Tell us about how you chose your career/business and what your responsibilities include?
When I went to college I decided to major in music and found that I very much enjoyed what I was learning and I learned very quickly that I was very good at connecting emotionally with an audience—offering them entertainment, comfort, and ease. This is a very high calling indeed—to be at the service of up to thousands of people at one time! I sing orchestral and concert pieces (think the Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Messiah) and song programs I’ve created like Songs of Praise and Thanksgiving. I am a solo-preneur, so I am my brand, my own agent/manager, assistant, marketing specialist, and copywriter.
Tell us about the company you work for or own?
I am a fresh face in classical music and my goal is to bring fresh air and a new perspective to classical music performances—there are so many conductors and organizations working to maintain and grow our cultural heritage via classical music and to educate the public on what music can do for you—spiritually, culturally, emotionally. Just this morning Jason Mraz was on the radio quoting an older woman who once told him “Music is a weapon in the war on unhappiness,” and she was right. Now, with the new economy, with tough decisions we face every day, we need more comfort and soul-rest than ever.
What are some of the most fulfilling projects you have been involved with so far?
Last Fall I was honored to be hired to sing at 9.11.11 United We Stand – performing the Mozart Requiem in Milwaukee, WI with the Bel Canto Chorus and the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra. It was an outdoor performance and there were 4,000 people in attendance—in lawn chairs, on blankets, people from every walk of life, all of us experiencing our common humanity. I was in New York on September 11, 2001, and was supposed to go downtown that morning for some sight-seeing, however I overslept. My good friend was supposed to be in the second tower on a temp job, but her previous temp assignment was extended by a mere three days. It goes to show that we are all so closely connected and what happens to another community affects our own. It was even more meaningful to be performing for first responders, policemen & -women and firefighters who were in New York that day and responded around the country. One woman told the Assistant Conductor, “Everybody needs somewhere to be on September 11th.” And she was right. We need it on September 11th and we need it every day, too—now more than ever.
Are there any people in your field you would like to meet and/or work with and have not yet had the opportunity?
Yes, and that would be any conductor in the US with this same mindset!
What are some of your favorite ways to network?
Some of my favorite ways to network are genuinely greeting and complimenting my singer colleagues and conductors on their work. I stay in touch with those that I find to be hard-working, ethical, and grounded and let the rest just be. There is too much good work to be done that I just concentrate on those who are doing the same or similar work.
Do you have a mentor – if so how did you choose one another? If not, is this something you think would benefit your career and is there anyone you would like to have as a mentor?
Most classical singers doing what I’m doing actually live in a big city on one of the coasts (New York of L.A.) or close enough to commute in for auditions. I live in the Twin Cities and don’t have the possibility to miss work and fly to New York for lots of auditions. I’d LOVE to meet other classical singers who are doing the same—working from where they are to regional work and on upward. If someone doing the same as me reads this, please contact me via www.nicolewarner.com! Even if we are in the same stages of career development, we can support and mentor one another!
I also follow Ali Brown, the “Entrepreneurial guru for women,” whom I first saw on ABC’s “Secret Millionaire.” Realizing that I am an entrepreneur (and a solo-preneur at that!) and being connected with Ali’s community and programs, finding entrepreneurial resources have made a huge difference in how I run my business. I’d definitely like to coach with her, although that will surely be a later date.
What’s been the most surprising thing that has happened to you so far in your career?
It is a pure and joyful surprise every time someone either falls asleep while I’m singing (no joke), or they sit back and relax and close their eyes, just to take it all in, or whenever someone is so moved they cry. “That moved me” is another big, beautiful surprise. It’s truly a gift to receive such comments and I take care never to take them for granted.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I LOVE to do Zumba® and I love to watch movies–I’m a huge fan of Netflix. And any time spent with friends is time well spent!
Any parting advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Realize first that you are running a business and get your basics together—initial website, business cards (carry them with you everywhere!) and keep your eyes peeled for possibilities. You just never know where something might come from. Keep in touch with people you want to work with again and remember that music is a long-term investment.
What’s the best way for our readers to connect with you?