What else are singers great at?

What else are singers great at?

Jenna Simeonov
What do singers do well? Sing, obviously. But the career comes with plenty of extra skill-building opportunities. Not everyone is a master chef or a DIY pro, but working singers know that making sound with their throat is the tip of the iceberg.

Meeting new people

Singers are thrown into vulnerable and often intimate situations with near strangers. The first day of rehearsal means a room full of new people, and before long, singers are asked to stage difficult and potentially embarrassing scenes with them, and to sing and make music with them. It makes perfect sense that a show’s cast can become fast friends; there’s lots of time spent together, and many of the singers have traveled from out of town, meaning they’re on board for post-rehearsal socializing.

Smart singers know that the sooner they get comfortable with the people they work with, the better the work will be. So, they make a point of introducing themselves as soon as possible, and waste no time before exchanging jokes, details about their lives and families, and finding as much common ground with each other as possible.

Travelling alone

They’re complete pros at getting around the world, these singers. They learn quickly how to book flights, check about visa requirements, scout good accommodation, and find great money-saving deals to boot. They don’t get overwhelmed by new cities; they get great at reading maps, deciphering transit systems, and trying their best to communicate in the native language. They’re quick with calculating currency exchange rates, and they’re brave about trying out mysterious food brands at their local grocery store. They force themselves to get over any fears of flying.

The international life that many singers lead sounds exciting and fulfilling; yet not everyone has it in them to do it alone, on a budget, and without a vacation-like schedule to allow for many lapses in planning.

Enjoying their own company

Like the solo travelling at which they excel, singers figure out how to be alone without going crazy. Sure, singers spend lots of time with other people while they’re at work; but very often it’s a solitary career. When they’re not in rehearsal, they’re practicing on their own, studying music, going to the gym, grocery shopping and cooking for one, and finding fulfilling ways of passing time when they’re not on the clock.

That may not sound that impressive, but it is. When singers travel for work, they’re not just choosing to spend time alone; for weeks or months at a time, singers are on their own in a new city, often without friends or family to keep them company. Loneliness can set in, or even boredom, both dangerous things when your job depends on your physical and mental health.

The solution boils down to one simple idea: love thyself. And singers learn to do it, over and over.

Making relationships work

Not a day goes by where we don’t see some article about “making your relationship work”. It’s almost a meaningless concept, except singers know it’s not. They spend tons of time away from home, and sometimes the most fulfilling moments of their careers happen far, far away from their loved ones.

For singers and anyone else with a similar lifestyle, relationships with partners, friends, and family members simply don’t work without effort. Singers make a point of connecting on a regular basis with their people back home; they ask about their partner’s day in a meaningful way, and when communication is limited to Skype or phone, they treat those conversations not as placeholders, but as the singular option for connection.

For people who aren’t forced to leave home to make a living, there can be a comparatively large amount of auto-pilot with their relationships. Couples see each other every day, and visits with family and friends are a short drive away. Relationships show their strength not when the going is easy, but when it’s tough; not every partnership can weather long stretches of separation and multiple time zone differences.

It’s almost as if singers have an advantage with their relationships. Though it’s not often ideal or wanted, they have the opportunity to take all the “I love yous” and “I miss yous” and “How was your days” into action. With long distances between them, singers and their partners show each other how much they love and miss each other with effort, time, and money. Regularly scheduled Skype dates, red-eye flights home to visit, and each partner’s respective strength and independence: these aren’t just ways to stay present in the lives of loved ones, but they can even become aphrodisiacs.

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