Nobody has it easy

Everyone has some kind of complication – even the super-successful. Everyone has hidden challenges.

The singer with an injury and the student with tensions and poorly trained muscles are two obvious examples of singers who struggle. But what about people who grow up with a high degree of ability and talent from a young age? And how about those who find success and even fortune? What could possibly bother them? Plenty.

People who seem to sing flawlessly may have many worries. The pressure is on them to always be fantastic. Mistakes are seen as a decline or crack in the armor rather than a human occurrence. People are jealous of them. They get tired of having to have the perfect diet, the perfect health, the constantly “saving the voice”, and large numbers of people dependent on their perfection. If they become teachers, they may be frustrated, since they may not have empathetic experience with vocal technical challenges.

A successful singer’s touring life is a mixed bag. Life on the road can be lonely. Relationships can be much harder to maintain. Many simple pleasures available to people who don’t travel all the time are not available to them. There are chemical, sexual, psychological, and financial temptations that can cause trouble. The type of attention that a star gets can mess with mental health.

These issues arise in all kinds of scale at different levels. The high school musical theatre star, the touring pop singer, the YouTube star, the opera soloist, the conservatory “teaching artist”, the famous New York teacher who has built a bubble. Success can have downsides that observers may not see.

It’s good to remember these things when meeting a star or super-talented person. As a dear friend of mine likes to quote from Dream Girls, “Effie, we all got pain.”

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