Saturday, November 28, 2015

Are you settling?

Do you "settle" for less?

for crappy?

for "not what I was expecting"?

I have been known to "make do" much longer than I should have - and therefore - "settling".

It actually pisses me off.


You don't have to make excuses.

You don't have to create a litany of reasons why.

You just do not have to settle.  Period.

Your castle,  your rules.

So often, we feel as if we HAVE to take that job,  HAVE to audition for that show or project,  HAVE to, have to, have to.

What if I told you,  you don't have to?

What if I told you,  having to leads to settling?

What if I told you settling leads to mediocrity?

What if I told you mediocrity leads to your soul being sucked away?

What if I told you,  that if you were GIVING the advice,  you'd tell that person "settling" the exact same thing????

What are you settling for, anyway?

You haven't worked in a while so you SHOULD take that job?


You need to get another credit on your resume,  so you SHOULD audition for something that really isn't your fach, your wheelhouse, your type?


You should just take that job, even though the pay sucks, and the living conditions are like a 3rd world country...because...


Why do we settle?????

We are,  you are, I am,  WORTH SO MUCH MORE!

I know a secret I want to share with you....

Theatre isn't going anywhere.  It has been here since ancient times, and will outlast all of us.  It is not going ANYWHERE.

So,  what's the rush?  What's the hurry?  Why the settling?

We so often get so panic-stricken about work,  about being seen,  about staying current.  Yet, by settling,  what does it really reveal about us?

Could it be anxiousness?

Could it be fear?

Could it be panic?

Could it be desperation????

I don't know about you,  but I don't particularly want anybody to see ANY of that.  EVER.

And frankly,  why should they even be part of my or your consciousness?

Who told us we had to be anxious or fearful or desperate?

Those stupid inside voices that need to be silenced quickly,  that's who!

Even the business doesn't say that.  They WANT to hire us if we are right.  However, if we bring in desperation or fear or anxiousness,  they cannot.  They need us to be grounded, and real, and clear, and focused & all those things we know we can be.

 While teaching, I often talk to the singer while they are singing - not because I don't think they are doing what I am asking of them,  but rather to remind the subconscious of what we are DOING.  And I often say,  I need to be the LOUDEST VOICE IN YOUR HEAD.

Who is the loudest voice in YOUR head?

The voice that settles,  or the voice that says "no shit today!"

Those voices need to push you when you don't FEEL like practicing, or preparing;  when you don't FEEL like getting to a dance class or a performance class.

Those voices need to push you when you hit your snooze button but you need to get to that audition.

Those voices need to push you when you need to self-submit online BEFORE you have an adult beverage,  or a date, or a snuggle on the couch with your pet.

Those voices need to push you when you'd rather eat pie than go to the gym.

THOSE voices.

Those voices don't settle.  They pester.  They challenge.  They know the truth.  They know YOU know the truth.  They are loud,  they are noisy, they have no sense of decorum and they will kick your butt if you don't start paying attention.

If you DO ignore them and settle - trust me - they will KICK YOUR ASS.  HARD.

It takes more effort and work and energy to try to shut them up than it is to actually DO what is right for you.

Why do we fight it?

Why do we settle?

I have two words for you:  STOP THAT.

Or three words:  STOP THAT STUFF.

QUIT settling.  Figure out where that self-sabotage is.  Figure out why.



I don't want "Yeah I know".

I don't want "Yeah but..."

I don't want "Yeah I probably do..."


Figure out if settling is serving you,  or if it is simply wasting time and energy keeping you from the power and possibility that is yours.

POWER & POSSIBILITY is stronger than "settling".

Settle because there's nothing better to do????  There is ALWAYS something better to do!  You just have to take a little more time and effort to discover it.

The focus is never ahead of you - but always in your peripheral vision.  Stay alert.  What lurks there is precisely what you need to see in order to never settle.

Not settling means saying "thanks, but no."

Not settling means saying "I am better than that."

Not settling means saying "I deserve better than that."

From yourself.

From your craft.

From your business.

From the people you surround yourself with.

From everything that you feel informs you,  involves you & infuses you.


Here's your line in the sand.

Watch what happens.  Listen to what happens.  Sing what happens.

Saying "no" doesn't mean a door closes or a bridge burns.  Saying "no, I am not settling" means possibilities begin to percolate and build;  You just have to have the courage to say it and walk away.

You don't walk away with your head down, in defeat.

You walk away with your head held high,  paying attention to each moment with your focus in the periphery!!!

Are you ready?

Me too.

Friday, November 27, 2015


I'm a big fan of Tony Howell and Get Creative Social Media.

Tony & his team help artists with the business and technical side of things - designing an online presence that "sells" you (but in a way that's equally authentic and effective).

If you've ever been confused about how to market yourself online - controlling and shaping how people perceive you in the industry - I HAVE AN AWESOME RECOMMENDATION!

Here it is!!!!!

Tony is hosting a FREE WEBINAR called "BOOST YOUR BRAND"

Sunday, December 6th at 9 p.m. EST.

I strongly recommend you register - it is FREE!  Click on the link below and be a part of your NOW!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ignorance is not Bliss

It really isn't. 

Many of us, when we look back at things we did in our studies, in the business,  when we didn't know what we do now, CRINGE at how we handled things.

It happens to ALL of us.

However, it doesn't mean you cannot be as prepared as possible and when you know better, you do better.

Let's talk auditions, shall we?

In music theatre,  things are a little slower now for holiday season and will ramp up again soon enough.

In opera, deadlines are coming for summer program applications,  many YAPs and general auditions are happening now.

What are YOU doing?

Here's just a quick check list to see if you are ready to truly be taken seriously for whatever you are focusing on.

1.  Are you studying?

This doesn't mean once in a while,  or calling a teacher or a coach for a "quick fix" the day before or the week prior to an audition.  This means, are you studying regularly?  Figuring out what that means for you is CRUCIAL for you!

2.  Are you ready to audition for what you are want to be seen for?

Do you know the business landscape you are entering?  Do you know what is required?  Are you accessing that fully enough in your current development to be seen as a viable candidate?

3.  Are you taking workshops about the business of show?  Do you take advantage of blogs, webinars, online skype sessions, and in person workshops to get to know what the business of show is really about?

4.  Do you have a team around you that can give you TRUTH about where you are in your current development to help you with recognizing the mine fields, what to avoid,  where to be seen?

5.  Are you doing regular research about casting directors, opera companies,  conductors,  directors, agents, regional theatre companies,  summer stock and the like, in order to recognize the people who are in the position to hear you and hire you?

6.  Are you working on the "other" aspects of your craft - not just singing - like acting,  audition protocol,  dancing and/or moving well?

7.  How is your online presence?  Are you up-to-date with your website?  Are you visible professionally on social media?  Are you on audition sites for submissions?

8.  Do you know how to prepare for the actual AUDITION with repertoire,  presentation,  what you wear,  how you approach things?

9.  Are you overwhelmed yet?????

That last one was supposed to make you laugh.

It CAN be overwhelming.  It doesn't have to be.  Breaking things down for yourself will help you figure out where you are,  show you were you might need a little more time,  a little more attention,  and help you organize what can be an overwhelming process.

There is no reason to feign ignorance anymore.  It often is used as a stress management tactic,  but it never really fools anybody.  The only person it might fool,  is you.

If you commit to your process,  you will find what you need in order to access what you are ready for NOW.

NOW is all we have.  Use it wisely.  Don't wish,  just get it done.  One step at a time.

Theatre isn't going anywhere.  When YOU are ready to be seen and heard,  it will be there.

Don't panic,  don't whine.  Don't claim ignorance in this day & age.  Find what you need;  if you don't know what you need, ask for some guidance!  Many of us are here to help you get on the right path for YOU.

During this upcoming holiday season,  take stock,  be real with yourself,  begin to discover more about yourself and prepare to step securely into your NEW YEAR as you pursue this crazy, wild and wonderful business, called show!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Professional IS as Professional DOES

happy Sunday!

My blogging life has dropped off considerably so apologies to those of you who have been waiting for a post!

Much has been happening and often, the same issues recur over and over again.

One of the recurring issues I have seen as ongoing,  is the lack of professionalism when it comes to social media.

But Susan,  someone is going to say,  social media isn't meant to be professional!

Ah, but APPROACH means everything!

Approaching a professional in the business is requesting a moment of their TIME.  And in that moment, you might be requesting their time to enquire about their services, or a question that will take their time.  Just because they are on Facebook or Twitter or any platform that gives you access to their profile,  does not mean you should  approach with a casual flair.

Social media is a double-edged sword.  It makes us accessible,  but it also seems to eliminate personal boundary. 

HOW you approach someone in the business reveals more about YOU than it does about them.

Before you just start messaging someone,  stop for a second and figure out exactly what you want to say and why you want to say it.

Be respectful.  If your time is valuable, so is theirs!

If you are asking a professional question,  don't assume a freebie.  Any professional's time is worth something.  They determine that worth,  not you.

Figure out how that professional wants to be contacted.  Social media?  Via their website?  Via phone?  If you aren't sure,  ask.  When in doubt,  an email is often the most respectful,  as it allows the person you are contacting to get back to you in their own time;  it also shows you have taken the time to find their website,  discover their contact information and made an initial enquiry, instead of just pm-ing them via their Facebook page.

I often get inquiries via FB and simply send the link to my website and request they email me once they have read through.   Most inquiries then come through the channels I prefer and can deal with effectively.  If they don't,  then the inquiry was not that serious.

If you are asking for a professional's time and expertise,  don't assume they are going to be your "friend" or "peer" in the asking.  Every professional I know has worked hard to develop their expertise, and that isn't for free.  They are not simply going to meet you for coffee to talk about your career when you are someone unknown to them.  You are saying "but Susan, nobody does THAT!" Oh yes, they do my sweet snowflakes,  yes they do.

A professional's time is worth whatever they decide it is worth.  If you are seeking out their TIME in relation to their expertise,  then you are approaching said professional,  with professionalism.

Many of us are more than willing to go the extra mile to help you,  if we see what you are willing to do,  how professional you are behaving,  if your talk matches your walk,  if you truly are looking to develop your knowledge, your craft,  your career.

Most of us have a fairly strong bullshit detector.  This allows us to see and discern quickly.  We have to.  This is something YOU must develop too. 

So, how do you develop this professionalism and etiquette even if you are green in your craft and/or in the business?

A few things to consider:

1.  Approach with respect,  and ask for clarification if you are unsure.
2.  Do NOT assume.  Ask.  Request. 
3.  Know who you are approaching.  Do your research. 
4.  Know what you are requesting.
5.  Follow up, follow up, follow up!

It's not rocket science,  and should be common sense,  but even that is lacking these days.

A professional in ANY business will respond more favorably to someone who approaches them WITH professionalism. 

Your behavior toward someone reveals more than you know.  That you have complete control over.  Don't feign "but I didn't know".   Find out. 

Simply treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Behavior is as behavior does.

Your professionalism is revealed through your BEHAVIOR not your resume.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Business of Singing Coffee Clatch Workshop in NYC

If you are a classical/opera singer you need to know Cindy Sadler!  Her Coffee Clatch Workshop hits New York City on NOVEMBER 8th!  

 Cindy is known throughout the opera world for her savvy and tell-it-like-it-is

There's still space available for our Coffee Clatch Workshop on November 8! Here's your chance to "caffeinate your career" by addressing specific issues in an informal, fun setting. Tickets here:

Follow and read Cindy's Blog

Her website:

And The Business of Singing:

Singers in Atlanta - or willing to get to Atlanta: check this out!

If you or any classical/opera singers you know are interested in going to Atlanta or live in the area,  I cannot recommend Maestro Leonardo Vordoni enough!

He is back in Atlanta for the duration of 2015 and starts private coachings TOMORROW NOVEMBER 2!!!!

Please pass on the info to any singers or teachers that might benefit!

Coachings can be booked online here:

and follow the prompts. 

For fee details you can just contact him directly clicking on SEND EMAIL in the STAFF MEMBERS  page.

Mo. Vordoni's website is here: