What ISN’T a masterclass?

Even before the pandemic, there have been a lot of posts and ads about masterclasses and why you should take them. Famous people have been offering masterclasses on acting, writing, comedy, singing (some with stronger credentials than others) and people have been signing up for them and saying, “TAKE MY MONEY.”

But what isn’t a masterclass? What shouldn’t you expect when you take one?

A masterclass is not a place where:

  1. Someone will teach you the music if you don’t already know it
  2. You’ll show everyone that you’re the best performer there
  3. All your technical problems will be fixed in fifteen minutes
  4. You will be discovered and all your dreams will come true
  5. Your technique (and self-esteem) will be shredded and you’ll be told to rebuild everything from the ground up (and if that happens, that is the sign of a bad clinician)

What you can expect from a masterclass is that:

  1. The clinician will focus on a particular aspect of your piece that could be enhanced or improved
  2. You will hear other performers who are more advanced than you in both technique and career who still have things to learn and are willing to accept direction and change
  3. You will hear other performers who are not at your technical level who are willing to accept direction and change
  4. Even if you’re not the one performing (or you’re not performing at all), you might hear something in another person’s piece that may inspire you to try it in a piece that you’re working on
  5. If the clinician does address a technical issue, it may not be the most obvious one; it might be a lesser one that can be addressed in the allotted time that they have (and one that might, indirectly, contribute to solving a larger technical problem)

All performer slots in the Richard Carsey masterclass this Friday are filled, but there are still auditor opportunities available. Come on and listen to 7 singers, from pre-professional to established artists, sing for Maestro Carsey. You can register here or message me for more information.

Avoiding FOBO

I can hear you know: “FOBO? Christine, don’t you mean FOMO?”


Today I was puppy-walking and listening to a new podcast called Money Girl (which I may or may not listen to again because the host has a  wicked case of vocal fry that makes my skin crawl – not to be confused with VocalFri). The guest was Patrick McGinniss, who created the term FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out.

I’ve heard of FOMO. I’ve heard of JOMO (the joy of missing out). They’ve become part of the contemporary lexicon, especially in podcasts and blogs. People are cautioned to avoid taking on too many projects out of FOMO and focus on the important things, thus embracing JOMO.

But toward the end of the interview, McGinniss mentioned that he had created another term at the same time he created FOMO, which he thought would gain even more traction: FOBO.

Fear of Better Options.

Rather than doing too many things, the victim of FOBO is paralyzed by too many choices and does none of them, out of fear that they’re going to make the wrong choice. What if they pick something now and something better comes down the pike? They’re waiting for a better option. One that may never come.

In other words, I overthink, therefore I am.

Make decisions. Take risks. Take a class in something you need to learn but don’t consider yourself very good at. Audition for a show (when we can do that again). Sing online for, oh, I don’t know, an internationally renowned conductor giving a masterclass – like this one:

Richard Carsey Insta post

And after you’ve sung for Richard (or before), maybe cut your hair. Dye your hair. If you don’t like it, don’t worry, it’ll grow back/out/you can get a wig.

#FOBOBegone #AchievementUnlocked