I think some people are born to do certain jobs! Not everyone has the stomach to be a surgeon and cut live people open. Not everyone could work in a mortuary …….
Not everyone can be a singer and performer – aside from the fact that you need a bit of talent, lots of hard work in practising and refining your skills, it takes guts, it takes years of hard work and long, lonely journeys. Missing out on family events to entertain and amaze another family you don’t know, to create a memory for them. Missing out on weekends with loved ones, to entertain people you don’t know, who are in love and spending quality time together. Its takes something special to be a singer and not everyone can do it!
Every day I chat to singers about their careers, performances, struggles, and the stories I hear from them are moments to be proud of, moments to shout about, moments that you “the audience” would never have a clue about, because a singer will never let you know. They put on brave faces, a big smile and a beautiful dress or suit that no-one in the same room will have on and they go out there and they give it 110%. And you would never know what they might have been through to get to you, to make your event absolutely amazing.
I chat to Singers who’s cars have gone on fire on the way to gigs, yet they still get there, they find a way to perform and make a “Birthday celebration” a moment to remember. Singers who have started projectile vomiting back stage, (with what turns out to be the Nova virus and we all know how bad that is), they go on and do their show, just to make a crowd happy and entertain them. A singer who has on that very day broken up with their partner of 8 years and has gone on stage that evening to perform to a happy wedded couple and not only that, but they make it the best performance, they make it spectacular and everything the couple dreamed of and more. And they do it with class and style and professionalism.
Ive known a singer go on stage and do an amazing stand out performance at a wedding, after getting a rather large fishing hook stuck the entire way through the bottom of her foot…. (the fishing hooks we being used to hang event boards around the room but one got left out, or dropped on the floor!) She told me that the worst thing was pulling the hook out again!
I have known singers get changed in dripping freezing cold cellars, or in the loos whilst people are coming in and out drunk. Singers who see fights break out at gigs and yet they carry on singing… Singers who drive for 8 hours, set up their equipment, wait around, go on stage with the utmost professionalism, showmanship, a big smile, a big heart and open arms and nail it! They then take down their gear, they drive all the way home for another 10 hours and do it again the next night.
A bad cold to a singer is nothing to stop them making the crowd happy and making them have the time of their lives. Whilst most other people I know, would do the right thing and sit at home in their PJ’s watching TV, the singer is having a lemsip, some strepsils, a vocal zone, some nasal spray, chilli, lemon, honey, steam and just about anything else that anyone can recommend that will get them through the gig as they don’t want to let anyone down!
Whilst you watch x-factor or the voice on a Saturday night, the singer has been driving, getting ready and setting up at their gig. Don’t tell a singer they should go on it, they don’t watch it. They have real jobs! They live in the real world! They don’t sing for 2 minutes and then go home! They entertain for 90 minutes – do you often sing for 90 minutes and entertain and create wonderful memories? Or do you think you can judge a real, “live” singer on their performance because you have just watched a TV show for an hour and a half……
Have you ever ran around a football pitch for 90minutes whilst singing at the same time? Nope? Well believe me, a singer who gets a crowd going knows what that would be like. You have to be fit, you have to be strong mentally, you have to have determination, you have to have courage to stand up on your own in a room and not be “the crowd,” but to entertain “the crowd” instead.
Thats a singer!
The thing is, what singers love about their job, why they do it week in and week out, is because they love it when they create a memory for a wonderful couple, or for a birthday party celebration, or for a festival of 37,000 people, nothing beats it, nothing beats the roar of the crowd and the smiles on their faces. Nothing beats knowing that they have just made lots of people very happy and created a memory that will live on.
I know hundreds of people who do this every week and im so proud to represent them, to be part of the memories that they and we create for people, for crowds, for parties, for christenings, for company events and more. Every singer has their story, every singer still aims to please, wow and amaze, but not everyone can be a singer!
Written By Paula Bolton
Director Franklin James Entertainments Ltd
Treasurer The Entertainment Agents Association GB