Many months ago, I took local jazz singer and Frank Sinatra sound-alike Jack Civiletto to lunch. I quizzed him on his career – how he got there, what he loves about singing full time, and how he decided to make jazz singing his career.
I was surprised to learn that Jack had not been blind from birth. His condition began in his late twenties and got worse, till in his thirties, he lost his sight entirely. He was forced by circumstance to give up his successful job as a clothing salesman and expand his part-time musical career to his full-time vocation. And boy, is he good at it. I have more than once wished I were limited to just one career. What if singing had been the only thing I could do?
Nearly one month ago I quit my day job as a graphic designer at a bank to become a jazz singer/graphic designer marketing specialist. Every day I get up and ride two horses. When I spend time on my music, it feels as though I am cheating my business. When I work in advertising and design, I feel like I’m taking the easy, well-worn path of success and not devoting myself to my passion. I am torn.
This quote inspires me:
Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
~ Mark Twain
I’ve always wanted to be a singer and put on a show. When I was 10 years old, I wrote, produced, marketed and performed in a variety show to benefit the SPCA. We made over $47 dollars, which, in 1971 was a nice haul.
Fast forward to June 26, 2010. I’m debuting my first-ever jazz singing trio to benefit Gilda’s Club. We make over $1,675. That night, I knew; this is my passion — doing good and singing
— putting on a show and benefiting a cause I believe in.
Is there a career here? I really don’t know. I’m in the weeds right now with not a lot of gigs on the calendar (who am I kidding? Just one), a whole lot of discouragement, and this amazing gift I’ve been given, but doubt, oh, about fifty times a day.
In the belief that truth sets me free and with the knowledge that I’m not alone I’m sharing my journey. Come along. Share yours with me. We both might learn something.