My hero’s journey began when I was seven years old, in the kitchen of my childhood home. I turned to my mom and said “music is my life.” I knew I wanted to dedicate myself to music, and make a living from it. I just had no idea how.
Over the next decade, I danced to Michael Jackson, played in heavy metal and rock bands, and sang in musicals. I loved doing all of these things. It wasn’t until I joined the choir at my high school and started taking voice lessons that I discovered my real vocal strength: classical music. I immersed myself in choral works, opera, and art song. I was hooked. I applied to music schools and conservatories, ended up getting in to a dream school, and began my journey from home.
It was the next 8 years when I faced trials, tribulations, and a whole lot of doubt. A teacher mishandled my young voice and almost ended my career before it could begin. I had to undergo a long vocal rehab. After healing and getting into grad school, I faced rejection after rejection. When I did finally get a performing job after grad school, I was harassed in the workplace. Years of struggle to “make it,” followed.
Fast forward to this year. Back in my childhood kitchen. I get to tell my parents that I have gotten a salaried job with benefits in an elite choral group near of my hometown. I will be able to make a secure living, doing exactly what I love: communicating and telling stories through music.
I turned to my mom and said, not with fear, not with hope, but with a great sense of pride and accomplishment, “music is my life!”