The Difference Between an Opera Job and an Office Job

For those of you thinking of quitting your 9-5 office job and becoming an opera singer (and I know there are a lot of you), you should be prepared for the many subtle differences between the two careers.  It’s true, they seem similar on the surface, but, just so that you are not surprised on your first day at the opera studio, let me warn you in advance.

1) You Work Crappy Hours
Opera singers work nights and weekends.  Oh, and also days.  And if you were hoping for a holiday off, forget about it.  The benefit to this schedule is that you generally do not have to be anywhere before noon, or 10 am if you are working for meanies.  It is also useful for getting out of dinner parties and weekend flea markets that you are trying to avoid, but do not expect to ever watch another football game or “American Idol” without the use of a DVR.

2) The Dress Code is Slightly Different
When you work in an office, you often have to wear a suit.  Sometimes you are lucky enough to have a “Casual Friday” or a “Nude Wednesday,” but overall it is much more formal.  The nice thing about this system is that you can often choose which color tie to wear on your own.  Here, to present to you the subtle contrast, is me in one of my actual opera outfits:

I had to wear this to work every day for a surprisingly long amount of time.  I did not get to choose the color.

3) You Can’t Spend All Day On the Computer
When I had office jobs, most of the day was spent on surfing the internet and avoiding doing any real work.  If one of my former bosses is reading this, I mean every job except the one I did for you of course.  I love people who have real jobs, because I can gchat with them, and facebook them from 9-5 every day.  But opera singers do not sit at desks and play on the computer.  They instead spend all day on rehearsal, checking facebook on their phones.  Or sometimes their iPads.

4) You Have to Kiss Your Co-Workers
One of the perks of being an opera singer is that you often are instructed to make out with your co-workers as part of your job.  Now, I know many of you office people are envisioning your personal co-workers and thinking that you would rather drink bleach than kiss Ms. Blartflat from human resources, but we here in the opera world only let hot people be opera singers, so it’s usually not so bad.  Now, I know many of you office people are thinking, “But Tenor Dad, they let you be an opera singer,” and here you are correct to be concerned, but rest assured, I was grandfathered in after the new hotness regulations took effect.

5) You Don’t Actually Make Any Money
The biggest difference between working in opera and working in an office, is that people who work in offices generally get paid on a regular basis, whereas opera singers generally hang around McDonalds’ drive-thru windows trying to get someone to buy them a double cheeseburger.  But being financially insolvent is a small price to pay for following your dream of dressing up in strange outfits and kissing your co-workers.  Although, I hear that some of you office people do that too, so nevermind.

Posted in Job, Opera.

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