Well, I just got what will surely be the first of many PFOs for this season. For those of you not in the business, a PFO stands for Please Eff Off and is opera lingo for a rejection letter. This was for a summer apprenticeship that I knew was a real stretch, but at least I didn’t have to travel or pay exorbitant fees for it. Even though I never really believed I would be accepted, it still hurts, like it hurts every time.
Rejections come a lot in this business, and we all know that fact going in to it. In what other profession are being constantly evaluated, fighting for jobs once a week or so, and being rejected at least 75% of the time? Imagine if every Wednesday you had to do your work in front of your boss, and he or she decided every week who got to come back on Thursday and Friday (and no, you wouldn’t get paid to stay home). Then next week you would go back and do it again.
And every time you got sent home, even if it was only because there wasn’t enough work that week or they were looking for a blonde rather than a brunette, it would feel like a sweeping indictment on your existence and vocation, and you would convince yourself that you had backed the wrong horse and that you were ruining your life, and at some point you’d end up in tears about the whole thing. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
We singers are crazy. Part of it is that we are crazy to go into this line of work in the first place, and then we live it for a while and we get crazier. I repeat my suggestion from previous posts: Be patient with us. We’re nuts.