There is something called ’impostor syndrome’.
It’s the feeling that you’re fake. For example -if someone thinks you’re a good singer, in your own mind, you’re a bad singer. Perhaps you don’t even feel like a singer. Maybe you don’t feel like you belong with other musicians. That’s impostor syndrome.
As we begin to study singing, we create standards for ourselves.
”Once I can sing this, I’ll be a singer.”
”One I master that, I’ll be a real singer.”
We reach one goal, but still don’t feel like real singers. Because there’s a much shinier goal over there. The old one is already forgotten.
”What was I thinking? Here’s what singing is really all about.”
We master the new thing. It doesn’t taste like much, doesn’t taste like victory. Are we any good yet? We can’t tell.
It’s possible to reach many goals and still not feel like a real singer. We might have control of the voice at this point, producing many sounds and colors. Why the dissatisfaction? It gives rise to questions. What is a singer? What is good singing? When are we ’done’? What is the real goal?
Some singers sing seemingly without care, sounding marvelous.
In the face of that, we invent a new condition on the spot: everything we sing should come out perfectly and naturally everytime without practice and only then will we be able to call ourselves singers… because obviously that’s what a real singer does. Obviously, only certain people have ‘it’. These people alone are allowed to fall under the ‘singer’ category. They are real. Nobody knows how they do that thing. Everyone else is helpless. We should be like them or not sing at all. This myth is popular.
Impostor syndrome is common, which makes sense. The reason it plagues many is because it’s trying to tell us something we already know. It’s trying to tell us that we can never ’be’ anything. We can simply do.
Singing takes practice. That’s because we have what we practice. If we want to sing, we should sing. ’Practice’ is another word for ’singing’.
When we sing, we are practicing, and the other way around. There’s no separation. Whenever we make a sound, we practice that sound.
I’ll never become ‘something’ by practice. That’s because nothing lasts. I can’t hold on to anything. I can only act and then the moment is gone. There is only this moment.
I need to do practice in order to ’be’ what I want. I am that which I do. Again, no separation.
This is true forever. I don’t practice until a certain point and then stop. I revisit the same place, over and over, doing what should be done in exactly the way I want it. If I stop revisiting, it will seem like I ’changed’ or like I ‘got worse’ or I ’lost the ability’. No. I stopped doing, I stopped practicing.
There is no being. Only doing. Once I’m doing what I had in mind to do – singing the song in the way I intended – I won’t be someone else. I won’t be any different. I’ll be someone who is practicing. I am practice. Onstage, I am still practice.
It’s not a question of ‘having it’. You’re either singing or you’re not.
I’m not practicing something that’s separate from me. If I’m singing, I am singing itself. No separation.
Nobody has anything. You either practice or you don’t. To practice is to do. To do what? Anything. If you sing, you are singing – you are doing the practice of singing. The practice of singing is singing itself, and you will have singing. See? The process of practicing doesn’t lead to your transformation. Practicing leads to practicing. Singing leads to singing.
I will never ’be’ a singer. I’ll simply sing.