Being surrounded with people who have connections to help you, but they don’t.

By Arumuga ganesh

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This is an awkward subject. Dare I write about it?

In my twenties I spent years teaching voice while pursuing a professional singing career in extremely affluent Los Angeles neighborhoods. I was one of “The Teachers” to hire in these neighborhoods. I was literally turning students down because I could not find the time to teach all of them. Financially it was great for me, I was able to get out of student loan debt and support myself with concentrated hours of teaching that paid well. This gave me lots of free time to pursue my singing. All of these people thought I was great enough to recommend to their friends as well as teach them or their family members. I became close to many fo them.

The odd thing was, I was at that time in my life desperately trying to “break in” to being a paid professional singer and everyone around me knew that. I taught as a means to financially support my pursuit of singing. It was a strange many years teaching children of high level movie studio executives, producers, talent agents, entertainment lawyers, and successful actors. These people all had an ability to “make a phone call ” for me. But yet, they didn’t. Instead they invited me to dinners at their homes, family events, and hired me to house sit.

I was in a strange predicament. I never would ask for help because I did not want to cross the line as a professional teacher, but no one who could help me ever, or rarely, offered. Most all the work I did get as a singer I had to hunt down and achieve myself. I did not come from affluent parents, or connected people. I had to musically train, financially support myself, and try to break in to my business all on my lonesome, like many of you.

I am writing about this years later because it was something that was always difficult for me to understand and to manage. I can imagine a lot of you out there have similar situations around you with people who can pick up the phone, write a quick text or email and change your life.

I think people have a hard time NOT compartmentalizing others. The stretch for the voice teacher to be considered for the audition for the voice over film- too hard. It doesn’t seem to overlap for people. People want to “own ” how they know you. You become “their teacher”, “their actor” etc…

Not a comfortable situation but a real one. In hind sight now my advice to you if you are in these situations is to do your best to be very specific if you could use help from someone who knows you in a “different” light. Ask if you could schedule a few minutes with them to pick their brain to help you. Make it brief, know what you want to ask them. ex: contacts to agents,” what I need to prepare to be considered for…”, “can you pass on my info/demo reel/cd to…”.

Ask only once. If they don’t want to, they won’t. You asking though may be what it takes to remind them you have your own dreams to pursue as well.

Good luck with this. It is a grey area to walk.

Sing well!

Written by Ariella Vaccarino creator of :

Box Set- Voice Lessons To Go

Voice Lessons To Go- The box set

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Voice Lessons To Go for Kids!- v.1 Sing Out Proud!

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Vocalize!- The sheet music compilation of all four Voice Lessons To Go CDs.

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