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A letter from the heart, to you wonderful, aspiring young artists out there!

I received a lovely letter from an aspiring young singer – 18 years of age, trying to determine what kind of mezzo she may be. After all the normal feedback from “the powers the be”, she came to me with a question:

“I have been approached by several people to dye my blonde hair to a darker color and after a couple of disappointments I finally decided to reinvent myself and dyed it dirty blonde/light brown. The problem is I miss my blonde hair terribly, and since you are a successful blonde I was wondering what your views on the matter are. Have you had any trouble getting cast as a blonde? Or has your blonde hair hindered you in any way in the opera world as a mezzo? Would you say it could be a disadvantage to be a blonde mezzo? Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.”

The question struck a big response in me, and I felt compelled to reply with a rather in-depth answer posted here (kudos to you who make it to the end!). But I also realized her question, perhaps overlooking the specific hair color issue, is surely one of universal concern to young artists: how much attention should we put into our appearance? I feel you, hear you, and offer the following response to perhaps offer some guidance on moving forward with your training and journey as a young artist. Disclaimer: these are strictly my opinions alone, and should be taken with a grain of fabulous sea salt (bigger kernels than ordinary salt!) Also, while writing from the vantage point of having been in this business a number of years, now, I don’t mean to imply that I never crossed these questions of identity or appearance myself ~ of course I did. My answers are born out of my experience …

Dear Non-blond Mezzo,

Rise Stevens: Blond, Beautiful, & Sublime Artist!

I’m going to make a big assumption here: I assume that if you wrote to me directly you are actually asking to hear a direct and honest response, and not hoping for something merely … polite. (If I’ve assumed incorrectly, please forgive me!) One thing my years of experience has taught me, without exception, is that even when it’s terribly difficult to face, the MOST helpful thing, by far, is to hear the truth about this business. You may not get it very often, but you’ll eventually learn that it is the thing that breeds the most growth as an artist and human being ~ and this, after all, is what we’re all searching for, no?

I also have to say that your particular question has struck a real chord with me, because I feel it highlights some of the issues where I believe our industry is failing in these days. So while the question is quite straightforward (and granted, perfectly innocent on your part!), I’m afraid I feel the need to answer quite in depth. Bear with me?

So, to be very honest, and with all due respect, the last thing you should be thinking about right now, is the color of your hair. A variety of reasons immediately jumps to mind:

First of all, the task in front of you ~ achieving your dream to be an opera singer ~ requires INFINITE amounts of training to perfect your vocal technique, master your languages, refine your musicianship, acquire brilliant stage presence, deepen as an actor, absorb the infinite dynamics of the human condition (so you will actually have something to say of merit and interest when you open your mouth) and to blossom as a generous colleague. Each of these aspects not only takes a lifetime of learning to attempt to conquer them, but as a young student, the laying of the bricks of this foundation which you are living right now takes immense discipline, concentration and dedication. How you prepare NOW will absolutely determine the kind of artist you will BECOME. I would hope that your interest would lie in listening to the masters of your art form, reading about the history of the various periods you are attempting to step into, experiencing live performance, inundating yourself with the artful elements of this craft – none of which, in all honesty, include hair color.

Secondly, I do contend that a singer’s physical health is unquestionably of paramount importance ~ the body is our instrument and we need to be consistently healthy and provide that our voice can be in optimum condition via rest, good nutrition and good physical strength (paired with flexibility). I recognize that the reality of our business is that physicality figures prominently into casting (this is not at all a new concept, by the way!), so I understand why this may prompt us singers to worry excessively about our physical appearance. Yes, this is undoubtedly one part of the “game”. However, if this becomes the primary, secondary, or even tertiary priority, I guarantee you that a career of any length or importance simply will not happen. I contend that it actually cannot be sustained on a superficial level, for the BEAUTIFUL thing about our art form is that it involves the huge palette of human emotions, as well as an understanding that requires great comprehension about the world, history, psychology, human frailty, and connecting to something that is bigger than any of us ~ this is the reason this music has survived and been celebrated for CENTURIES. The moment it descends to a purely superficial experience, it has no long-term chance of survival. And it is on the shoulders of everyone in this business (agents, performers, intendants, and perhaps most of all, teachers) to be sure it remains something of substance, so that we not only honor the legacy of the great composers and performers by keeping the traditions alive, but we also expand it and illuminate it in even greater depth with our modern experience. This asks of us tremendous involvement, imagination, commitment and determination ~ again, things that, I believe, preclude spending too much time on thoughts such as the color of one’s hair.

The Big Lesson.

There is a third, very important element to this puzzle, and that is your voice: not the voice we all think about that comes out of those two, hard working, unassuming, vibrating vocal cords in your throat. No not that voice, but the voice that is your soul / spirit / heart ~ however you may choose to define it. It is the inner “thing” inside of you that needs to be shared. It is the desire to connect to something outside of yourself (the divine? another human being? a deeper understanding?) This requires us to search profoundly inside ourselves ~ so we can begin to have a glimpse of who we are, and therefore begin to discover exactly what it is we desire to say. No teacher will give this to you, no conductor or director will identify it inside you (although they may be able to ignite it a bit inside), and no coach or audience will verify it unless you can at first tap into it and release it yourself. There are different tools to find this ~ experimentation, examination, playing, living, searching, loving ~ and yes (finally!) maybe even hair color can initially help you to identify this spark inside of you that wishes to be found, or help you to externally identify something that feels right, or more “you”. If this is the case, then you need to be very honest with yourself and ask “WHY do I feel more myself when I do ____?” Is it merely a mask? are you hiding? or is it really helping to illuminate more clearly how you feel inside? Those questions will help steer you to what you believe in and who you may be. But they are ONLY a catalyst and not anything that has lasting power. We don’t have to look very far to see celebrities in our culture trying desperately to define themselves primarily and desperately as merely perfect physical specimens, and the eager public asking for more ~ but sadly, the impression that is made is one of being utterly hollow inside. “Hollow” has no place in this world of high art ~ at least not in a significant or lasting way, and most certainly not in a way that deeply moves people at their core, which is, I think, the object of our world of music!

So my basic answer is that I’ve never, ever given thought to my hair color in terms of my career and I categorically cannot believe that any job was gained because I was blond and not brunette or redheaded. Now, jobs or competitions were certainly won (or lost) because I had a certain level of confidence (or lack thereof), and of course my physical appearance affects my level of confidence, varying on any given day. And I absolutely have thought about it as a woman (who was born nearly white-blond and has tried to keep “reminding” her hair of that since her mid-20’s!), but this has been for me, as Joyce. As a performer, and one who occasionally loves to play up the glamour side of things, yes – then a lot of thought goes into the image I am putting out, and which side of my personality I may choose to present. And yes, I absolutely make a trip to the salon before a big photo-shoot or important concert, because I want to present myself in the best light ~ but in a way that feels true to myself and highlights my true personality. But this is ALWAYS after the “art” has been attended to. For you, thinking in terms of auditions and concerts, of course appearance plays into the audience or jury’s overall perception of the evening ~ but you cannot fool them: if the look is not “you” and if the beauty or glamour exists only on the surface, it won’t mean a single, solitary thing. Yes: as singers we need to function and thrive within the world of glamour and allure, but please ~ PLEASE ~ never at the expense of the art. It is, in my very humble opinion, WAY down on the list of priorities ~ especially when you are starting out and needing to learn simply how to put one foot in front of the other as a vocalist.

Finally, you’re entering into a field where you are, and will forever continue to be, under constant scrutiny. You will need to find a balance between listening to the advice of others, and listening to your inner artist / inner voice ~ finding a way to reconcile and constantly balance the two. Again, in my most humble opinion, I think your gut must always have the final word, but I have always treasured the advice of those that I trust and respect. You just need to be very observant and realize who has your best interests at heart, and who is working on their own agenda. (This, by the way, can take decades to learn!)

Amen.

We do NOT need a bad imitation of another artist that has come before us (the blond one, the “Next Callas”, the skinny-one, or the “New Pavarotti” or another barihunk … Well, OK, we can always use more barihunks!). No. We need originals. We need originals desperately, and the only way that will happen is if the business fosters and encourages individuality. We want it, we crave it, and we need it. But the aspiring artists of today also have a responsibility to learn about themselves, to strongly address WHY they need to perform and what they have to say, and I think that resides in deep questions much more pressing than blond vs. brunette.

Now, all of that having been said, please know that I understand completely why you asked the question, and I’m very happy that you did. You are certainly not alone in your concerns or doubts about what is important when starting out. I think your question has allowed me the opportunity to speak about things that affect a LOT of young singers and who could truly benefit from knowing they are not alone in their insecurities, or doubts, or questions.

Thank you for reading … and here’s hoping you ALL find your own, unique, beautiful, artistic and soulful way to impact the world around you!!

That having been said:

Basta!

43 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this post, your words are always so wonderful and inspiring to read. I am a young-ish (31!) singer (recovering after spending my early 20s as a cellist) and these words still ring very true with me and are of such importance. It’s so easy to get caught up with these other things, and some of my peers would have me believe that they are of more importance than those I know to be – music, truth, life….honestly in performance. THANK YOU! I feel rejuvenated.

  2. Larissa said…

    In bold, please, “You will need to find a balance between listening to the advice of others, and listening to your inner artist / inner voice ~ finding a way to reconcile and constantly balance the two.”
    True about so many things in life.

    And God said, let there be wigmakers!

    • Anna Leese said…

      Absolutely, I think these words are the most precious also. It takes a long time to work this out yourself!
      Thank you, Joyce for putting this into words.

  3. Jennifer Cooper said…

    Well-said, Joyce. All poignantly true. With regard to my “circumstances”, I had to re-invent myself, by default (switching from opera to jazz/blues/pop). However, when I lost everything back in 2001 due to the medical setback (voice, opera career, network, income, contracts, agent, etc.)… it forced me to re-discover who I was, at the core. Despite the long list of “losses”, the one aspect that continued to resonate and burn within me was the passion to communicate through music. Even when I literally lacked the physical capacity to make a single sound, I was screaming inside with an insatiable obsession to perform. That burning ember was probably the only reason I somehow made it back to the stage. Appearance and opinions had nothing to do with it. It was a core desire, a “fire in the belly” (as Evelyn Lear used to always tell me). THAT is what stimulates all the other necessary procedures (study, training, discipline, etc.). You’re right… it’s fun and confidence-building to get “dolled up” and enhance my appearance (I still do it for “big gigs” too), but it is indeed merely the icing on an enormous, rich, multi-layered cake of artistry, training, skill, and passion.

    Miss working with you, girl!… Miss all my opera buddies. But, happy to be singing again.

    Take care,
    – Jen Cooper

    • Yankeediva said…

      JEN!!!!!!! I know you have taken the deepest of journeys to be on that stage, and I admire you more than I can say for it! Thank you for reading, for adding your valuable voice here, and for keeping on doing what you do – the world needs it!! Love and miss you, as well!!!

  4. Ana said…

    AWESOME! I applaud your honesty and selfless kindness in giving your advice!

  5. As a young singer and aspiring artist (though I think I shall always be an aspiring artist–does anyone really ever accomplish artistry?), I needed to read this today.

    It’s easy to wrap yourself up in trivialities like hair color and the like when you want something as badly as many of us do. Our need to communicate fuels us and we will go to great lengths to achieve our goals.

    But Joyce, you have put the onus on us to use our GIFTS–that is, our voices and our artistry– rather than our mere physical characteristics (though they do play a part!) in performance.

    Thank you for being so willing to give singers like me honest, selfless advice. It is priceless.

  6. Carole FitzPatrick said…

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I had a fairly long career in Germany, and am now teaching college students to sing. I appreciate so many things about this — certainly simply the fact of your taking so much time with this very important question, and your eloquence and humor in responding. This is one of the major issues our young singers face, and I so appreciate your being so honest about it. I hope you don’t mind, but I plan to use this (giving you full credit, of course) when my students want to talk about this.

    And since we don’t know each other, and I have the chance to say so here, you were outta-sight fantastic in The Enchanted Island. Amazing singing, acting, the works!

    • Eric Carswell said…

      I am so glad I read this. I have an unbelievable fire inside me about opera. I just want to do it everyday for the rest of my life. However I can’t read music (I am 18) and because of this I feel like Im so far behind. I really want to become a Primo Uomo but my parents want me to become a lawyer and I dont know what to do. I dont even know how to get started and how to go about learning Please if you have any advice email me or post something.

      • Jennifer said…

        Eric – From one who did not – Follow your fire. Trust me on this. Your parents love you and want the best for you, but you are the one who has to live with your choices. Forever. Sit down and ask yourself: When I am fifty or sixty years old, what do I want to look back and say that I have achieved? What do I want to say I have experienced? Take a heavy-duty look at what you love, what you are passionate about. Are you passionate about the law? If not, there is no reason to pursue it. (Anyone who has had a lawyer “go through the motions” for them is begging you here.) Are you passionate about opera? Then pursue it! And even if opera turns out not to be your final destination, I truly believe that following our passions leads us where we are meant to go. (And trust me, if you change your mind ten years from now, law school will still be there. Law school will ALWAYS be there.) Follow your fire.

  7. Cristina G.N said…

    Hi Joyce!

    Ciertamente es un auténtico placer poder leer un artículo tan lleno de sinceridad,honestidad y efervescente energía,tus palabras estan llenas de comprensión y verdadero afecto a los jovenes que luchan en sus primeros pasos del duro pero maravilloso mundo vocal.
    Yo aunque ya no soy tan joven me siento indentificada totalmente con las cosas tan hermosas y al mismo tiempo tan reales que explicas en tu journal.

    A pesar de no haber podido continuar con mi carrera vocal por culpa de mi enfermedad,nunca he perdido la alegría por la música y disfruto escuchando a las personas que al igual que tu Joyce nos devuelven las ganas de seguir amando el arte por encima de todas las frivolidades de la vida como puedan ser los colores del cabello,los vestidos,estatura, complexión del cuerpo…El verdadero tesoro es la voz hecha de tejidos humanos,sentimientos,corazón y de horas de duro aprendizaje hasta llegar a ser totalmente dubtil manejándola a voluntad nuestra para así poder abrir nuestro arte a las personas que nos escuchan.

    Muchas gracias Joyce por tu escrito,está lleno de un fresco aire de juvenil energía y pasión,sigue siempre así.

    Best wishes!

    Cristina :- )

  8. Dennis Connors said…

    Hello!

    Thank you so much for taking out the time to write and share this letter. As a young artist (19 year-old tenor), I really appreciated the advice you gave and it really resonated with the feelings that I have as an artist.

    God Bless!

    Dennis Connors

  9. Elayne said…

    Joyce,

    You do not understand how much I needed to hear this today. Just graduating from my Masters in Vocal Performance and at the awkward in between phase of “what do I do now.” I’m slowly figuring out who am and who I want to be as a performer, but it honestly changes everyday. Your words hit so close to home and I absolutely love the honesty of it all. I’m going to go practice now! :)

  10. Keith Weber said…

    Thanks, Joyce!

    A big, big “A-MEN” from here. I think genuine is what’s its all about…..

    I appreciate you time and thoughtfulness here.

    K

  11. Barbara said…

    *sigh* Joyce darling, you are really something. Thanks, I need that today.

  12. Katelyn Grubb said…

    Thanks, Joyce! I think that your words ring true to any young person trying to find their “voice”!

    Katelyn

  13. Marguerite Foxon said…

    Im not an opera singer, just a passionate opera lover, but your advice is just as true for me as a corporate consultant – all of us need to be who we are. Its so tempting to model yourself on the best in your field instead of being the best you can be. Thank you Joyce. Your Aussie fan, Marguerite.

  14. Hilda Harris said…

    Thank you so much Joyce for caring and sharing this wisdom.
    Right on the money!

  15. Geoffrey said…

    Amen! Thanks for sharing. The truth is always the best advice.

  16. Fiona Kimm said…

    Superb, Joyce. Thank you for saying it so eloquently – and for being such a role model too! It really is a case of “DO do what I do as well as what I say!!!” Prima – e per sempre – la musica.

  17. Jess Guislain said…

    What wonderful insight and “straight talk”, Joyce. What you have to share with young singers, as we saw in the master class in Kansas City, is so very valuable. Thank you for sharing your gift.

  18. Snow Reese said…

    Thank you so much for posting this. I discovered recently that I had lost touch with what I really wanted in life and what I’m passionate about. I always get cast as the “younger sister” or the 10 year old but never the real parts I want because of my looks. So I changed my major and started studying the workings of behind the scenes. While I have found I am a great director it has just caused a bigger void in my heart than I thought was possible. After reading this I think I’m going to go audition for something and simply enjoy the limelight.

  19. Thank you so much for articulating this inspirational wisdom. The content is unquestionably, resonantly a ‘deep truth’ of the art, but your wit, wisdom fluency and humanity in the telling supplies a further level of truth:

    A great opera singer must not only be a skilled communicator – they must have something meaningful to communicate in the first place!

    Thank you again!

  20. Kat said…

    What a wonderful, inspiring letter written at the perfect time to resonate in my life. After much disappointment in my career, I keep wondering what makes me keep doing this. Honestly, it’s still unknown to me, I have no clue why I do but I have this inner need to continue. Thank you for always providing honest advice, because it’s what us young singers need.

  21. Sarah Williams said…

    Dear Joyce,
    My daughter, a young opera artist, sent this to me. How I thank you for it. You have strengthened and confirmed the hours of conversation we have when she is broke, discouraged, sick, and disheartened. She is a glorious and talented – and beautiful singer. But when her confidence falters, when she has a setback, I flounder for ways to re-center her. No, I have never asked her to give up. And the reason is that both music and performance are in her soul, and she has been blessed with talent. But, as you said, it takes years of hard work and huge discipline to manage the body’s fluctuations. I lay awake at night worrying about her and wondering if I am right to encourage her. In your words, I feel I have an ally. She sent me them. Bravo, and many thanks.

  22. Roger Briscoe said…

    Hi Joyce, If I’m remembering correctly you were one of the quartet of young artists who sang a Messiah with me and the Ventura Symphony back about 1978 or 79. I was struck even then by your sense of dedication to the music and that you probably had a career ahead of you. Congratulations on your many successes! I’m supposedly retired now but still singing [!] in small ensembles in Cambridge, England, and this was posted on the FB page of my colleague (and wonderful Mezzo from Down Under Lynette Alcántara~member of BBC Singers). I’ve never had enough hair to worry about, altho’ blond, but much of the advice you give would have been helpful to my career. I’m thankful you have shared these good thoughts and I’ll bet many others will be, too. Many best wishes on your continued success.

    • Yankeediva said…

      Dear Roger, I think that would have been a miracle of sorts, as I would have only been 9 years old! But I’m sure whoever it actually was would appreciate greatly that you thought they had a great talent!! CHEERS!

  23. Beebe Freitas said…

    Brilliant! Wish this could be Required Reading for anyone wanting to enter the Opera World….or any of the Arts, for that matter!

  24. Chris said…

    Being attractive and good looking is certainly icing on the cake of singing. For example, Florez’s good looks probably give him a bit of an edge over other similar tenors. On the other hand, sometimes being not so perfect, appearance wise, can paradoxically add to the interest of a performance. I think here of Olga Borodina singing the Italian Girl in Algiers. She is a bit hefty to be a perfect Italian girl in appearance, but the result, for me, is to make her singing even more the focus of my attention and admiration. I think how incredible it is that a woman as ample as she is and with a voice as rich and voluptuous can sing all that rapid coloratura so brilliantly. And her performance, as a result, takes on a special je ne sais quoi that it otherwise might not have.

  25. Will Fregosi said…

    I have been designing for opera and theater since I was 21 years old and am still doing two oprars a year in Boston. Your advice about balancing between what others tell you and trusting your inner voice is spot on. I have taught young actors in Intro to Theater courses and warned them against going into auditions asking “what are they looking for (and determined to do that even if they have no experience of it). What directors are looking for is what the actor/singer has within them, their unique self.

    Thank you for this — I may well pass it on (credited, of course) to those beginning their careers who cross my path. And thank you for knocking me sideways ever since Dead Man Walking every time I’ve seen/heard you on stage.

  26. Eric Carswell said…

    @yankeediva

    I am so glad I read this. I have an unbelievable fire inside me about opera. I just want to do it everyday for the rest of my life. However I can’t read music (I am 18) and because of this I feel like Im so far behind. I really want to become a Primo Uomo but my parents want me to become a lawyer and I dont know what to do. I dont even know how to get started and how to go about learning Please if you have any advice email me or post something.

    • Darren Abrahams said…

      Hi Eric,
      My parents also wanted me to become a lawyer. They mean well but you have to follow your own path and explore what feels right to you. In terms of how to start – if you haven’t already find yourself a good singing teacher in your town and learn to read music. There may be evening or weekend classes you can take in music theory, buy a book or check on youtube for teaching videos. Try piano lessons too – a great way to learn to read music. There is no substitute for hard work and curiosity so take the initiative, find out what you need to know and go learn it.
      If you want something in your life look at where you want to get to, look at the reality of where you are now and fill in the steps, one at a time, to take you from here to there. Small manageable steps at first so that you can achieve them. Each step will take you one little bit closer to your goal. Don’t imagine there won’t be set backs along the way, but you will grow and develop from these, so embrace them. To become a Primo Uomo takes time and dedication and the best time to start is NOW!

      • Eric Carswell said…

        Thank you very much forthe encouragement. You posted this on my Birthday no less. Thanks and I will do that concerning reading music. Just thank you really. Thank you

  27. Darren Abrahams said…

    Hi Joyce
    This is an amazing article! Thank you so much for posting it. I cannot agree more with your words about artistry, individuality, hard work.

    I’m based in the UK and am a tenor who has been out in the industry for the past decade. I actually sang a Messiah with you 12 years ago in Houston, I know Leo from Wexford and am also a friend of Jason Ferrante. Your comments about areas in which the industry are failing resonate very deeply with me and because we feel very strongly that the singer, the artist, has been very much disempowered within the classical singing business, myself and mezzo soprano Arlene Rolph are producing a two day event in London in August to address these issues. It is called The Singing Entrepreneur Forum and aims to start a discussion within our community about surviving and thriving as a professional classical singer in the 21st century. Our first day is an Inspiration day, with 16 singers all speaking about their careers under the headings of Identity, Business and Performance. The second day begins with a Round Table discussion called “Meet the Gatekeepers”, in which 7 industry leaders answer questions about training, representation, casting. We end with an open space discussion for all present. All will be posted for free on the internet after the event and we hope that this will start to create a change in the industry and bring down some of the walls between the employers and the employed.

    If you are at all interested to know more we would be thrilled to hear from you. We have a short series of videos called “Sound Bites” in which professionals in the industry give their one piece of advice for young singers just starting out (http://singingentrepreneur.com/sound-bites/) and some longer interviews with singers talking about their careers. We’d be honoured to have some words from you too. Its incredibly inspiring for aspiring singers to hear from star singers about the realities of the profession.

    You can contact me through http://www.singingentrepreneur.com or on my personal email darrenabrahams@mac.com I’d love to talk to you about this further.

    With many thanks
    Darren

  28. Alexandra Sessler said…

    Thank you for posting this! For those of us whose idea of “who we are” is a little different from the norm (i.e. blonde streak, piercings, tattoo) hearing that having that grounding in ourselves is both necessary and beneficial is welcome news. I’m 27 and am starting my career and I have felt as you do, that one’s inner fire and their dedication to their art form is what is the most important. Thanks for being a great role model, mentor, and kind soul!

  29. Susan Graham said…

    Well, here’s how important hair color is to a career: My pianist Malcolm Martineau is always very quick to point out to young singers, “And she NEVER has the same hair on ANY of her recording covers!” It’s been red, blond, brown, curly, straight, long, short, windblown, sprayed… and none the worse for wear. Follow Lady JdD’s wisdom; it’s about a lot of things, but hair ain’t really one of them!!! well said, JdD!!!

  30. Jennifer Youngs said…

    Dear Joyce,
    I appreciated your response so much. I have run into countless conversations of this nature recently. I feel you have put together a beautiful response to this issue. I recently came upon a conversation amoung a group of singers that were debating whether or not to wear hose to an audition. Really!!! It was such an intense debate stemming from one singer who has a beautiful voice but had recently done very poorly at a competition because they forgot the words to an emensely popular art song. This particular singer then asked for my advice in the discussion, and my response was, “We can all start by learning our music…then worry about the hose.” I expressed to this group of young singers that I wished these debates were about “how to beautifullly handle a Mozart phrase,” or “how to become comfortable with a bel canto line.”. Not about hose! So THANK YOU!

    On another note…your concert in Kansas City was breathtaking! The Heggie was so good!!!!! I am trying to make it up to KC for your concert in November!

    Beautiful!

    Jennifer Youngs

  31. Thank you for this!

    I have been told that I should do something different with my hair, and I would like to, but I never felt that it should be too high on my priority list. This has taken a bit of stress about appearance away (as much as appearance is still important in this field!).

    PS I love your voice and artistry; I’m 19 years old and am currently somewhere in between soprano and mezzo (my teacher has no idea yet), and I discovered you after looking up more info on mezzos after having been treated only as a soprano up until now. You are definitely in my top 10!

  32. Tamara said…

    I am a young singer (studying :P)…. from Brazil!!

    Adorei! muito obrigado por escrever isto para nós!

  33. Ken said…

    You just made my day!
    I love singing and i always have a dream but because many reasons,i could not achieve my goal…This post is so inspiring..
    Thanks!!!

  34. LAW UK said…

    inspiring! I want to become a singer/song writer and have been trying for around 3 years… hopefully i will get my big break soon

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