea why other people don’t answer their emails.

I have even less idea why people don’t answer their texts, particularly if they’ve indicated that this is the best way to contact them. And honestly, I can’t text everyone individually, especially if they’re all getting the same message. It’s not efficient.

All I can say is that if I don’t get a response to an email, I don’t know what you want or need.

I don’t know if you’re planning to be somewhere (a rehearsal, for example), so I can’t plan it.

Last Saturday I had a rehearsal planned for our upcoming studio showcase. I set this up before I left for my vacation. Multiple people told me verbally that they intended to come. I brought my keyboard out to the garage and set it up so that we could rehearse out there (I have several cat-allergic folx, plus it’s roomier).

When I got home from my vacation, I was offered a gig for last Saturday afternoon. A paying gig with a 4pm call. I turned it down because I had committed to being there. It wasn’t a great gig, but it would’ve paid for a tank of gas.

Three people came. Two at 1:30. Several people I had planned to see from 2:30-4pm contacted me that morning to tell me they couldn’t come (one had a medical emergency). I saw one other person who was coming from Montgomery County, because she was already on her way when I texted her to tell her that her scene partners weren’t able to make it.

If you have a professional relationship with someone, whether they are paying you or you are paying them, your half of the deal is to communicate. If you do not, you have no relationship.

It shows complete disrespect and makes the person feel completely unvalued.

This may seem like a very personal post, but from what I’ve heard from friends in other fields (not just teaching), this behavior is rampant.

And it can cost you – if you have an email offering you an audition/interview or a job and you don’t answer it in a timely manner – not only will you not get that job but you may be removed from their mailing list. So you’re sabotaging yourself as well as the relationship with a potential employer.

Please check your emails and answer them.
Communication goes both ways.
Respect the person with whom you’re in a relationship.


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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