Reading List for Summer 2014
This article is a bit different because I want to give you a Summer Reading List that I think you might enjoy whether you are traveling to a summer program or have chosen to continue working on your own plan of action at home. I haven’t put up a reading list in awhile, so there will no doubt be some books I have mentioned before, but it’s worth reading them again. There may be some conflicting views among these authors on how to accomplish whatever they have to say, but it’s important to read and know others ideas and opinions on many differing subjects to help you hone your own. I hope you will enjoy and I would love to know what you think of these selections. And please, pass on to me any books you have enjoyed as well.
Avanti and ciao until next time. Carol
- Year of the King, an actor’s diary and sketchbook – Anthony Sher (A wonderfully authentic account of the experience of creating a performance.)
- Audition Success – Don Greene, PH.D. (Gives musicians a concrete set of skills to achieve the concentrated focus needed in these critical moments.)
- The Best of You, Winning auditions your way – Craig Wallace (Craig’s no-nonsense approach and love for actors shines through every page of this practical and concise guide to auditioning.)
- The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday (The timeless art of turning trials into triumph.)
- The Open Door – Peter Brook (Thoughts on acting and theatre.)
- Reading for the Plot – Peter Brook (design and intention in narrative.)
- Acting for Singers – David Ostwald (Creating believable singing characters.)
- A Good Talk – Daniel Menaker (The story and skill of conversation.)
- You Are Enough – David J. Walker (Self explanatory and a great read.)
- Performing in the Zone – Jon Gorrie (Unleash your true performing potential.)
- The Empty Voice – Leon Major with Michael Laing (The means to examine characters, plot and the conflicts in any scene in depth.)
- Aria Ready, The Business of Singing – Carol Kirkpatrick (Gain the personal and business skills and tools needed to build and sustain a singing career.)
- The Talent Code – Daniel Coyle (The book that explains how talent grows in the brain, and how you can grow more of it.)
The world of opera and classical singing has given me over 45 years of living the dream—world travel, meeting and working with some of the most famous singers, conductors and stage directors of yesterday, today and tomorrow. It’s been a successful and very satisfying journey for me.
Success means something different to everyone…..so let me ask you, what does success mean to you? It is different for everyone. Most people are afraid of both success and failure. What are you afraid of and why? Once you know the reality of what a singing career demands, are you still interested in pursuing this dream and why? And last but not least, how is your current career plan working out for you? Need some help? You’ve come to the right spot.
Here are my four key cornerstones, the necessary foundation upon which to build and support your career:
- First and foremost, having a solid and consistently dependable vocal technique.
- Knowing who you are, from the inside out.
- Having a destination and a solid plan to get there.
- Maintaining personal accountability in all areas of your life.
Let me help you review where you are in your career, confirm what you already have in place and honestly works well for you. Together we can define any areas that might need some adjusting. Let’s set up a plan to make your career foundation whole and solid knowing there is no progress without change.
Before you leave this website, make sure you check out my Newsletter Archive. If you find one that really resonates with you, let me know about it. Or if you have an idea for a subject that you would like me to discuss, let me know that as well. And don’t forget to sign up for my FREE Aria Ready Monthly Newsletter to help keep you on track and inspired.
Check out the completely revised and updated 2nd edition of my book, “Aria Ready, The Business of Singing”. There are many books out there about singing and many books out there about business, but this is the only one available that explains the Personal & Business Aspects of building a singing career. I not only tell you what to do, but how to do it by giving you the tools and skills to create your very own personalized path to successful career building. It’s a great resource and reminder of how to do what needs to be done. To have an achievable purpose, creates motivation to get you where you want to go, even if and when you stumble and fall or just don’t have the vision for a while. You will be able to actually go into the book to read some of the materials to see if this might be a good resource for you.
Thanks for stopping by. Bookmark this site so that it will be easy to use as a resource, as well as a place to discuss and digest subjects that you are interested in. Let me hear from you.
Who’s Responsible for Your Career Success?
Watch your thoughts; they lead to attitudes.
Watch your attitudes, they lead to words.
Watch your words; they lead to actions. Watch your actions; they lead to habits.
Watch your habits; they form your character.
Watch your character; it determines your destiny." Unknown
I am often amazed at how habits dominate our mental, physical and psychological way of moving forward in all that we do. It’s often not done on purpose, but rather we feel stuck and don’t understand how to start the process of change when we realize there might be a different and even better way to get where we want to go. For example, what does one need to move forward with having a singing career?
All of our educational years have been spent for the most part, having others give us assignments of different kinds, specific music to learn, tell us how to dress for auditions and performances, how to behave when representing the school, etc. It’s a sort of freedom from living at home, but still has many specific rules and regulations we must follow. Once we graduate into the real world, it is without having had a period of internship of what this new game is, what the rules are and especially important how the game is really played so we know whether we want to join in or not. Now you are on your own. You must learn to be responsible for what happens and how you choose to deal with it all. You must fulfill your own destiny.
It’s Just a Job! It’s Not Emotional or Personal
"The road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces." - Source Unknown
There are many, many programs and services out there for singers today, but too much of a good thing can also be overwhelming. I've heard from my own students that they can often feel confused and unsure which programs are worth their resources of time, energy and money. As is the case with my students, most aspiring artists are supplementing their income with either a full or part time job, and they feel that adding something else to their plate is a real financial challenge. Yet there is a sense that you have to try to do everything right now or be left behind. Here's a newsflash - just because it is there, doesn't mean that you need to partake!
Stop!!! Stop thinking more is better! Stop throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if it will stick! Stop this stressful spinning of your wheels and wasting your time, energy and money. Breathe. Stop and take the time you need to truly evaluate where you are right now on your career path, and what you really need to help you move forward. Give yourself a sense of direction unique to your needs.
If this career thing is really just a job, what tools and skills would be useful for you right now? Start by reviewing what you feel is missing from your “performance package”. Be cold and calculating in your analysis of what you need to get to the next step of your plan. It’s like looking at yourself and what you are doing in the 3rd person. This kind of work allows you to be disassociated, honest and unemotional as you figure out exactly where you are right now, where you want to go, what you need in the way of tools and skills to get there, and then make an actual, doable individualized plan that get’s this job done.
Do you know who you are? Conduct an honest evaluation of yourself because your plan should fit in with your life style and your schedule. Once you have that in place you need to stay the course and not become seduced with something new until you have completed your present plan. Then you can reevaluate, once again, where you are right now and what your needs are right now to get the job done. It then becomes one positive step at a time.
And remember, as you travel along your individualized path that you are not competing against any other singer. You are authentic and unique in what you have to offer. There is no competition. Singing is a matter of allowing the words, music and emotion to come through the sound of your voice. Then it's up to those hiring to make a choice on whether you are a “fit” for their company at that time. You simply go, do your job, leave and move on to whatever comes next on your agenda.
"Focus on competition has always been a formula for mediocrity." - Daniel Burrus