Hey, Jealousy…

Dear Jaime,

I just started out as a professional singer playing gigs and singing on small-budget studio projects (mostly backgrounds but some leads on song demos). Whenever I hear that other singers (friends or not) get work that pays more or is high-profile, I’m ashamed of this: I feel jealous. Like why wasn’t it me? I try to chillax but it’s so hard…any advice?

L.

Dear L.,

Yep, you’re jealous, my friend. Oh, that green-eyed monster…

But here’s what ELSE you are, L.: HONEST!

You’re also: COURAGEOUS! Why? Because you’re admitting to feeling this way even though it doesn’t show you at your finest moment.

But let’s be real: most of us–dare I say ALL of us singers–have felt this way at least once in our musical lives.

Jealousy is having an interesting run at this particular moment in history. Envy has become culturally acceptable.

We read about celebrities and their too-fabulous lives and put them on pedestals, consciously or unconsciously wishing we had what they had.

In ridiculously popular TV shows, singers are judged and pitted against other singers, while the audience gets to weigh in and judge some more. 

Furthermore, we singers drool over the opportunities they get, and wish WE were standing up there. We’d kick butt and take names and blah blah blah….

When I feel jealous of someone, I feel more focused on them than on myself, and not in that good, kind and nurturing way, mind you.

I imagine their experiences and I think, “Man, my life s**ks compared to theirs!” Now listen up: thinking this way is very interesting because…wait for it….

THERE IS NO WAY TO PROVE IT’S ACTUALLY TRUE.

Whoa.

So basically, I’m telling myself a story and believing it, whether it’s true or not. And who winds up feeling really crappy hearing that story? Not the other person, believe me. Ouch.

Do I KNOW that Gwen Stefani isn’t lying in bed crying over bad news about her Harajuku Lovers perfume?

Okay, fine, let’s hit home a little closer: do I KNOW that my friend with the great singing gig is having a better life than me? NO! It’s just the story I’m telling myself. So instead I try to…STICK TO WHAT I KNOW:

I’m singing low paying gigs RIGHT NOW.
I want to be singing MORE PRESTIGIOUS GIGS.
I have no idea if Gwen Stefani is HAPPIER than I am.

Just the facts, ma’am….

This way, I can focus on myself and doing the things I can do in order to get the gigs I want.

And the best news is: jealous feelings will diminish the more I stick to the facts and focus on myself…in that good, kind and nurturing way, mind you!

-Jaime


  • VoiceCity Vocal Coaching Londo

    Hi Jaime. This is a really valid topic to cover as I know so many singers who seethe when another singer gets more / better jobs than them. Whilst you’re wasting your time being jealous you could be using that time and energy to improve yourself and promote yourself for the more prestigious work. Someone will always be prettier, younger, more talented and luckier than you. Accept it and focus on YOU! There is enough space in the world for everyone to have a chance. :-)

  • Poppa Madison

    There have been some great songs written about “Jealousy” and I have to admit…..I just lerve them all. It is such a terrible human affliction though and I actually believe that most people who say they feel “Jealous” really mean that they feel “Envious”. I would elucidate that perhaps “Jealousy” is more apt to describe those that loathe the fact that someone else is or has something they lack, in tandem with the fact that they themselves have little or nothing to offer to compete. “Envy” on the other hand describes what is felt by someone who values what someone else is or has and at least does have something to offer by way of talent, skill and ambition. The latter being a much more preferable state of affairs…..would you not agree?

    Come to think of it, I am envious of the fact that I am not a jealous person!

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL !

    Yours as always, one and all,

    Poppa

    © ♯♪♫ ♂PM

    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/poppamadison5

  • Yeah, Poppa! A very astute distinction! Thanks!!

  • Thank you–I totally agree! That’s why this question hit home; I’ve been there, believe me… :)

    And you are so spot on: there IS enough space in the world for us all to succeed, isn’t there? :)

  • Poppa Madison

    Jaime I have composed one of those songs that only a lady can sing. I am happy to send you the Mp3 and lyrics. Who knows, YOU might become the lady who can use it to turn those low-paid present gigs of yours into something a global audience might take to so that you just can’t stop the “jealous” OR “envious” rush of millions of booking agents trying to secure your vocal services!

    If you care to email me at: poppa-madison-music@excite I shall attach the Mp3 and Lyrics by return email.

    “Neither seek thee fame or fortune, better let destiny find it for thee!”

    By the bye I saw Johnny Mathis perform live at a BBC special show in London in the 1960’s. His fabulous voice and unique style really motivated my own interest then in things vocal and musical.
    How nice for you that you got to have an even close encounter with him!

    “That Certain Smile!”

    Cheers

    Poppa

    © ♯♪♫ ♂PM

    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/poppamadison5