General Tools for Success in the Music Industry, as told by Dana Vachharajani and Jennifer Aylmer

  1. NEVER BURN BRIDGES! You never know who you will be working with 20 years later. Colleagues might bother you now, but they might be your best allies in the future. You just never know.
  2. Stay connected to your community. Keep a book with names, emails and numbers. Ever read The Tipping Point? You never know who you can help in their career.
  3. Always be prepared, professional, and studied in your music and jobs. Know who you are working with.
  4. If you think about doing MT, you must start auditioning as soon as possible as you want that equity card so that you don’t have to stand in the lines for cattle calls.
  5. Be as creative as possible. Sometimes you have to create your own shows and performances to market yourself. Learn how to network and use social media. Gone are the days of “getting discovered”.
  6. In opera you might do up to 100 auditions a year and maybe, if you are lucky will get 1-3 jobs out of it. Don’t get discouraged because every job you get and do well with can lead to the next. They are all connected!
  7. Don’t stop loving what you do. There may be some hard years, but find a way to always come back to why you love music.
  8. “Always strive to express, never to impress, because you don’t know what I like!” In an audition, if you sing the same aria you’ve just heard someone else singing, sometimes you begin to doubt you’re good enough to present it.  If you enter that room with a feeling of “I’ve got to prove myself” you’ll ultimately fail because you’re not investing in what your unique perspective on the aria can bring to the audition.
  9. We will all fail at some point or other in our careers.  How you prepare yourself for failure can influence how you view success.  If you’re honest with yourself about your wants and needs, then you can be your authentic self and be successful in that.  Forget about outside distractions and comparisons, and be the best you you’re capable of.
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