How i make it work... MA­RINA PRIOR

AFTER LAST YEAR’S CAROLS BY CAN­DLE­LIGHT, THE SINGER WAS FORCED TO EN­DURE CRIT­I­CISM OVER HER AP­PEAR­ANCE. AT 52, SHE TALKS ABOUT AGE­ING IN PUB­LIC AND IG­NOR­ING THE TROLLS

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - How i make it work... - as told to Al­ley Pas­coe See Ma­rina Prior and Mark Vin­cent in con­cert from Sep 23; mari­naand­mark.com.au.

The thing I’m most proud of is the fact I’ve been do­ing this for 30 years. To sus­tain a long ca­reer, you need to evolve; to de­velop, change and learn as an artist. You can’t think you know it all. I never go into a sit­u­a­tion with­out want­ing to learn from it. You need to change all the time with­out los­ing the essence of who you are. Con­tin­u­ing to re­de­fine my­self has been the big­gest chal­lenge of my ca­reer, but it’s also been the most pos­i­tive thing.

I am a dif­fer­ent per­son now. When I started out, I wasn’t a mother. I hadn’t ex­pe­ri­enced peo­ple close to me dy­ing. Life changes you – and that colours what you do as an artist. Ev­ery joy and sad­ness is heard in your voice. If you’ve been work­ing for three decades, then there’s go­ing to be a depth of ex­pe­ri­ence.

In those 30 years, the in­dus­try has changed so much. So­cial me­dia has be­come a fan­tas­tic plat­form to launch ca­reers. The sites are re­ally ben­e­fi­cial for build­ing a sup­port base, es­pe­cially when you’re just start­ing out. But, ul­ti­mately, it comes down to what you do when you are per­form­ing on­stage. You can put up the best In­sta­gram posts in the world, but if you can’t move an au­di­ence in the theatre, then it’s not re­ally go­ing to do any­thing.

So­cial me­dia is a dou­ble-edged sword. It gives every­body a plat­form for an opin­ion, whether or not it’s wanted, needed or jus­ti­fied. And when you’re a per­former, every­body has an opin­ion about you. Some say, “I hate Ma­rina Prior.” Oth­ers love me. You can’t fo­cus on peo­ple’s opin­ions. It’s so­cially crippling.

There’s a pres­sure on women to be beau­ti­ful, smart and suc­cess­ful. That’s the misog­y­nis­tic world that we live in. It’s the male news­reader syn­drome; they can be old, bald­ing and wear glasses, but fe­male news­read­ers have to be ev­ery bit as good and look stun­ning.

Of course, I do want to look good, but I don’t fo­cus on it too much. Age­ing is

the one thing you can’t change; you get older and you get wiser. You just try to look as good as you can and laugh it off.

You can’t lis­ten to noise be­cause it’s just that. Win­ston Churchill said, “You’ll never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at ev­ery dog that barks.” I don’t stop to throw stones. I just keep go­ing where I’m go­ing.

Ma­rina’s tips for star­ing down the haters

1. Com­par­i­son is the thief of joy. Don’t com­pare your­self to any­body else.

2. Fo­cus on your work, fam­ily and friends – not the opin­ions of oth­ers.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff – as it’s mostly small stuff.

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