As a child, I always had a dream to be a singer. As many children dream of being pop stars, my ambition was probably viewed by my elders as something ‘cute’ and they always let me sing at family karaokes or school shows. As I grew up and started learning new things, the dream never left me. Even when I was in school studying in the science stream classes, I was always the one writing songs, lugging a guitar around, singing in choirs and performing in a band for Teachers’ Day. When I was in college, I would meet friends from outside my college circle and form bands, jam and record little demos of our songs. After I graduated as an occupational therapist and started working in a hospital, I would still be somehow involved in the music scene which led to my resignation and current life situation.
Since leaving my profession, I have recorded and released a single and performed on stage, sharing the limelight with other local artistes and international artist Greyson Chance. I worked for several years solely as a singer, musician and performer – and I loved every second of it. Then I moved to Kuala Lumpur, the biggest city of my country to pursue a career in this line.
I have been living in Kuala Lumpur for two years now and still haven’t secured a singing job. It seems like a huge mountain to climb to be able to achieve my dreams – and all I really want to do is sing. I really don’t care what it takes. I have attended auditions but still I face rejection. In all of this, I realize a few things.
What I am doing about it
1. Staying Positive
Seeing everything that has happened, rejection, people flaking out on me, or deals that didn’t come through – it is of utmost importance to always keep a healthy mindset. Remember that when one door closes, another one opens and we just have to always be patient and trust in God’s plans for us.
2. Shaping Up
Think about your dream and what you need to be to achieve it. For being a singer-performer, obviously I need to have the voice. The skills need to be practiced and maintain. I need to know songs that will land me jobs. I need to look good and be in shape. I need to have a personality that enables me to socialize and land in people’s good books. I need to know all of this to be able to be the best possible candidate for work and for opportunities to be thrown my way.
Professionalism to me means doing the job well and avoiding drama at all cost – with as little unnecessary emotions as possible. Showing up on time, preparing your work, confidence, dressing the part and communicating in an efficient and clear manner. I have worked with people who couldn’t stop gossiping about their other group mates and causing unnecessary stress to the rest around them. I have met people who did not prepare anything prior to going onstage and then causing embarrassment to the whole band. I have met people who hardly reply any messages or pick up calls prior to an event. This will cost you a lot of good opportunities where people needed reliable and professional people to work with.
Rest assured that if this calling is for you, you will never forget it. The feeling you get when you get an opportunity (for me, it is like getting a call for an audition or a gig) makes you put everything aside and jump for joy. So don’t give up if the dream keeps haunting you, and keep on persevering for if it is yours, it will be yours – with hard work, of course! Nothing will ever be worth it without hard work.