How to Compare Yourself to Others Without Getting Totally Depressed

I love the internet and am fascinated by how effortless it has become to stalk stay in touch with people and blackmail them get instant updates on what cool things they're up to. Of course, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the rest have also made it incredibly difficult to avoid comparing ourselves with everyone and their brother. Melanie just won the Met job?! Milo and Madison just got married?! Michael's quartet just performed with who?! Argh! Why does it seem like everyone I went to school with has a…


Why You May Want to Avoid Watching the News Before an Audition

Have you ever noticed that most of the stories on the news aren't really news, but bad news? No, it's not just your imagination. They don't say "If it bleeds, it leads" for no reason. After all, if the news program's primary goal is for us to tune in, it would make sense for them to skew their stories towards the negative. Negative information provokes a stronger psychophysiological response than positive information, so we are probably much more likely to pay attention to a story like "Serial…


Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight

Have you ever been frustrated by the fact that you can take a difficult passage, work on it for a bit, get it sounding pretty good, but return to the practice room the next day to discover that you're back at square 1? That nothing has really changed? And despite how good it sounded yesterday, now it sounds just as bad as it did before you worked on it? Most of us can live with "two steps forward, one step back." It's the "two steps forward, two steps back" that makes us want to tear our hair…


How to Get Unstuck and Break Through Learning Plateaus

Part of becoming an artist, or a true pro, is cultivating an internal locus of evaluation - our own personal concept of what success, excellence, and beautiful art means. What it sounds like, looks like, feels like. That is, after all, the basis of our artistic DNA, and what gives us our unique voice. But if we stick our heads in the sand too deep, we can run into a different problem. Our learning stagnates. We get stuck on a plateau. We've all been there. Where we are putting in the time, and…