Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Making the Invisible Visible

When I was a hotel singer I used to walk through the hotel kitchen to get to my job. A baker who I greeted nightly, once said to me,

“You sure are lucky. I have to be here slaving away for 8 hours a day. You just work for 3 hours and get to go home.”

I responded, “It may look that way, but looks are deceiving.” and kept on my route to my job.

This got me thinking. Things rarely are as they appear. This baker had it in her head that my job was easy and that I roll out of bed and just sing and go home. All the invisible work…the daily workouts to get the breath going, the all-important vocal warm ups, the researching and learning new songs for hours, the putting songs in my key on the page for the musicians to play, the nightly make up, hair, clothing and preparation rituals…. were all invisible.

This is one reason I was attracted to reading the book “Daily Rituals” that I talked about in the last blog entry. I just finished the book today and loved how each successful master of their craft created personal rituals based on their energy level, passion, dedication, addiction, obsession or deadlines.

The thing these masters had in common was they knew to honor their talents by arranging daily life to focus on them. Each in their own style….conservative or quirky, healthy or unhealthy.

I’d say the hugest thing that stood out to me from reading all the rituals was that a few of the successful masters had invisible support people behind them. Supports who did the cooking, meal serving, cleaning, everyday survival chores...some even giving up their own bright careers (or holding extra employment for income) to support “the alpha talent. “ A few supports received no gratitude in return either! Not all were like that, but now I will always think about the invisible angels behind the gifted masters. The invisible angels who made it possible for the masters to shine.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs inspiration and encouragement to keep at their passion. You are not crazy to honor your gifts in a serious way. And we each have our own way of doing it…or not doing it.

Of course, once I finished this book, I wanted more rituals to read because they were so entertaining. Hopefully Mason Currey will write another book on more rituals of the gifted...when he can fit that into his daily rituals!