Would you tell your boss that, while business casual is the standard in your office, you will only wear sweat pants to work? Or how about using your phone for personal calls all day at work? Extending your lunch break into time allotted for meetings? If so, would you expect to keep your job in this economy?
These questions probably seem ridiculous and rightly so. When you apply for a job, you find out what it entails and then agree to fulfill your duties to the best of your ability. Certainly, there are deadbeats in every field, unfortunately. But... suppose you had studied for years to be qualified for your job. Suppose you had sacrificed time, money, and countless other things for this job. Suppose you were, somehow, amazingly, being paid (however little... remember - YOU accepted the job) to do what you love most. Would you respect it any less than the average entry-level worker fresh out of school and thrilled to have any job?
Of course not... one would think.
As crazy as it sounds, this is exactly what I see way too much when I go to work. Some of the YAAPs (members of the Young American Artist Program here at GGO) have so little respect for what they are doing. Refusing to wear costumes, purposefully neglecting to remove personal jewelry, going onstage with cell phones in their costume pockets, ignoring requests about things like not playing frisbee in costume, and, my personal "favorite", wearing costume pieces home.
As an aspiring singer, I find the attitudes sported by some of these talented young performers to be nothing short of offensive. Out of probably close to a thousand applicants and hundreds of auditions, this small group of 20-30 was chosen. If you consider the additional numbers of people like myself who know they have years of study remaining before attempting to apply, there are thousands of people who would give almost anything for the opportunity these singers have been given.
Obviously, not all of the YAAPs fall into this category! There are some singers I am working with and have worked with at GGO who are not only talented performers but also wonderful people. These are the ones I hope go far. These are the singers I would love to work with in the future. These are the people from whom I hope to learn something.
The rest, I would love to give a piece of my mind. And, in the words of Mrs. Cratchit, "I hope they have a good appetite for it!" I wish I could shake them and ask "How do you not realize the opportunity you have? Do you know how many people would trade places with you in a heartbeat? How can you be doing what you love and have so little respect for it? Why even bother taking the job if you won't do what's asked of you? Isn't singing worth taking out your earrings or carefully checking that you return your costume pieces and props? What's the use of scoffing at the people whose job it is to make you look good?"
In the end, I doubt they would hear me, even if I had the opportunity to ask.