VoiceCouncil will no longer be updated. Articles will still be available for some time.

Recovering From Having To Be a Famous Singer

Recovering From Having To Be a Famous Singer
There’s a life for your singing beyond fame and fortune -says Deborah Weitzman.

It’s a strange paradox: being shy yet wanting desperately to be seen; loving so much to sing, yet only allowing that sweet pleasure when others gave permission.

Getting famous – that was the answer.

Then I would be loved, and would no longer fear anything.

If enough people thought I was good, I must be good – right?

If you only give over to the pleasure of abandoned singing when others clap for you, you will surely suffer (as I did), for fame is a fickle taskmaster and a dangerous addiction and even when you get it, it will never be enough.

Where This Fame Idea Came From for Me

There were many sources of this suffering.


Part of it was the idea that fame would force my mother to love me [insert the person you struggle most with in this sentence], or that I needed the world’s permission to love the thing I loved.

Gradually these ideas shifted.

I gradually began to understand that using music to get the love I wanted just contaminated the music.

By stopping who we think we have to be, we discover who we are.

My mother (like the world) is capable of loving me in her (their) way, and without a desperate need or special demand, I am more open to see and accept and enjoy what is available. Then the music becomes its own force; not a thing to force in order to be loved, but love, itself.

Questions That Have Transformed My Journey

  • What if there is no “making it”, what if the dedication to the service of creating art, of singing is enough?
  • What if there is no one, but our higher self who can give us this permission?

Learn to be content with being a creator of your art without the need to become famous

This is the greatest gift we can give ourselves – to be in the journey of becoming fully and without shame then there will no longer be the need to get famous.

To let all the elements rise up: our hates and fears, our frustrations and failures, all the times we’ve loved and lost, to let it mix in making the voice rich in texture; to immerse into the amazing curl and wave of sound that is singing.

At my best today, I am able to mix it all in, no longer ashamed of what may come up. Rather, delighted when elements rise up in me: so much richer is the texture of my voice.

I imagine the touch of the wooden floorboards in the studio in Buenos Aires with my bare feet, the cracked ceiling and overhead fan with its swish-swish as it slowly moves the air just enough to create a breeze. I immerse myself in the singing – the amazing curl and wave of sound.

This article is adapted by the author from Pandora Learns to Sing – a compelling rite-of-passage of the wind beneath our fears… and what it takes to have a quantum leap in perception (“an absolutely an un-put-downable, beautiful read”).


Deborah Weitzman has worked for over 25 years as a Singer-Songwriter and Teacher of Voice, Expression and the Alexander Technique. In a humble, spiritual approach, she continues to grow and learn from her students and audiences, and the people she meets on her travels. See her Website

  • Chris Davies

    was talking about this very thing yesterday. This need for mass approval from one’s peers is like an infection aggravated by the celebrity culture enveloping the world where more and more people are competing for essentially the same amount of places ‘at the top’. Of course it’s all an illusion but a very powerful one which militates against older people whose sense of failure increases with advancing years as they/we feel that opportunity has passed by, never to return.

  • Marlena Phillips

    I will be reading this article over and again. Thank you so much for its heartfelt message. You are so right, and I felt it in my soul as I read it, as if you’d written it for me – just what I needed to hear. Now, onward on my journey to being in that very place you speak of. Thank you for writing this. I’m sure it will impact many passionate musicians of all ages.

  • keithkcummings

    as an older person of six decades and fifty-five of those years of playing music, may I reply that I’ve never sung better nor played keyboards better. I really don’t care if I make it to the end of the tunnel to success and become world famous. I’m just loving the journey, and the wonderfilled musical travels along with many friends the muses have graciously invited me to wander. Screw all you youngin’s with stars in your eyes, just love the singing and concentrate less on your ego.

  • Dave Stergo

    I totally get this. It actually drove me to the point of madness with circumstances not allowing me to pursue any sort of music career anyway. For me I found that this neurosis about not being worth anything unless I could be recognized as a performer actually hid a deep psychological problem that needed to be worked on and I am happy to say that I have had a breakthrough in that I do not need to be a famous anything now to be happy and content. Simply looking after my family is enough. The music and singing is gravy now.