Today's post is from birthday girl Barbara Parker.
34 years ago today, I was born in Saint Mary's Hospital in Richmond, VA. I lived in that city until heading to George Mason University for college. Straight out of college, at the age of 20, I started working for Wolf Trap. For all intents and purposes, I've done much of my growing up at Wolf Trap.
Today, I turn 34 (although I fully intend to start lying about my age). Before I get a day older, here are 34 things I've learned from working at Wolf Trap. A little of what I know, a lot of how much more I have to learn....
1. Life doesn't always afford us an opportunity for a dress rehearsal.
2. The show must go on.
3. Art will never abandon you.
4. I couldn't be happier with where my career has brought me. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.
5. True office emergencies are limited to the following: vomiting, bleeding, catching on fire. Most other situations can be handled with grace.
6. The skills that have gotten me farthest in my career- proofreading, negotiating, walking in 5-inch heels.
7. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. To the Surgeon General and to road crews.
8. With every ounce of genius, comes a little bit of crazy.
9. A love of music can be both genetic and contagious.
10. 'Tis better to be a fan than a fanatic.
11. Always have a mentor. We all need a cheerleader in our corner. (Thanks, Ann McKee, for being mine.)
12. Always be a mentor. Someone taught you what you know. Return the favor.
13. Have a vision and follow it. Did you know Wolf Trap was once farmland?
14. It is possible to fall madly in love at the age of 5 and have the relationship last. For me, it was with dance.
15. We can all dance. We can all sing. Some of us just may do it in front of our bathroom mirrors.
16. Flexibility is an integral ingredient to success both in ballet and in running operations backstage.
17. Talent + Hard Work + Being in the Right Place at the Right Time = Success. The equation doesn't really work any other way.
18. Say please and thank you. It gets you more of what you ask for.
19. Don't yell. Being louder does not make me listen to you.
20. We all have an occasional bad day or bad show. Tomorrow is a new day.
21. Artists are just like you and I. Only more talented and, mostly, with more money.
22. This isn't rocket science or brain surgery. We don't save lives in the music business. But whether it's touching your heart or soul or allowing you to forget about your problems or bills for a 2 hour show, we do change lives.
23. Often it's not what you know, it's who you know. But you do have to know something.
24. The Indigo Girls were right. "The hardest to learn is the least complicated." The Beatles were right. "All you need is love."
25. Never listen to the critics.
26. Do what you say you're going to do. Be on time. There's always traffic, leave early.
27. I learn as much, if not more, from supervising interns as they do from their internship with me.
28. Everyone is a no one at some point. That can change quickly so be nice to everyone.
29. Things to splurge on backstage and in life: good coffee and good catering.
30. To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The more you give, the more you get. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. With jobs and shows and life.
31. I've learned more from my failures than my successes. With all the mistakes I've made, none has resulted in death. Yet.
32. The one single thing that makes my job the best job in the whole world: the people I work with.
33. You never know where a life in music will take you, but you know it will be a hell of a ride.
34. The best is yet to come....