What can my first steps be getting into the musical industry as a singer?
I've been singing ever since I was 4 years old and it's definitely something I want to pursue in the future as a career. I would like start putting myself out there sooner than later so that I can get a head start.
One of the best ways is to take part in 'open mics' (short for "Open Microphones)".
This is a live show that usually takes place at night at a club, bar, pub or venue during the middle of the week.
Audience members may be beginners or professionals. For some it may be their first time performing on stage. Usually they will arrange a time slot with the host who may be a dedicated host just for the night itself or could be the venue owner. Some open mics are just for singers or rappers but others can be for a range of performers including comics and poets.
Open mics may be free or may have a small 'cover charge' (entrance fee). The venue may also keep a gravity jar. Performers aren't usually paid but may be given refreshments by the venue.
If the performer is a singer they will have the opportunity to perform acapella (solo) or with accompaniment (a band or recording).
There are many benefits to participating in this type of event. The performer gets to do what they always dreamed about which is singing in front of an audience! They also get a chance to hear how they sound away from familiar surroundings which is very different from singing at home. They get a chance to see how people react and learn what it is like to be on stage.
Open mics have very supportive crowds and performers just starting out will likely feel a great sense of encouragement by participating. It often spurs the desire to do it for a second time and then regularly.
It allows performers to reflect on how they have done. Whether they need to develop a stage routine; how to interact with a crowd and numerous other things.
Open mics are also a great place to network. Getting to know other performers and artists can give a starting singer a necessary support system of people who understand the process.
After more experience, singers may get to work with others that they meet at open mics or may even build a following from such performances.
Singers who are successful here will usually graduate to singing in groups with others. This can range from being in bands singing back up to taking part in plays or theatre. Those who may want to be recording artists could take opportunities to sing on records as featured artists to get experience singing at recording studios which is very different from open mics.
These are some of the things a person who wants to pursue a career as a singer can do.
Kevin recommends the following next steps:
Do you attend church and if so are you in the choir? Are you in school? If so are you in the choir, theater, drama club, joining talent shows? I work in a high school which had a talent show last December. The experience stunned me in a good way. It was the largest audience I've been in front of so far and the people were actively involved just like at the concerts real professionals sing in. Up to then when I sang the audience sat quietly and listened.
I met an actor who ran his own acting studio. I had the opportunity to meet a famous singer from Philadelphia. You can get roles that have singing parts.
As you are aware of there are venues set up for singers: karaoke, etc. You may want to be daring and sing outside in public places.
Lastly, why are you singing for the people? What is the purpose of your music? You have a talent and the world around you has a need and so how do you see your singing as making the world a better place for people to live in. I'll leave you with one of my reasons. You ever sing and find others beginning to sing and it looks like they are really enjoying themselves. If so that is one of the reasons I sing. Too many people are walking around with most of what they have to offer locked inside of themselves mostly because they are afraid to show their real selves. I am always humbled when I see people show their true inner beauty, maybe because of my singing. I wish you well and good luck you will do it!