Posted by Jay Bertolet on October 28, 1999 at 22:56:11:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Life in tubadom posted by Daryl on October 28, 1999 at 22:07:05:
Your points are well taken. I believe, as you do, that talent is not an issue when deciding whether or not to become a performer. In fact, I don't personally believe in the concept of talent at all. This could be because many have said I don't have any! :) But seriously, the only players I ever saw that "made it" worked very hard. What I would suggest to you as a way to understand just how hard it is at auditions is to actually go to one and see/hear what goes on. I've never heard playing like I've heard at auditions except from the most experienced, top notch professionals. I believe that, just like athletes can raise their game in pressure situations, the winning players play just a little bit better than maybe they normally would because of adrenalin, or any number of other factors. I'm sure that Lee, just like I have, has improved considerably in the last 15 years. Most professional players are perpetual students of the art and are always looking for ways to play better. But everybody starts somewhere. I didn't even start on tuba. And even though I was pretty much the top high school tuba player in Michigan in the late 70's (I was the only tubist in the Youth Arts Festival Competition at Central Michigan Univ. for 3 years running because of my high 90's ratings at state solo and ensemble competition, given by Leonard Falcone who always seemed to end up as my judge), I got the distinct impression from my college instructor that I might not have a future as a performer. Most everybody discouraged me along the way. It wasn't until I started my Masters degree that I started to build the confidence to win a job. This after many failures in the auditions I took prior to that. After my freshman year of college, I almost bagged it completely and I stopped practicing that summer. What I discovered was that I needed to play, that I couldn't be without it. As discouraged as I was, I still had the itch. So it was either sink or swim, succeed and be happy or give up and always wonder "what if?". Such a daunting task was inspiration enough for me to work very hard and carefully toward a very specific goal. I think this desire is the "something" that pushed me through to the other end. And I don't think this is exclusive to performing, it is what drives the great success stories in all fields. That is why I think it is so important to isolate what you want to do with your life and be sure you've found the real thing. That way you can focus your efforts toward a single goal which is very efficient.