Occupation: College Freshman Undergraduate: Performing Arts Major
Goal: To perform in a well-known major operatic stage either as a supporting character or main character role.
The above goal is quite a challenge in and of itself. How many Chinese Americans are there in this world who wish to be an opera singer? Maybe you would find some at an orchestral pit playing an instrument. If you are lucky, you can even find a few hidden within the chorus. However, throughout the many operas that I have seen and visited, I have not once seen an Asian oriented person acting as a character. I am talking about New York City, one of the hearts of entertainment. I would have liked to see a few here and there, but there were none at sight. Then again, I guess it makes sense.
It is quite hard to fight against the stereotypes portrayed to Chinese people. The one that I despise to the point of throwing up upon is the job placement of Chinese people. Whenever one thinks of Chinese people, an immediate thought would be occupations such as “doctors,” “lawyers,” “engineers,” etc. It hurts because, to my eyes, I am restricted to either a math, science, or technology career, and I wish not to have such restrictions. Most Chinese parents, in general, wish for their children to become such people, and I can understand that. They came at a generation to which education and job placement was tough, thus coming to America to generate this freedom concept that the United States brings. They wish for their children to be as successful as possibly, and, in their minds, they equate this to high money-making jobs and stable careers. Anything other than that is considered not great. I loathe on the fact that money is the top priority of having a great life, but whatever happened to the fact about enjoying one’s career as well? What is the point of working at a high-octane job when you are feeling both stressed out and do not truly enjoy that occupation in general. I agree that money is important, but money is secondary to me. I can truly care less about it thanks to the corrupt mindset that comes along with it. For me, I would rather have a job that I am passionate about for average pay than I job I could care less of for high pay. Enjoying my career goal comes first; everything else about it is secondary.
Moving on to the familiar stage. My family does not support me in becoming an opera singer and continue to dislike my idea of becoming one. When I told them that I wish to major in music, they thought that I wanted to be like Lady Gaga or Michael Jackson. …Seriously? Out of everything from instrumental performance to classic musical composition, they link music to pop songs they listen to on the radio? I blame today’s media for brainwashing us with the utter junk that they consider “music,” but I can rant about it on another page. Back to topic, this sickened me that they referenced that to me. Not only is it sad, but it is painful to bear in mind that that is truly what they thought about when I said it. When I further told them that I wanted to become an opera singer, they asked, “What is that?” and “Is that a job?” …Okay, this has turned from disgusted to outright disturbing. At this point was when I found out that my parents know nothing about music other than the CD’s and the radio that they listened to. When I told them that it was a performance requiring mostly singing, less of acting, on a stage, they responded, “Oh, you can’t do that; that’s not like you at all. Why don’t you try accounting or computer science? That suits you much more than this ‘opera’ that you are talking about.” Well, so much for parental support. I believe it was at this point that I shut myself from my parents, for they clearly showed no interest in wanting to support me and my dream goal.
I am trying not to sound like an arrogant teenager. I understand that I am a college student, and that I may not be too wise when it comes to these junctures. I know that they just wish for me to be successful and have a stable job. With the way I worded things, it may sound like it is either my way or the highway. I want to take their ideas into account, but it does not work if the subjects that they present to me are things that I do not enjoy or am too neutral of. Music provided the spark, the inspiration that allowed me to confirm that this is something that I want to do. I wish to become an opera singer, that will not change anytime soon. I will follow the unknown road hardly traveled by my ancestors and hope that they can see, thorough their eyes, my world, my story. I am only taking baby steps now, but once they see me run, I pray that they will not be disappointed when they ride upon my journey.