'What it’s ACTUALLY like to be an Opera Singer'

Ms. in the Biz

2 October 2013

Heidi, you’re clearly on your way to becoming a legendary operatic superstar at the young age of thirty-something. If you could, what are 3 things you would tell your 13-year old self about being a woman in the Arts?

1) Be kind to yourself. You’re going to have enough distracters and nay-sayers in this world and you need to be your own ally and not your own enemy.

2) Glamour is an attitude, and not an actual thing you can purchase. I used to wear heels, dresses and Spanx every day and I was sweaty and uncomfortable. Now, I wear leggings, oversized tunic tops, scarves and flats. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be anything other than yourself. Yourself is enough.

3) Not everyone is going to like you and that is OK. It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re the nicest person, or kind to everyone, or if you’re always optimistic and cheerful. In fact, that seems to make people want to punt you. There will be people who don’t like you and they will be mean behind your back and to your face. I would tell my 13-year old self to just keep being you and that the people who are supposed to be in your life will be there. Everything will be ok.

Beth Stewart