I spend time every day listening to CBC Radio (the Canadian equivalent of NPR in the US). And I learn something - entertaining, serious or just plain whoa, who knew that? every day.
This week I was listening to a pair of young female opera singers talk about going to New York to audition for roles and I was struck by how many things they had in common with the writers I know. They had to audition before complete strangers, writers have to send their work to complete strangers (often over the transom) and in both cases, they were judged by these people and given (or not) a job.
They had to have special equipment - in their cases, dresses (the interview wasn't with Measha Brueggergosman but here are a couple of pictures of her costumes). Writers have computers.
Opera singers have stage fright - even, maybe especially, when they're going on auditions. Writers have stage fright meeting editors or agents or other writers. They have to compete with other singers for a few parts or positions. Same with writers. Publishers are only going to buy a certain number of books every year. And then singers have to wait to hear from the Met or the New York Opera, writers wait to hear from editors or agents.
And it's expensive. The singers had to pay for their clothes, their music, their training. Writers pay for computers, paper, training. These singers had to pay their own way to New York for auditions, writers pay their own way to conferences to meet editors and agents.
So that got me thinking about how many things all types of artists have in common. So I thought to myself, like writers and opera singers, do other artists have the same constraints and expenses?
Cellists or violinists or harpists? Yep.
I can't think of an artist that wouldn't have some variation on these themes. Interesting, isn't it?