Let’s redefine success

Life is not a linear line.I have a confession to make. I'm a failure. A 100% failure. Why? Well, when I started my studies I had a plan. I will finish my studies in time (5 years) after that I will become a part of a YAP program (2 years) and after that I will get an agent and start my freelancing career as an opera singer around the world.

I have a confession to make.

I’m a failure.  A 100% failure.

Why?

Well, when I started my studies I had a plan. I will finish my studies in time (5 years) after that I will become a part of a YAP program (2 years) and after that I will get an agent and start my freelancing career as an opera singer around the world. 

Of course, add to that a few won competitions, Neue Stimmen and at least participation in Operalia. 

Since then 10 years have passed. I finished my studies in time. And that’s it. No YAP’s, no won competitions, no agent. I did make my professional debut, I was in a few semi-finals for YAP’s but “nothing” more than that. My vocal path was very windy and very difficult. My voice changed, one of my professors died, I changed countries and teachers. On my graduation concert my voice wasn’t there. Like I’d open my mouth and every third note was hot air. 

In short: A total failure. 

And yet I don’t feel like one. Not anymore. Somewhere along that journey I realised – I’m so not. And all that I’ve done, and there were some mistakes along the way, some big ones as well – it means something. It leads to something. It wasn’t in vain. 

Last December I performed in an opera for children that I produced. And for the first time in 10 years I sang with joy. Without stress or stage fright. And after the premiere my imposter syndrome fired up. “This doesn’t count”. “You created a job for yourself, no one gave you validation so this isn’t a valid opera production”. “It lasts only 50 minutes – doesn’t count”. “There’s no orchestra”. “The theatre is not big enough for this performance to count”. 

And I stopped. Why in the world does this theatre, which is my home by the way, count less than La Scala? Why does someone else’s approval mean more that giving myself approval? Why is passing an audition more “professional” than producing my own show? More valid to put on CV?

A stage is a stage. Audience is audience. During performing shows for children in Covid I performed several times for 1 or 2 children. 5 or just 3 people in the audience. And to them the experience was just as valuable as if there were 1,000 more people around them. Or even more valuable maybe. Why is any person in a smaller audience less valuable, less worthy than a person watching at 2,000 seats theatre? Why are you less of a performer because 50 people are watching and not thousands?

Here’s the thing. In the past 5 years, I had quite a few insights in the backstage of the performing industry. I was also a part of few juries (which you can imagine triggered my imposter syndrome to 2000%), I encountered the “big guys” and saw how things work behind the stage. And I can tell you – “the big guys”? They are still just people. Like you and me. With their preferences, tastes, opinions, backgrounds and most importantly – with a big big machinery behind them that also dictates a lot of their choices. I’m not saying this to diminish the importance of performing at La Scala, or on Broadway or wherever. I just wish I knew 10 years ago that there is so much more at play than I could ever imagine to getting to perform in certain places. That people on juries – are people. And that so much of the time, it’s so not about me and my qualities/talents/possibilities. And that me creating a show is not that different from another person creating a show in a different venue and asking me/choosing me to participate in it. 

It’s a huge mindset shift. The first time I thought this – all of my alarms went on. All of my previous beliefs started screaming at me. They still do sometimes. 

But as I was standing on a stage my grandfather built with his own hands, my parents worked on and gave to all of their sweat, blood and tears, and joys, the stage that brought me up – I stared apologising. To my theatre. To that stage. To all of the audiences I treated as passers by until I get to the “big thing”. Every person matters. Every venue is equally important. Every performance, if done with passion, knowledge and mission – matters the same. Every single person in the audience, even if it’s just one person – matters the same. 

Let’s redefine success. Let’s give ourselves the permission to create art that we believe in and to value it as – art. Let’s try to understand that we are all – people. Not even the most powerful person in the industry is some special species. Just a person who, by the winds of change, fate, privilege and a lot of different aspects you can’t even fanthom got to have a certain title in front of their name and their opinion to be heard and be deemed more “true” than someone else’s. 

Ako ne podnosiš vrućinu, iziđi iz kuhinje.

U prvome tekstu o potrebi/važnosti producenta napisala sam da u opis producentskog posla spadaju svi elementi vezani za umjetnički, administrativni i tehnički dio projekta. I da je upravo zbog raznovrsnosti svih tih poslova potrebno da producent odlično poznaje sve procese i specifičnosti pojedinih elemenata produkcije koje treba obaviti tijekom rada na predstavi/projektu.
Umjetnički dio posla razlikuje se od administrativnog dijela, a također i tehnički od prvih dviju skupina.

Što je zajednički nazivnik za sve tri skupine poslova?
 
Ljudi.
A ljudski je čimbenik uvijek najteže predvidiv.
Financije možeš specificirati, izračunati i dobiti jasnu tablicu koliko sredstava trebaš i gdje ćeš ih nabaviti da bi zatvorio financijsku konstrukciju.
Ostale administrativne poslove možeš grupirati prema vrstama i rješavati ih prema planu i prioritetima.
Tehničke elemente također možeš predvidjeti, koliko ti čega treba za produkciju, za koliko se vremena nešto može napraviti, postaviti, rastaviti i slično.
U umjetničkom dijelu projekta postoje uobičajeni rasporedi, uglavnom se zna koliko je vremena potrebno za koju fazu predstave, ovisno o kazalištu, žanru, veličini podjele i slično, a znaju se i protokoli i procedure.
Sve to možeš s više ili manje truda savladati, naučiti do razine svjesne kompetencije.
Međutim, još uvijek ti ostaje (vjerojatno) najteži dio posla, a to je komunikacija s ljudima različitih stilova u čemu će ti više od škole pomoći – iskustveno učenje.
Ponekad producent, osim što mu s timom valja komunicirati o svim elementima produkcije, mora biti i mama i tata, ponekad rame za plakanje, uglavnom odlučan, ponekad i strog šef, (uvijek) dobar psiholog, a ponekad, bome i – psihijatar.
Raditi s ljudima od kojih neki na svijet gledaju dijametralno suprotno, uvjerljivo je najteži dio produkcijskog posla.
U nekoliko navrata čula sam od osoba koje se bave produkcijom da obožavaju svoj posao, ali da ne podnose ljude.
Nije Harry Truman mislio na producente kada je rekao svoju slavnu izreku „Iziđi iz kuhinje ako ne podnosiš vrućinu“, ali ona najbolje opisuje što mislim o tome da producent ne voli ljude.
Nađi drugi posao.
Produkcija nije za tebe.
Promatrajte ljude, učite na različitostima, često se nećete slagati s drukčijim stavovima i stilovima – ali činite to s poštovanjem.
Disagree respectfully.
Uvijek, ali uvijek pokušajte naučiti nešto od drukčijih od sebe.
Svakim ćete danom postajati boljim producentom.
I boljim čovjekom.
Zato je za vođenje bilo kakve produkcije iznimno važna svijest o vođenju tima, tipovima ljudi, prepoznavanje emocija i rad na emocionalnoj inteligenciji. Upravo se svime time bavi drugi modul našeg tečaja “Od izvođača do producenta”!
Kako biste saznali više o tečaju i počeli raditi na svojim vještinama producenta – prijavite se na besplatne konzultacije s Vitom putem linka: https://10to8.com/book/nhprzzoaxxymgjxqez/