Are We Just Born With It? When I first started singing, I was fired from my first band - it was devastating. I cried for a week. I had quit school and thought I was going to be a professional singer. I had no idea how to go about it and probably wasn’t very good. But I got some really good training and I didn’t give up. I took every gig I could, and in 3 years- success! I was invited to sing the national anthem for the Chicago White Sox and was making my living as a singer. You know, there’s a certain myth perpetuated in our world today that suggests in order to be a great singer, actor, artist, dancer, musician or even a great athlete you have to be born with it. That these fortunate special people have an innate gift, which is not something we can learn. A short time ago I heard talk show host Kelly Rippa emphatically state that the singers who win “American Idol” are “just born with that.” We hear it all the time. So is this true? Let’s think about that. Honestly, we are just too hard on ourselves- myself included. We have this crazy need to be “perfect” before we put ourselves out there. I’ve tried to be perfect and it just held me back. And what does perfect even mean? Yes, some people have been singing dancing or acting since they were kids, they’ve worked a long time at it. But we never know what we are capable of until we put the hours in it takes to “become great.” I know that this sounds like a gamble. We think what if I never sound the way I want to. What if I spend time at it and I'm not good? But I’ve found that there is magic in committing ourselves to artistry, to responding to that desire within us to express ourselves. We have to learn to believe in this desire enough to keep us going, and to keep practicing even when we’re frustrated. Eventually, we start to see a difference. The artist within us responds to the way we nurture it and pay attention to it... the time we spend with it. Then we need to love what we’ve created, to continue to explore and work on our craft, and to know that our singing, our acting, our dancing, our writing is unique. The truth is no one else could ever contribute to art in the same way that your voice can. The world needs what you have to offer. “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love that is the soul of genius.” -Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Hey, I'd love to hear from you! So, please email me back and share your own personal stories of overcoming your uncertainties about your artistic gifts. It would be cool to include it in my next inspirational email. You can include your picture if you want to! Just hit reply. Let's inspire each other!