I’ve been asked by Darren Abrahams and Arlene Rolph, the brains behind The Singing Entrepreneur, to write a blog about my experiences and how I have built my career so far. I’m one of two singers invited to do this because we demonstrate many of the points that TSE is trying to highlight for discussion. Neither of us has taken the traditional route and we have both had to be imaginative and bold in our choices as to how we develop our careers.
Suzy McGrath, the other blogger, is still studying and has chosen not to put her hard-earned cash into conservatoire fees, but to live in Berlin and build her own private curriculum, studying with teachers of her own choosing and perfecting her German language skills. Her choice demonstrates a clear desire to get the maximum from every professional encounter and to address head-on many of the requirements for a successful career that can only be acquired by direct contact with the work.
I did something similar, while still working in advertising and subsequently as a freelance project manager. I gradually moved over into full-time professional singing as the financial imperative to do something else as well receded and my performance skills developed. I learned most of my stagecraft in the chorus of the Royal Opera, observing great artists at work and then applying it to my own solo opportunities. There may have been disadvantages to the way I joined the singing profession but there were undoubtedly many advantages too, doing it the way I did. I’m hoping that my words will add something useful to the debate and offer encouragement to anyone who is worried that there is only one way to be a success in singing. The Singing Entrepreneur is all about proving that there are as many different ways to succeed as there are singers.