As posted to Vocalist on August 14, 1998 by Emily Brunson. Used with permission.

Re: Learning to face contests again

>I have done many contests, and most of these experiences have been
>negative. I am going to start working with new people in a completely
>different city.  I know that I will probably be encouraged to try
>competing again.
>How do you vocalists prepare for contests, after a string of
>competitions that have been less than successful?

Wow, there’s a question.  I think it’s more a “how do you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go on after *any* less-than-successful experience” situation.  Competitions, auditions, performances — even a bad coaching or lesson.  And there aren’t any easy answers.  It all falls under that category called “perseverance.”

If you have a string of unsuccessful auditions, you must analyze why they were unsuccessful.  Are you singing material appropriate for your Fach and stage of vocal development?  How are your languages and presentation?  Are you technically secure, or are there problems?  Unsuccessful auditions are certainly not high on my personal list of fun things, but you honestly can learn from some of them.  There will be times when you never know *why* you didn’t succeed in a particular situation, but competitions often allow you to consult with at least one of the judges afterward, or even get critique sheets.  Read them, listen, pay attention — learn.  And then go forward. It’s about all any of us can do.

And remember.  You can be the finest, most beautiful apple in the world. And it won’t matter at all if they’re buying oranges that day.

But the fact that they’re buying oranges doesn’t make you a bad apple. Know what I mean?  You just have to keep looking for the day when they’re shopping for apples again.

Toi toi toi!

Emily Brunson
Senior Editor
Classical Singer Magazine

PO Box 278
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Fax: (973)378-2372

© 1998 Emily Brunson. All rights reserved.

Share This