Cindy Shadrick Voice Studio

Voice Instructor, Vocal Coach, Music Director

The Four Things You MUST Have to Make "It"

My husband and I were watching OWN's "Masterclass" with Lorne Michaels last night.  Among many of the interesting things he had to say, he stated that you needed three things to make it in show business: talent, discipline, and luck.  His words are extremely true, but I would also like to add a fourth: love.  Let's discuss all four.

First, talent.  This is obvious.  Some people think you're either born with it or you're not, and I don't disagree.  But I will say that even minimal talent can be trained.  Talent is more than just the ability to dance well or sing amazingly or have the ability to create characters.  It's also about having charisma, charm, and a likeable personality.

Second, discipline.  This is something you can and must control.  Discipline is about practicing everyday; honing your craft, if you will.  It is about researching your business, knowing the music, roles, etc. that work for you, and practicing until you do not do it wrong.  Think about the greatest stars in your favorite genre.  They practice....everyday.  If the biggest and the best are practicing everyday, you should definitely be practicing everyday.

Third, luck.  This is the one thing you can't control.  No matter how much talent you have, how much work you put into your job, or how much love you have for what you create, it won't happen without some luck.  So what can you do?  Put yourself in a position to make yourself lucky.  You can't win the lottery if you don't play right?  Get out there, audition, perform, gig, post a Justin Bieber youtube video if you have to (actually, don't do that) but put yourself in a place to get noticed. 

Lastly, love.  Love is the single most important thing you need to make it in show business or in any business.  What does love mean?  It's not just about "I love singing and dancing so I think I'll do musical theatre."  Love is about taking ensemble role after ensemble role because you care about the business so much that if you never have a leading role, you will still be ok.  Love is about waiting tables or temping 9-5 so that you can go to rehearsals and performances at night.  Love is about pursuing until there is nothing left to pursue.

I want to make one last point about making "it."  That word "it" has many different meanings.  Making it doesn't just mean that you become famous or have an exclusive recording contract or that People Magazine wants to take your picture.  In my life and my career, making it was/is about being able to be in the music world every single day, making a difference, and being able to come home to my husband and children every night.  And remember, you must have all four of these things to make it.  Talent and love don't just stand on their own.