“ Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t think that you have what it takes to be an alto.”
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Her lower lip quavered a bit as she made this declaration. She was right; I was a disastrous as an alto. I was struggling to sing the oratorios and art songs that were essential to my conservatory training. The statement still stung and I fought back tears. Just six months before, I was the recipient of a vocal scholarship from the music department. Now, I was quickly becoming a pariah. Each time I sang in my vocal studio, my classmates stifled giggles. Still, I stuck it out for two years. During my junior year of college, I transferred to a Contemporary Music program in Santa Fe, NM.
Once again, I was awarded a vocal scholarship and I spent two anxious weeks prepping for my first voice lesson.
During the first lesson my voice teacher revealed to me the reason that I was experiencing vocal difficulty.
“Your old teacher was right. You are not cut out to be an alto, because you have the voice of dramatic soprano.”
She gave me a few songs to learn and a few weeks later my voice changed for the better. Suddenly, I was singing songs that just months before I considered to be way out of my vocal league.
My second most memorable experience with rejection occurred during my first year of law school.
A member of the law school faculty informed me that my writing skills conveyed that I was not law clerk material. Which was fine by me, since my goal was to become an entertainment attorney and a novelist. Unfortunately, my D+ in Legal Writing did not bode well for my GPA and I found myself on the business end of an academic dismissal letter.
A year and half later, I was signed on by a literary agent for the book version of Makinrent.com.
Oh the irony!
Being rejected at my first college, gave me the courage to start a new life outside of Kansas. My law school debacle inspired me to make the much-needed move from Minnesota to Los Angeles. In a few years, I will return to law school a much wiser student.
Rejection is never an easy thing to deal with, but I learned that it could be a beacon for other opportunities.