When I teach younger voice students, I will tell them early in the process that vocal technique is like a three-legged stool. The legs of the stool are breath, free vibration, and resonance. In technique discussions, I can draw a line from any specific thing we’re discussing back to one of those three things. I make sure to tell my students that when they’re confused about something we’re working on, they should ask me to “explain it a different way.” That’s always a good indicator for me to draw the through line from the macro to the micro. Ultimately, to make sure that the voice is functioning in a healthy and productive way, all three of those legs need to be strong and the whole stool needs to be well-balanced.
In coaching and consulting, I have a three-legged stool metaphor as well. When I first work with clients, I ask them to adopt this thinking that the three legs in their music business are craft, network, and materials. Your craft is the skill with which you do the main thing. If you’re a violinist, your craft is *everything* related to how you play, what you think about the music, and your performance. Your network is obviously related to how deeply you’ve connected to others inside and outside of your field. When it comes to music entrepreneurship, it pays dividends to know people. Period. Plus, it is important to not only know musicians, conductors, and arts administrators. Having a robust network of people in all different walks of life is a huge advantage in life. Finally, materials are everything that are related to your music business that isn’t craft. That could mean your website, tech rider, bio, email newsletter, headshot, pitch letter, 5 year plan, bookkeeping, taxes, recordings, and more.
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29 Days to Diva Day 6 Assignment: Find Your Blind Spot
In fact, I hope this isn’t cheating, but I’ve kinda talked about this before during 29 Days to Diva. During my 2018 attempt at a full season of 29DTD, I brought this up in the initial post:
Whenever I teach my “Make It Rain” workshop for other musicians, composers, and creative professionals, I talk about three main pillars of a career: your talent, your network, and your materials. In fact, the slide I use for this has a cute little pie chart with talent, network, and materials broken up into color-coded 33% portions. Then, there’s a one percent slice of the pie in blue. The color-coding key informs that the blue color corresponds to “luck.” I always make sure to explain that luck, in this case, means that when a decision is on the line the dice simply fall in your favor. That’s it. Sometimes you will be up against another person who is equally good for the role, knows all of the same people that you do, has comparable materials, and sometimes the decision falls in your favor. That’s luck. The work we do during 29 Days to Diva, and all 365 days of our diva lives, on our talent, network, and materials helps to ensure that there are fewer times when we are in the situation in which we need luck to be on our side.
Does your craft, network, or materials need attention?
Today’s micro action should be pretty easy to complete. However, it is necessary for you to know as you move forward in your music business. Take a comprehensive look at your craft, network, and materials and determine which area is your blind spot. It is possible that a sub-section of that area is the blind spot. I’m sure that we can all think of an example of a performer who has flawless technique but is absolutely boring on stage or who has a terrible attitude in rehearsal. It’s also possible that your website is stunning, but you don’t know anyone who wants to support you and your career.
Ask your squad for assistance
Do you have your own group of diva buddies? I mean people who you implicitly trust and that you can hear constructive criticism from. It’s okay, and advisable, to turn to them during this assignment and ask them for loving advice. (Please don’t ask random strangers on the internet for advice.) If you’re doing this assignment on your own, please remember it’s called a blind spot for a reason. Interrogate the first answer that pops into your mind. It may not be the correct one. If you’re already thinking about it regularly, then it’s not your blind spot.
What are your takeaways from this assignment?
Divas, what questions can you ask me about this assignment? I’d love to hear from you? Do you need more help in identifying whether it’s your craft, network, or materials that need help? Perhaps you’ve already been through a season in which one of those areas was a blind spot and then you fixed it. What was that like? Share your takeaways and ah-ha moments with me in the comments below. Or, find me on social media. I’m @mezzoihnen. I love hearing from you.
Caring is Sharing!
Share the Sybaritic Singer with your friends! I love seeing you share your thoughts, ideas, takeaways, and more on social media. Use #29DaystoDiva or #29DTD or tag me @mezzoihnen. Let’s level up together!