I was driving home today and had a light bulb moment that for some reason had not yet occurred in my tiny mind: I am getting paid to sing every week. By definition this makes me a professional singer, my ultimate professional goal. To be honest the true fulfillment of my goal is to be a professional singer singing opera, not church music, but that is simply a matter of definition. The fact of the matter is that I am getting paid to act out my passion! I am far from a complete singer at this point in my life, and singing is definitely not paying the bills on its own yet, but I am one step closer than I have been in the past. I am averaging approximately one service a week at the moment and would love to be able to find more work. This week I also have my first paid non-church gig in over a year singing for a NAVY retirement ceremony. I am very honored to be singing for this as the ceremony itself is apparently steeped in 200 years worth of tradition, and most civilians do not get to witness this. All this to get to the point of my post this week. It is a combination of old mantras: Good things come to those who wait. Slow and steady wins the race.
I have been working towards being a singer for about 12 years, 8 of them have been spent in serious pursuit. I have had a fair share of setbacks, including very discouraging classmates in college, and people who I consider to be within my circle who often doubt my path in life. However through it all I have kept firm to my beliefs that I am a singer and that this is my calling in life. Now after countless hours of work I am beginning to see some of the fruits of my labor. I often tell people that I am not the most talented singer, in fact many of my friends have considerably more singing talent than I do, but that the reason why I will be successful is that I have a work ethic that comes from a lack of talent. I have seen many talented people become mediocre due to a variety of reasons reaching from sitting on their laurels to an unwillingness to hear criticism. So while they simmer and fizzle out, I continued my work quietly and mostly unnoticed, until one day I was better than they were, seemingly out of the blue! The moral here seems to be apparent: Work ethic and passion will trump talent every single time, without exception.