Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 29: Mourning Sickness

The problem with being passionate about (and talented at) more than one thing is that it just doesn't seem possible to go after more than one creative pursuit full-throttle. At least not while you have to work other jobs to pay your bills. I don't know how those Renaissance men like Da Vinci did it, but I'm guessing he was either wealthy or had a patron and thus didn't have to slog between 3 different jobs in order to put food on his table.

Good lord, does that sound like I just compared myself to Da Vinci? How horrifically pretentious of me. Hopefully you know what I meant.

I love music; I love being on stage. And I'm a damn good singer. I also love writing. I love watching something I've written be received by an audience -- hearing them laugh and cry at words I wrote. I love hearing people tell me that they are "totally addicted to my blog" (!). It seems that people are responding to my writing in a deeper, more profound way than they did to my singing. As much as this pleases me, it doesn't come without some grief. Having defined myself as a singer and musician for most of my life, to let the pursuit of the performing career go is painful. It's its own little death.

I have this fear that there is one "right" thing I'm supposed to do: one "right" thing that will make me successful/famous, that will allow me to rise to the top, to be widely recognized, appreciated and rewarded for my talent. I fear I will waste all this talent I've been given by not doing that "right" thing. After all, it took me 15 years to figure out I was on the wrong path with opera -- that it wasn't the art form that is most authentic/natural to me. No regrets, but I don't want to make that same mistake again. Is writing that thing I "should" be doing?

I keep running into the word "authentic." I always had trouble getting my authentic self to shine through when I was performing opera. It was less of a struggle with musical theater. But it just seems to happen when I write. Somehow the core of me comes through on the page/screen, and people connect to this. So does that mean writing is that "right" thing?

A couple of days ago, I told my sister I think I want to write a book. That same day, someone else - without any mention of it from me - told me she could see me writing a book. And that maybe that book would turn into a talk show (universe, are you listening?). That same person also told me that I don't have to give up the singing career forever -- I can just choose the writing for today. One day at a time. She told me to stop asking myself what is the right thing, and instead ask myself if it feels right.

Right now, the thing of all my creative work that feels the most "right" is writing this blog. So that's what I'm doing. And I'll go talk to Frank again after dinner and see if I can write down a bit more of his story.


  1. As someone who is "totally addicted to your blog", I say, go with your gut, go with what feels right, and know that there are people out there who are reading and listening and eagerly anticipating the fruits of your creative processes.

  2. Jessica --

    Thank you for your supportive, encouraging words. It is so satisfying to know that my writing is engaging people!



  3. I haven't read your whole post yet. Leonardo DaVinci paid the bills by developing weapons for his wealthy patrons. This fact and his wealthy patrons allowed him to create art.