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Mark James Meier


Great article. Wonderful advise for young singers. Keep the articles coming. It's been may years since I saw you last. I'm glad to see you are doing well.

Best wishes,
Mark Meier


Bravissimo Cindy- thank you for listening to the comments from the last post and responding so thoughtfully, courageously and clearly. I really like " a special snowflake in a storm of special snowflakes" bit!


Great read. I appreciate all of it. I am not an opera singer, but I would say eighty percent or more of this applies to any person in any facet of show business, as well.


It was good to read your articles and the reply "You can be a successful singer". I thank you for opening Pandora's box and have people discuss the subjects. I wish these discussions were taking place when I was studying voice. Young singers need to talk about all the troubles and opportunities that they'll face so they can make their choice before getting stuck with debt like I did after completing my master's.

I have friends with successful careers and friends that are talented that went to the same schools, studied with the same teachers, work hard, but are still not 'lucky' to get the better gigs that will lead to contracts worth signing.

My story is different, I am giving up on my 'goal' to become an established classical singer somewhere.... and that is fine now, I have a child and am moving on looking for a job to pay the student loans from the expensive private university I went to a few years ago. I am not interested in auditioning and spending more $$$ on that. My family needs a provider and I need to find out what to work on so I can use my talents, make money and enjoy life.

Not everybody is gonna make it big, but I wished I had internalized that I was the one that would not make it big and changed paths when I could have. Anyways I am not going to keep writing about myself, I'm just another fish in the tank who couldn't make it to the ocean and that is fine.

One thing I will do is make sure my daughter knows what she'll face in case she wants to become an artist. I think there is nothing wrong with discussing the negatives of pursuing a career in the arts, but it will be very helpful if schools and teachers talk about what we can do with our degrees if we don't make it big. There are lots of options but we just don't know about it and when we can't turn into opera stars our world crumbles and I think that is what's not fair. Not knowing what else to do with your potential, with your degree, with your talent, with your passion for music.

Thanks for all the comments!



Aklista25, thank you for your comments. I hear so often from singers who have a similar path to yours, and that is one reason I started doing my workshops. I hate to see talent and joy beaten down by the harsh realities of our business and I hope to provide some guidance to help people avoid some of the pitfalls. I hope that singing will still be part of your life if you want it to be.

Last year, I heard from a singer who had amassed a HUGE amount of student loan debt and was just realizing how it was going to handicap his career. He asked how he could possibly make money using his degree and skills. In response, I wrote two articles for Classical Singer. They appear in the May 2013 (The Day Job Dilemma) and June 2013 (Careers for Classical Singers) issues, and if you're a subscriber you can access them in the archives. They might give you some ideas you haven't already thought of for how to use your singing to provide for your family.

Best of luck to you!


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Where's Cindy Singing Next?

  • Madame Armfeldt, A Little Night Music, Alamo City Opera
    February 3 & 4, 2018 https://www.alamocityopera.org/

Cindy on Stage

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    I play dress-up for a living.

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