How did you start off singing?
I auditioned for everything and anything, and ended up singing with semi-professional opera companies. I also set up my own business, working as a singing waitress and singing at weddings, but the plates started shifting when I became one of the in-house opera singers at Harrods in Knightsbridge.
What instigated the move into coaching?
I’ve always gravitated towards opportunities where I can teach and help others to grow. To this day I regularly invest in courses that will service both me and my clients better. There is always more to be learnt.
What is the best piece of advice you have for students and graduates today?
Do not rely on your creative craft as your sole income. Have a side-hustle so you can navigate financially through the quiet months. Stay true to yourself and follow your heart, but keep the head involved!
What would you change about the industry?
I would abolish the old-school recruitment processes that completely alienate singers who haven’t come up through the established music academies and colleges. I would also raise the age range for classical competitions. Many amazing singers started later in life.
What is the one skill that every successful arts professional should have?
Basic business skills. We get taught the skill of our craft, but very few teach how to platform yourself as a product and business, and how to market and sustain yourself in the industry.
What tip could performers put into practice today to increase their mental and physical well-being?
Understanding that you are not your work, and it does not define you. Whatever field you’re in, these are things you do and not solely who you are. You are more than your craft. It is far too easy to get lost in the constant battle of trying to justify what you do and how you do it.
Marika Rauscher is a singer and vocal, instrument, communications and presentation coach. She was talking to John Byrne