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Being a nightclub singer

education Updated: Jan 11, 2012 18:50 IST

Hindustan Times
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The lowdown
A nightclub singer/ professional singer has many avenues to showcase his or her talent. Apart from F&B outlets, such as restaurants and pubs, corporates also hire live-music acts for private parties and promotional events. Rich patrons may also enlist the services of a singer along with a two-to-four piece band. Radio and television commercials also offer lucrative opportunities for performing artistes. As a singer, you have to be very good at your work. It also helps if you have good networking skills, because that’s how you get to know of potential gigs and other opportunities. You must have a good team to work with, a fantastic band and a manager who believes in you. And you must have the tenacity and the will to succeed

Clockwork
9.30am: Check mails, follow-up, set out for the recording studio
10am: Reach and warm up
11am:Start recording for musical
1pm: Have lunch and set out for meeting at an advertising agency
2pm: Discuss brief with the agency and meet the composer
7pm: Start for gig at a five-star hotel
8pm: Start first set
9.30pm:Take a break
1am: End gig and leave for home

The payoff
For starters, the earnings are nothing great. As a fresher, be prepared to be paid nothing — that’s if you get gigs. If you work hard and form the right connections (you will need a band to perform with and artistic compatibility issues can arise), you could start getting Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per gig. As you make a name in the music circuit, you could start earning Rs 10,000 per gig. However, with more experience and noteworthy contacts, your earning potential can go as high as Rs 1 lakh per gig

Skills/Traits
* A great voice. Make an effort to understand the range of your voice
* Ability to network effectively
* A strict sense of discipline, especially with performances and recordings
* Being street smart helps
* Disciplined about taking care of voice and health
* Good inter-personal skills
* Passion for singing and making music
* A good and pleasing personality would work to your advantage

Getting there
While no training is mandatory, it does help to train your voice from a young age. Take part in school- and college-level competitions. You can also take singing up as a hobby and later choose to train under professionals. While reality TV shows seem to offer an path to success, most singers will not vouch for the efficacy of the claims of producers of such shows. Several music schools offer courses for vocalists

Institutes and URLs
Delhi School of Music
www.delhischoolofmusic.net
Noida School of Rock
www.noidaschoolofrock.com
School of Symphony
www.schoolofsymphony.com
Berklee College of Music, Boston
www.berklee.edu

Pros and cons
* Appreciation for one’s talent
* Late night hours
* Potential to develop a wide-reaching network
* Good money
* Travel can take a toll on your health
* One has to take precautions against the climate and pollution in various cities. You will refrain from having pickles, ice cream or chilled water
* The long struggle period may be a deterrent for some

It is not like any other job. It is what you choose to be and what you are willing to give up to follow your dreams and your passion Teesta Galway, a singer and a guitarist based in New Delhi