Music has been my driving force since I first became bitten by the lure of the all powerful effect music had on me and has on people all over the world. It was my artistic medium where I could pour my entire being into the development of a vocalist, multi-lingual actor, and serious classical musician.
Then as if by some magic power it was taken away from me.
I don't know really what happened although I suspect the singer's biggest health issue, acid reflux, caused me to compensate for the occasional loss of purity of vocalization. Whatever the reason, and no matter how hard I tried to recover what was once a truly beautiful voice, I have not been able to conquer the challenge of regaining it. I worked really hard, my teachers worked really hard, my friends put up with my crumbling confidence, and all of this would never be able to regain the ease of vocalization I had just a few years before.
Losing your ability to do your art is possibly one of the biggest challenges a human can face. I think a lot of people suffer from the loss of the ability to pursue their life's passion. I know it has to be hard on athletes, and dancers whose youthful strength, flexibility and energy which once was so easily produced becomes impossible due to some injury or simply the process of aging.
The transition from being an artist to standing on the sidelines, coaching or teaching, or to something else altogether is extremely difficult. One of the biggest problems is that your expertise doesn't translate into the normal job force.
If you play an instrument, are a visual artist producing works of art, or a writer the years become your ally. To the performing artist with something as fragile as a voice the years stack up against you and it just gets more and more difficult although your knowledge and savy grow to truly incredible heights.
It is a tragic fate for sure.
So you are forced to ask yourself the questions "What am I going to do now?"
The long road to excellence in any field is best travelled when you are young. The same mountain is a lot steeper when you don't have another 40 years to climb it. Yet, one would think that the experience and knowledge you have had in one discipline would give you an advantage.
Let"s assume I wanted to become an actor, a working actor, at the age of 59 you have to realize that even if all goes well I could take at least 5 years to become accepted as an actor, much less desired as one. The only advantage you have in this situation is that you are new to the field and a new face to choose from. But that is it.
So honestly, I don't know where all this will lead.
We are all done at some point and I just can't get my mind around that fact. I have the desire to achieve things in the future. The thought of hanging around Bowling Green, Kentucky, as nice as a place that is, and mowing the lawn, going to games, and going golfing with my retired buddies, just doesn't appeal to me. I want to go for something again and even if I have to build my career from the bottom up, at least I am on a path that compels me to get up in the morning.
I have long reasoned that I should be able to transition to being a mentor, or a business person, possibly a manager or talent scout, but the truth is, once a performer, always a performer and you can't rid yourself of that.
But, in the meantime...I've got to do something...I've got to have my bridge from today to the future that allows me to work on my new art form. I honestly don't know how to live without the next production standing in front of me.