Dial A Smile

Over the past four months, I have had to find ways to adapt the skills that I gained from my musical education to try and secure work during Lockdown to replace the operatic work that I lost due to the pandemic. I was very lucky to gain a role in a company for customer relationship management.

The work that I undertake for them is mainly carried on the phone building connections with customers. My key task is to understand the needs of their customers and predict future solutions that they may encounter under the current pandemic circumstances. I can directly use my planning and organisational skills acquired during my musical training. I quite enjoy talking to people on the phone, especially during the stricter times of Lockdown dealing with lots of different personalities and it has made me much more confident when handling issues over the phone.

This job has been particularly wonderful as I can complete the work from anywhere that gives me access to the internet. As well as the position being workplace flexible, the hours allow me to maintain my practise and stay focused on my singing goals and projects. This has enabled me to continue studying German and collaborate with my colleagues and opera companies to create virtual concerts and performances.

I am due to join Prince’s Garden preparatory School as an independent music tutor in September and I am really looking forward to be joining the teaching faculty there for one-to-one lessons with their pupils.

Fingers crossed that as the theatres and concert venues start to reopen, I can pick up new performance contracts whilst having the security provided by these flexible positions for which I am really grateful.

82 thoughts on “Dial A Smile

  1. It’s been a lousy time for the talented among us and I’m glad to hear that you’ve found useful, and income-bearing work to keep ypu in the meantime. As yet, it’s impossible to say when you’ll be able to safely return to your true path, but with ability like yours, and the growing reputation you were building, I can’t imagine this will be more than, well, a blip. We are all wishing you on.

    1. Thank you Martin, its good to know you have confidence in me.

      I’m working hard learning new opera roles and songs too. I’m working out slots of time to allocate to each task so its making me more efficient.

      Best wishes

  2. It sounds like you are working in a little probably and statistics trying to predict preferences during the pandemic. That’s wonderful that you have some work that can be done anywhere the internet maybe. It’s doubly exciting you will be working with students one on one. Lucky students who get you. Is that a Magic Keyboard you re typing on? I got Laurie one with her new iPad. It’s very cool.

    1. It’s very interesting finding out what different people need and the problems they face, it is improving my telephone communication ability. A lot of communication is done by e-mail now and this too has been exercised.
      I love working with children. I have been planning a little each day and upping my piano practice.
      Yes its a magic keyboard, its’ my Dads he might not get it back hehe 😉 it is his fault for showing off his new toy.
      Best wishes

      1. Whenever my daughter borrows something, I figure it’s not coming back.

  3. Bravo ! Et felicitation pour le posten septembre !!!
    Fier de Toi !
    Moi, je prépare mon atelier showroom avec wifi pour visio-conférences 🙂 .
    Je suis en train de boucler short movie (12mnts) about my work “Portraits Harmoniques.
    You’re in 🙂 .
    I will use it for promote my work and my projects ! I will send you when it will be finish but, it will be online only in middle september when I will open ma work space.!

    Wosh you the best, always !!!

    1. Fabulous, I can’t wait to see what you’ve been doing.
      We’ve recorded several tracks from our balcony concerts and sent them to a sound engineer to ensure the quality is consistent before we release them on an album.
      I was hoping they’d be ready soon. I will be interested to see how you promote your work and projects its an area I need to improve on.
      Best wishes to you

      1. Well done, that’s very good –

        I took a step back to see the long term.
        The film I build is the basic tool for my promotion.
        It is both a creation (video art) and a process of creation.
        Basic idea: “The creative process is an art in itself”, the artistic piece is only the punctual representation …..
        Like you, you enrich your working and promotional methods, and the work of art that is your performance is the result of the art that you put in its preparation.

    1. Thank you Maria, I have already started practicing piano accompaniment for the graded work. This is having the good effect of improving my own self-accompaniment hehe 😂.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you John, one of the biggest problems with freelance work is the lack of consistent income, it is why there is so much stress and worry and this industry. It is what it is though and I will find a way through to keep on track.
      Best wishes

      1. I was an independent consultant for five years so I know how it is. You need to look for work while working. We called it Mind (take care of current clients) Find (look for new clients) Grind (continue to do quality work) It can be stressful for sure.

      2. Great example, I’ll remember ‘Mind’ I do appreciate there are hundreds and thousands of people all in the same boat just got to keep rowing.
        All my best wishes

  4. You are rolling right along and that is fab! I must say, I could never imagine you without being able to reinvent yourself (when required) using all your strengths to their greatest. Carry on!

    1. The great thing is Annette the role is very flexible, it is something I used to do in University holidays as holiday cover so I can excuse myself if I happen to get a singing contract and I’ve been told I can continue to do this.
      Best wishes

  5. How wonderful a music tutor as well. I was once told that if you smile when you talk on the phone people can hear it, and it’s true. With a great smile like yours they are lucky to be speaking to you. I’m so pleased you are managing to make ends meet for now. Have you ever thought of session singing or backing singing for record labels? Keep smiling and take care 🙂

    1. I’ve been told by Les and Stephen that lots of people don’t like customer relations calls but to be honest I quite enjoy this part of the work over the research and data input in preparation, lots of times I’m told that clients wish they had work to give me because they love talking to me, it cheers them up, I’ve only had one bad call mainly because someone previously didn’t keep the record up to date correctly.
      I do sing for composers I’ve done a few recordings in lockdown.
      We’ve also finished recording some songs for an album they’re with the sound engineer to ensure the quality is consistent before we release them.
      The smile isn’t usually far away 🙂.
      Best wishes

  6. I am so happy with your news, dear Charlotte! You always make the world brighter! Fingers crossed for your continuous and exuberant professional life! Best regards to you and George! 🙂

  7. That is a beautiful photo of you amid the flowers, and congratulations on the customer relations job and the new teaching position! You are someone who will excel at anything you put your mind to doing. All the best to you and George!

    1. Thank you Lavinia my Dad took the photos with my iPhone.
      It takes a lot of pressure off just being able to cover the bills until I get back into performance work.
      Best wishes

  8. I am so glad to hear you are rolling with the punches; as you have already commented to others, you had this ace up your sleeve from previous days of combining work and study – but you still have to be prepared to grab the opportunity. It’s great to see you keeping up the cheerful attitude; and I am soooo envious of your posture at the keyboard! All that diaphragm extension in singing is holding you in good stead.

    1. I like that ‘rolling with the punches’. I took ballet from the age of 2 to 18 with a really strict fabulous teacher, posture was drummed into me and walking silently not like a baby elephant! You’re right about the body in singing too.
      All my best wishes

  9. Charlotte ,you never cease to amaze me.
    You work so hard at everything you do, and always manage to succeed,
    Your personality always shines through.
    Good luck, with the teaching venture, and everything else that you do..😘😘

    1. I’m not where I dreamed I’d be right now but I keep reminding myself to be positive and work through this.
      I’m glad you see me twinkling through.
      We’ll see if the schools are allowed to open up fully, maybe lessons will have to be at distance to start, there are plenty of test cases of operas being staged outdoors and indoors around the world at the moment. Plus, Concerts all over Europe so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed that there are no spikes and it gives people confidence back.
      Best wishes always
      Charlotte x 😘

    1. The new CRM software is great Gill you’d like it. I wouldn’t be able to do all this without your and Terry’s training all these years past. I hope you’re enjoying your well earned retirement. I saw the gorgeous icing roses you made they are fabulous.
      All my best wishes

    1. Just knowing we’ve got the basic outgoings covered is a relief I’m working every day to fit everything in, although I did take a few days off recently so that I didn’t burn out.
      All my best wishes

  10. I know everyone is behind you all the way Charlotte. You demand a lot of yourself and you do the work to accomplish those goals. Bravo!!

    1. Thank you GP. As you know it is very important to me to support myself and work. I never do anything the expected way, why start now hehe 😂

      I see people starting to perform and sing again in Europe and a little bit back in the UK it makes me happy and anxious at the same time but its very unpredictable so a bird in the hand and all that…

      Best wishes to you always,

    1. You have to do what you must, in order to do what you want, I can’t just lollygag around waiting for things to happen. Hope you’re keeping well Michael and you’re as busy as ever.
      All my best wishes

  11. Charlotte, I am delighted to see you in a flexible position that allows you to make use of your people skills and organizational abilities. This is a great job for you! Bravo – keep being creative and open to all your possibilities. Onward.

    1. Thank you Sheila, it makes me feel good knowing I’m helping to bring in work to keep other people busy and active too.
      As I’ve got to know the customers I tell them I’m a singer and send them along to listen on Spotify lol 😂 every little helps.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte 😘

  12. Dear Charlotte,
    Congrats on your new position and you look wonderful. If you get bored you can call me and talk in German 281-855-3440

    1. I didn’t know you spoke German Rev Tim. I take part in a weekly German chat group with my teacher 👩‍🏫 and I have taken my exam now. We are moving on to Italian but thank you very much for your kind offer I will remember for the future.

      Best wishes

    1. George has been teaching on-line children and adults which is good.
      I will admit it is slightly terrifying wondering whether there will be sufficient singing work but I’m going to give it my best to be ready for when its there.
      Best wishes

  13. I have never heard anyone yodeling in Italian, but I would put my money on you with your diversified talents…

    Kidding aside,

    All success to your hybridizing the strengths of your talents with the current job market.

  14. I am sure that your positive attitude has a good deal to do with your thriving. Some people find something to complain about no matter what the situation (I try not to be one of them!) and you’re a good reminder that a positive and thankful approach to life is an asset in more ways than one. Thank you!

    1. I am a positive person Deborah, if I waste time worrying nothing will change as I’d be worrying about things I can’t do anything about, so I must concentrate on what we can do.
      I’m very grateful to my blog friends for the support and encouragement and just to remind me that there is a whole big world out there.
      Best wishes

  15. So happy to hear you took the lemon life has given you and made lemonade. Keep smiling and keep your blog friends smiling too. Thank you, Charlotte. And Stay Safe.

    1. I was house sitting for my parents whilst they’re having repairers in, luckily I can work from anywhere so when Dad popped back to see the electrician I asked him to take a quick photo for this weeks blog post.
      Best wishes to you

  16. I’m glad you’re applying your versatile skills in this precarious time, Charlotte. I’m sure you can ace any tasks in the customer relationship management field, or any field for that matter with your positivity and zeal! All the best! 🙂

  17. It’s always wonderful to see your positive, upbeat attitude! Glad you’ve found a way to help pay the bills that you’re enjoying and hope the school tutoring program also works out.

  18. Sounds like you are staying on top of things!!!
    Seems like that attribute is a part of your sunny personality.
    Keep on keeping on! 😀 ❦🎼❦🎭❦🎼❦🎭❦🎼❦🎭

    1. I took a day off singing and talking today started catching up on paperwork and painted a mural on my wall with tester pots lol.

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