Who am I anyway?
Am I my resume?
That is a picture of a person I don’t know.
What does he want from me?
What should I try to be?
So many faces all around, and here we go.
I need this job, oh God, I need this show.
[From A Chorus Line – lyrics by Edward Kleban]
Your career – always on the line
This month in “auditioning – on the line!” I attempt to put your “career” in perspective. What is a career you ask? By definition, a career is – “an occupation or profession, especially one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework”.
Simply put, your “lifework”, that is always on the line, is one that requires constant attention, re-invention, lots and lots of training, a healthy dose of patience and good deal of stamina to ride the waves of our business of show.
Whether you are starting out, an established professional or a seasoned star, Mr. Kleban’s brilliant lyrics from A Chorus Line are ones that you will sing over and over throughout your career. They reflect a natural set of thoughts that every artist have. Vulnerability is that intangible concept that you, as an artist, will wear on your sleeve and allow the many walks of life you will portray, to shine through. These lyrics are a constant reminder that your career is one that is always under construction, always seeking validation, and in search of new roads to travel down.
Chita Rivera, actress, singer, dancer and Broadway legend puts it like this:
“You really never know what the next day brings you. I have a very young outlook. I don’t think you know how much you can do until you try.”
I emphasize the word – try. Trying to keep an optimistic approach to ones career (lifework) will always keep things in perspective. Surely there will be hits and misses along the way, many highs and many lows, but all of this is what builds a career, builds a sense of confidence, and establishes a journey into what can be an amazing adventure.
My best advice is: There is no instruction manual, only a roadmap (that you create) that sometimes veers of course and sometimes give a false sense of security — but that same roadmap can also take you straight to the top with a great sense of accomplishment. With a little humility along the way, you can parlay those high points and learn to build a career that is fruitful, exciting, filled with passion and successful. What is success? Working, meeting new challenges, conquering fears and doubts, and booking that next show with pride that you put yourself on the line, (again) – with heart, dedication and an insatiable desire to grow. All of this optimism leads to a career you will love, thrive and allow you take that well deserved bow.[A Chorus Line – London Company / Photography by Manuel Harlan] Chita Rivera quote from “Chita Rivera: Showstopper”:
Coming next month: