Black Professional Singer Finds His Calling Connecting with Audience Through Song

Have you ever considered a career as a professional performer? In this interview, Milton Davis shares his story of how he went from singing in the church choir, to making a living as a professional musician and singer. He shares the ups and downs of living on a fluctuating salary, and explains how he has handled some surprising situations!

My name is Milton Davis, and I work in the entertainment industry as a singer. I have been involved in this field for approximately 8 years. I would describe myself in three adjectives as “artistic” (hopefully), “sensitive,” and “impatient,” especially when it comes to inspiration.

My ethnicity and gender are black and male. I think that everyone’s ethnicity and gender hurts and helps them to a degree. If an audience is used to seeing a certain type of music that is stereotypically associated with a certain ethnicity and gender, then whatever you do will go over well. For instance, as a black male, it is easy for me to “put over” a rhythm and blues or a jazz song to an audience. They may be less enthralled with my performance of “Sweet Home Alabama,” no matter how well I perform it. I have experienced discrimination, but the good thing about the entertainment business is that if you have enough talent, you can overcome anything. Talent wins the day. Simply sing the song as best you can and let the chips fall where they may.

What I do is try to give people a feeling that they have had before. I give people comfort. I am a mental doctor – a mentalist! My work entails not only singing, but many times creating an entire program of entertainment for an event. At my level, people really hire me off of my reputation and expect me to come in and wow the crowd, no matter what. The most common misunderstanding that people have of my profession is that it is not mostly business. The music business is 10% music, 90% business.

I rate my job satisfaction at a 10, without a doubt. There is nothing that I would rather do.

This job does move my heart. I get to connect with people in a way that most people only dream of. I have definitely found my calling in life.

Something unique that readers should know about my situation is that my entire family was into music. They used it as a way to escape the hardships that they faced. Since they faced a lot of hardships, they got pretty good at performing music, and I just followed along and turned it into a profession!

I got started in this line of work by performing at my local church. I was soon discovered by some promoters who had me travel to do some gospel shows, and my reputation just grew from there. I took time off to go to college, but after that it was right back to professional singing. I would not change a thing about how I got into this business or my experiences with it.

What I learned the hard way is to get paid before you sing, even at a gospel show! The audience might be “righteous,” but the promoters and the event planners are all business. So when you deal with them, you have to be a complete businessman as well.

The strangest thing that has happened to me is a friend of mine calling me to do a country themed show. I thought that he was asking me to do a more jazz oriented show, because that was what most of his bookings were. I walked in, and everybody looked at me strangely. Fortunately, I practice all types of music, so when I got on my piano and started playing “You’re My Honeybee,” they all accepted me. It was a great show.

I get up and go to work to make people happy. I get proud when someone comes up to me and says that my music has helped them through a tough time.

My job is stressful only because I have to do so much to just sing. However, I can take time off whenever I want to.

Here is the part that everyone will want to hear. A good salary range for a working singer like myself is anywhere from US $40K to about US $90K. I do live within my means and it is ok.

I do not really take any vacations, because I love what I do. When I am not touring or gigging I am writing.

The single most important thing that I have learned about the working world is that you are really responsible for everything that you have. Look around you. If there is something that you want that you do not have, then there is something that you need to do that you have not done.

I would tell a friend considering my line of work to make sure that he brushes up on his business administration skills and maybe take a tax preparation course at a community college.



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  • I can relate to this story because I want to be a movie director. The ways I can relate is that my family is very much into movies and I am the one pursuing a career in them. It took me a few years out of high school to really set my sights on going to film school, I think that having a break from schoolwork can help give us an idea of where we want to go in life. I also relate to this guy because I also just want to reach out to people and make an impact in their life, something that I think is relevant to everyone in the Entertainment business.

  • I loved reading this article. It shows that music plays everyone’s love strings. Despite the different types of music gigs Mr. Davis received, he never let them intimidate him. He has a strong passion for what he does, which I can relate to myself. You get up to make other people happy which in turns, makes you happier. When you find a career like that, you have found a career of a lifetime. This is the type of passion I want for my future career as well. Thank you Mr. Milton Davis for being an inspiration to my future goals.

  • What is so interesting about this article is his statement that everyone’s “ethnicity and gender hurts and helps them to a degree.” I completely agree with this, and can resonate with this article strongly. I am a thick-bodied, Hispanic woman, pursuing a degree and career in acting. And very typically, I will get cast as the stereotypical best friend or fiery, sassy, Latin woman. Which helps me because when I graduate from school, I have a specific niche that I fall into. However, what hurts me is that I will possibly be limited to those roles. But this does not discourage me from creating new roles for people of Hispanic descent and women in general. I want to create and perform in roles that don’t generalize women as crazy, loud-mouthed people.

  • As an African- American woman, this story really speaks to me. I have always had high respect for artists (music artists, visual artists, writers, etc.), and with my passion in visual arts, I’ve come to realize it’s a tough world in the arts. I’m often stereotyped because I am a black woman, and having to over come those has been tricky. But I can also say that I use my culture to my advantage. I am able to channel the things that my people have gone through into my artwork. It gives me motivation, and often times becomes my muse. I love that the author in this article has found something that he is so passionate about to turn into a career. And he is right, the hardest thing an artist has to figure out is how to get paid for their work. While I do create art for my own happiness, I design for others and I expect to receive a profit. This is something that I will have to overcome.

  • Yes, ethnicity and gender hurts and helps me to a degree. While I am not actively involved with music, I do perform poetry every now and then. Because I am a woman who speaks about lesbian love and my experiences as a lesbian, I am looked at differently. “A woman she write about men,” an older audience member told me. That still never stopped me because I would get more positive feedback than negative feedback. 

  • This article is very inspiring. I am currently a Dance Major and dancing in front of a crowd brings me so much joy because I know I am making someone feel something. Knowing that there are artists out there who overcame their stereotypes gives me hope that I can also do the same. After reading this, I am even more motivated to believe in myself do what I love because there is honestly nothing else I’d rather do than share what I have with the world.

  • Hi Milton,
    It’s really nice reading your story. Just like you, I also do some professional singing and I can relate to your background and what got you into singing. My story is quite similar to yours in the fact that I grew up in one of the developing countries in Africa where having electricity was considered a luxury. I remember our neighborhood would go days without a blink of the bulb and all we had as little kids was to create our fun so most often, we began to sing. We sang popular hymns like ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Lean on me’ etc to get past the horrors of living in darkness- literally! We harmonized, modulated, and created our own ad-lib without a care in the world how good or bad it sounded. We just wanted time to pass and for us to have that good feel feeling (which I later grew to know was endorphin) rush through our veins to ease us from the depression of our poor living condition.

    Fast forward to 2004 when i was lucky to visit the United States, I discovered how uneasy it was for me to leave singing because of how it had positively helped me overcome the darkest moments of my childhood. I continued to sing and inject positive lyrics into my songs because I know how much healing and relaxing good music to be in the development of the mind and soul. I’m currently taking some time off for my Graduate degree now my music album is somewhere there in cyberspace, hopefully helping someone go through any trying times they may be having right now.

  • I truly do love this article because it brings out the problem in today’s society on how we pick at how being a African American(black) rapper is stereotypical. Not saying that he was a rapper but bring up a fact. I am a musician and an all white neighborhood and I am mixed. I tend to see people dislike what I’m doing because of either how I’m being different and or how I am doing the “out of extraordinary”.
    This man put together his life piece by piece and it really surprised me that he could make a living of of what he loves doing which is another reason I am pursing my dream. It as if people don’t want us to better ourselves in our hobbies, but instead to jump in a line along with the others and do as we are told.
    Responsibility is stated an I thoroughly believe that with great power rather you are an artist or doing your dream job up on top, to even controlling your entire life; comes great responsibility.

  • This article has knowledge me to understand that many different types of people are also stereotyped based on their skin color, gender, and culture. I may not be a singer like Mr. Davis, however we both are devoted enough to push passed our challenges and manage to be successful. Our ambition is to help people with our skills and talent. I’m welling to devote my time to graduate college and get accepted into the medical school, after striving for my goals, just like Mr.Davis, I want to help many African countries as a traveling doctor and the only way I could pursue my dream is to overcome the obstacles by using my talents. “I have experienced discrimination, but the good thing about the entertainment business is that if you have enough talent, you can overcome anything. Talent wins the day.”(Davis)

  • I loved this article. As a black female singer, I oftentimes get stereotyped into a certain genre before I even open my mouth. This thing is, if I perform well enough, those stereotypes are thrown out of the window. It may be a struggle, but when I see people singing along with me, clapping, and dancing, I know that I’m doing my best to entertain them.

    I’m just getting started in the industry and the tips that Milton gives are extremely helpful. As a current, full-time college student, I plan on taking a tax preparation course, as well as a business entrepreneurial course to make sure that I am successful in my endeavors. Having the proper training and knowledge, I feel, are important to being success.

  • As someone trying to develop as an artist as well I can relate to this story so much. Its a bit challenging going into a field where finances and “fame” can only come based on if people like what you produce. But as I have been developing I am learning to just do what feels right to me and I’ll attract people who enjoy what I do. In fact, ever since then my followers have increased and I am being to take the steps to successfully develop a source of income from my art as well as a fandom!

  • I relate to Milton’s story in multiple ways which is why I was so drawn to it. I am a female Asian-American college student, pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre, which I believe makes me unique. I agree with Milton in that ethnicity can help and hurt an artist in a degree, especially with stereotypes, as he stated as well. In the college audition process, I had many people tell me I was “so lucky” because I didn’t have the typical “blonde-haired, blue-eyed” musical theatre girl look, but I’ve faced discrimination because of my race in the past, with things such as casting opportunities and in performances because I didn’t look the way most people viewed a character I was portraying, such as Jane Banks in Mary Poppins or Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Like Milton, I do what I do because I love it. I go up on stage and perform in order to share a story that has to be told and inspire an audience. It allows me to connect to others and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else in my life.

  • I think this is an inspiring story. I can relate to this because I also have a very strong passion for singing. Ive been singing for many years now and I work with an amazing producer back home. I understand what you mean when you say you have such a connection and passion with your listeners/audience. It is not easy becoming a singer as a career, it is very hard to do and it requires a lot of dedication and confidence. While attending college, I also work with my vocal teacher and producer at home working on and writing music. Building up a career takes a lot of hard work and you have to know what you’re doing and definitely be passionate about it in order to be very successful.

  • Like Milton Davis, I too am a sine and I also started singing in my church at a fairly young age. Music has always been a part of my household, my mom was in the church choir back in the late 90’s. Now she can’t stop singing, she turns everything she says into a song. On the other hand my dad loves to sing soprano to himself as he works on cars (he’s a car mechanic). I grew up singing also, but I didn’t think it was a talent, I thought that everyone could sing well. But as I got older, people started to notice that I could sing well, and then I started to notice.

    Since then, I’ve been leading worship at my church. Like Mr. Davis said, music is comforting, it has the ability to heal not just the people in the audience but the performer also. I work hard to give meaning to my worship by adding emotion to it and actually meaning what I’m singing and i want to get better at this. The goal isn’t to get famous someday because of my voice but instead to touch the lives of those around me through it.

  • I find Milton encouraging and inspiring because he turned a family hobby into a profession. Reading that made me feel like I can relate because a lot of my family a creatively talented because they didn’t always have it easy. I naturally picked up as well because I was frequently surrounded by it. What Milton did seemed like he didn’t worry as much about the consequences, but focused on how he can make his dream a reality Reading that is something I really needed because not only do I have doubt about my profession, but people give me doubt. Thank you Milton for writing this and making me feel like I can do what I want.

  • Milton Davis is exactly the type of person I strive to be: someone who is passionate about their art and loves all the ups and downs associated with it. I love every category of art from painting to music and even with all their difficulties I know how rewarding it is to have done my absolute best at something and see how well the results come out because of that determination and, of course, that pure passion for what you’re doing.

    I just recently finished my second semester at Savannah College of Art & Design and it was the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life! My stress levels were through the roof almost every other day as I was utterly anxious about the work I needed to do. Even so, just like Milton, I put in my best efforts and am 100% satisfied with the work I created, including the intense process to finish them. I know this to be a sign that I have found my calling in life and I can’t see myself doing anything else other than art.

  • This was a great and inspiring story. Although I can’t sing (oh I wish I could lol) I can relate to this story on so many levels. I worked events in church and being naive in certain aspects I soon realized that most performers, preachers, teachers, etc. treat it as a business. As Milton mentioned he learned to get his money upfront. If this was a year ago I probably would have thought it was harsh and not godly, but after understanding the church world, some people take advantage of that.

    Another part of his story that I understand now more than ever is that nothing in life comes easy. God is there to help me, but he also has given me the ability to help myself. If I am lacking something in my life, I have to first ask myself, “What am I not doing?” I have noticed that once I asked God to help me be consistent and focused on my job, he has! But it took effort on my part. I have to make sure that I am consistently learning and reading information to help me understand my audience in the business world. No matter how small it seems I have to apply what I learn and do my best.

  • I loved this article and needed to hear someone from my culture speak upon something like this. I go through the same situations when its comes to acting, except Milton gets the Job a little easier than I can. Throughout my life in high school, and now college I have experienced the hardships of diversity.

    To make my own personal situation easier to understand It’s not an everyday easy thing to get a lead role as an African American like myself. I have known since I was little that my passion was Acting, and that someday I wanted to be on a set everyday working hard and doing what I love. As I got more older and wiser I realized how much harder I would have to work to be a triple threat. I have to be a triple threat because Not many African Americans or Minorities in general get the equal opportunity to get roles. Even in high school I had to second guess many times If I wanted to audition for a lead role in my school play since I was not white and didn’t fit the character description. The only time I received a lead was in Legally blonde and I played Pilar which of course was an African American. I loved playing Pilar don’t get me wrong, but it showed me that since I looked the part I got the part. I feel my talent was pushed aside.

    It was great to read Milton’s perspective and how successful he turned out from just starting off in church. I hope I can achieve my dreams like he did and that everything works out in my favor just like him. Its good to know the singing entertainment doesn’t have many issues as the acting business does. Yes, it’s uncommon for many African Americans to try different genres of music but I love Milton pushing the boundaries and everyone only focusing on his talent and not the color of his skin.

  • Hi Milton,

    My name is Stephan Frost and I really enjoyed reading our testimony and I praise you for falling your true passion. The one thing I want you to always remember is that, the use of music in therapy for the brain has evolved rapidly as brain-imaging techniques have revealed the brain’s plasticity its ability to change and have identified networks that music activates. Armed with this growing knowledge, doctors and researchers are employing music to retrain the injured brain. According to Studies by the authors and other researchers have revealed that because music and motor control share circuits, music can improve movement in patients who have suffered a stroke or who have.

  • What a great story. It shows how important it is to follow your talent and your heart. I too love music. I sing and play many instruments. It’s always been a tough for me to decide my career choice because music pulls at my heart. I’ve decided to pursue a career in aviation because I love to fly, but I will certainly continue with my music in the community and at church.

  • I’m currently a 15 year old high school sophomore (female). I can write good poetry, and also found out that I can change my poems into songs.I plan to play the flute or saxophone in my last two years of high school. I want to attend college to become a professional singer, but do I need previous experience before attending college?

  • This was definitely what I needed to read at this time in my life. I have reached a crossroad in my life where I want to be in career that seems “safe” but there’s a part of me that wants to take a risk and dive into the music industry and fulfill my passion of performing. I love that his job “really moves his heart”. I want to feel that way everyday too!

  • I found this article to relate to me a lot in some ways. I myself very much enjoy music and performance. In fact before i changed my major to secondary education I was a musical theater major. Music and Performance has helped me to find myself. When i am performing i feel as though i can connect with the people in the audience through the lyrics and the just the music in general.

    Although i do not major in musical theater anymore music is still a huge part in my life. If i didnt have music i would not have happiness. Music bring so much happiness into my life. This includes a great relationship with my brother. If we did not have a love for music in our lives, I do not believe that we would be as close as we are now. I thank music every day for helping me through the tough times in my life as well as bringing me closer to my family.

  • Milton Davis has a great passion like mine I just use a different outlet. I love how he uses singing to connect with the audience! I use film and the audience will only focus on the art and all come together as one despite race or gender.

  • I am intrigued by this story because once someone finds their passion and it can become a career, than one truly and genuinely find happiness and contentment. I had the same revelation when I found out how much I loved connecting with other people, not through song or music, but through a college campus. Through the college experience it is a blessing, to not only find a person who is in some authority or position on the campus, but who one can relate to. Through that connection that can ultimately help them in any way to better their matriculation process. That is what I want to be to future students and ultimately increase college enrollment across the nation and promoting the most amazing college experience.

  • I found this article to be completely inspiring and motivating. No matter what someone does in life, whether it is music or corporate, they should have the passion and drive that Milton Davis does. Everyday that I get up, I put a smile on my face because I am going into a place that makes me happy and gives me the feeling of wanting to do more. Therefore, I understand the feeling when it comes to finding your passion. I currently work in healthcare and granted it is not hands on, but, what I do has a large outcome on the patients we come in contact with.

    This career path did not come easy to me; I started off wanting to become a teacher then left that path to get into broadcast journalism and finally stopped gong to school to work at a local hospital. Working at the hospital was just a job for me in the beginning, but, as time progressed, I found it turning into a career. This job was one that I enjoyed doing and wanted to do more. So, I received my undergrad degree in Human Services and I am now pursuing my Master in Management and Leadership. I want to be apart of the management team at a hospital and help minorities gain some trust in healthcare providers.

    Healthcare among minorities has had bad stigma due to the past relationships and the inability to trust them because of things done in the past, however, by using my passion of helping others and healthcare, I want to be involved in changing that dynamic. The only way I would be able to change this is to be apart of the upper management team that makes rules and regualtions to ensure that all people have the best care possible.

  • I can relate to this article because I too wish to connect with people in the most intimate way- through music. Music is omnipresent, it is impossible to imagine a world without it. Davis’s words only inspire me to do what I love. I also perform at my church! Davis and his family have overcome hardships by escaping into the world of making music, which I can also relate to. Just sitting on the bench at my piano has a calming effect. The music business is the hardest and most dedicated field to be in, but it is all so worth it to share your love with others.

  • Milton Davis and I are just alike in a way. I am also a singer just not professionally. I quite undertand what he means when he is talking about the in and out of the work force. You have to be paitient and love what you do. With this, it shows discipline and people will soon respect you for that.

  • While reading this article I connected with Mr. Davis. Sometimes you have to have faith in something you can’t see and must dream like you’ve never seen obstacles. Although I am no singer, there have been instances in my life where I felt that what I say to people can influence their actions in a positive way. I admire how Mr. Davis feels that he doesn’t take vacations because he loves what he does so much. I think that is the key, if you love doing something, you don’t mind doing it day in and day out.

    Mr. Davis is a passionate man with ambition much like myself. Any human that can take what they love to do to inspire others should be celebrated. I think we take for granted how we can move and touch others through the gifts God gave us. Great article to read, certainly gave me motivation.

  • The thing I found most interesting about this article is how Mr. Davis views himself as a doctor of sorts that heals people with his music and I find myself agreeing completely with that notion. Music and the arts in general have an almost miraculous effect on people. Emotions and feelings that words fail to express we can communicate or empathize with through a few short notes on a guitar or with an entire orchestra. For a lot of people music is the only way they can express themselves so clearly. I personally find it difficult to properly put to words how I feel sometimes but I have found that what regular language fails to do for me, I can make up for by simply singing or humming something that just feels right for that moment. I may not be studying to become a professional music player but that doesn’t change the fact that music has had an impact in my life and will continue to affect me till the day I die. For that I thank Mr. Davis and those like him for playing for us, I thank the fact that they love playing so much, and I thank the fact that they were passionate enough to bring their music to us, despite all the hurdles, for without music we would live in a very dull and colorless world.

  • I have to say that it’s nice to hear from someone who has already been down the music business road and is doing quite well travelling it. I too am a musician and could never imagine myself doing anything other than music. At present, I am in college and working toward honing my composition skills while making connections that I know will serve me well in the future.

    Like Milton, I want my music to make a difference in people’s lives. Music just isn’t the same unless it serves a higher purpose like that.

  • This article is my favorite, because this young man is trying to be successful in the music industry by using his God given talents. He is willing to do any and everything to help others in his same situation, whatever it may be. I know that he will touch a lot of peoples hearts and minds to help them strive to achieve their life goals like he did.

    If I hadn’t come across this article, my life goal of becoming an FBI Agent would have never been put into progress. Thank you Milton Davis for helping me push myself to achieving my life goals.

  • I can relate to Milton Davis’s passion and enjoyment that he has towards his career. He is living the life God had called him to live. Davis works to make people happy and so do I. I’m currently attending Academy of Art University and majoring in Fashion Journalism. My goal is to create my own fashion magazine like Vouge and own a successful fashion blog.

    Fashion has always brought me happiness. I have a difficult time expressing myself through speaking so I show it through clothing. What amazes me about fashion is that no matter what language one may speak, religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation…fashion has no boundaries. My day is made after I published an article or conducted an interview that made people think about something deeper than themselves. Being African American and a female is already shocking due to the fact we are poorly out numbered in the fashion industry. I love letting my creativity run wild. I agree with Milton Davis’s comment “I rate my job satisfaction at a 10, without a doubt. There is nothing I would rather do”

  • Every time you meet a person you make assumptions about who they are, and how they are going to be. Before they even speak a word, it’s human nature. As a performer you become vulnerable to an entire audience’s first perceptions. When I get on stage I use my vulnerability to add passion and conviction to my performance. Milton Davis truly understands and has recognized this necessity during h is performance. I agree with Milton Davis’ statement “I get to connect with people in a way most people can only dream of.” He and I can do this because with use our vulnerability to make the audience feel our passion.

  • I truly connect with Milton Davis because I am pursing a
    calling that is about business and faith. Davis articulates that his music and shows
    are about the Gospel. But, he also tells the reader that most of the people he
    works with are all about business.

    The reason I can relate to Davis is because I want to pursue
    a degree in education in order to minister to children. Just like Davis, I know
    this is my true calling. I want to touch children’s lives for Christ, just like
    Davis touches people with his Gospel music. I want to inspire children to truly
    know God and start a relationship with Him. I want to grow our future leaders
    to become spiritual leaders.

    But, Davis also shares that even though his Gospel ministry
    is revolved around Christ it not always a Christ like operation. I know when I
    become an educator that not everyone that comes my way will have a relationship
    with Christ. So, I know I will experience similar difficulties like Davis in
    which business and faith will collide. Therefore, I can relate to Davis because
    even though my dream of becoming an educator will have its difficult experiences;
    I know that it is my true calling in life.

  • I worked as radio and tv host in Spain and I am determined to seek my own radio show in the States in
    English. Without a doubt, I can relate with Milton in how when it
    comes to follow your dreams, inevitable there will be ups and downs
    in the financial arena, ethnicity challenges (my accent) and the
    eternal question of my own worth.

    Pursuing a career that is fully in
    alignment with the call of our Soul, requires changing the
    perspective of our own preconceived ideas of what success is, in this

    In addition, there is an aspect to the
    idea “Talent wins the day” that I do not fully relate to it, due
    to the fact that first, there are incredible talented artists out
    there and second, art requires an audience to survive making the cost
    of compromising your path, at times, an expensive one to pay.

  • Passion in music is something that comes with experience. I share a very similar story with Mr. Davis but in a younger and less intense (popular) form. I come from a family that grew up singing in my grandmother’s choir at our church from where we all branched out as we got older, went off to school but never forgot where our foundation was. In my case, it has always been a passion of mine to sing. From singing in the bathtub to my mother when I was a child, to starring in school plays, to now being the director of my University Gospel Choir, passion is not even the most fulfilling word to describe my love for music.

    As a young, African American woman who looks to music as a significant part of my daily life, I will say that the idea of making singing a profession of mine was always my primary goal, merely because I believe life experiences are best explained and even more so understood through song. Unfortunately, my education took the forefront and my intended academic path diverted from music. But, that does not mean that I am not still using my gift to the best of my advantage.

    I admire Mr. Davis for his consistency and strong love for music, that he made it his lifestyle. He embodies the drive and greatness of an artistic, talented strong Black man that is very well respected in the music industry.

  • This article deeply touches my heart. As a performer and biracial woman, I can easily relate to Davis’ experience’s.

    Like Davis, I started signing in the church at a young age. I also discovered a love for dance. What I love the most about this article is when he explains how being a performer also means you are a businessman or woman. People usually do not see the work behind the show like finding musicians, booking a location, or the travel from show to show. However, every bit of labor is worth even just one smile from an audience member whom you have inspired.

    Another similarity I share with Davis is the stereotype people have in their heads. Because I am African-American, most people expect me to be a hip-hop dancer. Since I was raised in a Polynesian culture, I was introduced to hula as a little girl. I do not dance hula because I am Hawaiian, but because I love performing for others, just as Davis sings because he loves it.

    Davis is a great example of someone who envisions a dream and makes it reality. I hope to do the same as I move on into adulthood.

  • I love the storied ,you can tell how passionate he was. for me the story make me want to works hard toward my goal , he inspired me to be more driven, and never let any one say mo to me .I am going to keep going to become a pharmacist , and that no matter how many timed i fall done I want to still have the strength to keep going

  • “The single most important thing that I have learned about the working world is that you are really responsible for everything that you have. Look around you. If there is something that you want that you do not have, then there is something that you need to do that you have not done.” – Milton Davis

    I enjoyed reading this short article. I think that most readers will walk away with the idea that music is more involved than they probably thought it is. They might walk away with a deeper appreciation for the craft.
    However, the above cited quote from Mr Davis touched me the most. This article’s climax, for me, was seated in this comment. Art aka aesthetic experience, and more specifically music, teaches us all the art of hard work. As a performer or artist, you are responsible for the product you create or the accomplishing of the goals you set for yourself. There are infinite possibilities located within your grasp, and artistic experience teaches us that anything is possible.

  • I started performing live when I was in my Junior year in high school. What is really rewarding about this is having people around you that are willing to work hard enough to achieve a level that is thought to be beyond their reach. The energy one can gain from the crowd is immense and has always been worth the blood, sweat and tears. This is definitely my passion because there is nothing else I would enjoy doing for a lifetime. The fact that I am outside of my home country has both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to creating music. While you expand your musical horizons, you have to find a way to musically communicate with the community, which is hard enough when you are a singer. This has given me the opportunity to practice other skills that will eventually benefit my music career and will bring me closer to people from anywhere in the world.

  • I definitely share Mr. Davis’s passion for the arts. Battling homelessness, and walking on the “tightrope” that is the poverty line, Theatre camps, drama clubs, and performance ensembles were my only outlets from my everyday struggle.

    Loving acting and being on stage so much, and depending on it to keep me sane and happy, I decided that this was the career i was going to pursue for the rest of my life. Whether it ends me up on the big screen, or behind the scenes, I’ll never stop, because I refuse to do something that I DON’T love for the rest of my life.

  • This is a very interesting article. It gave me some insights into the music world that I was not aware of. I thought the income was higher but of course as Milton Davis stated, if you want something you need to take on the task of going after it. I can relate to the sterotypes that are placed on indivduals. I played volleyball in high school as an outside hitter and could jump very high. However, because I was not tall enough I was overlooked for playing at a college level.

  • The main aspect of this article that I found really interesting was the diversity of the nature of the job. Milton Davis mentions the effects of ethnicity and gender on his job as well as the variety of genres he has performed, and even the business aspect of being a musician. I think this brand of diversity in being a musician also applies to the variety of people that you encounter in the field.

    I have found that in my own experience as a student of music that everyone comes to music with different levels of knowledge of the rules of music, which are the concrete, objective aspects of music. However, since music is a form of art, everyone approaches music with different ideas and personalities that affect the artistic vision.

    Music could even be synonymous to a rainbow; each color has its own qualities, but they all come together to form something beautiful. Milton Davis mentions that he does not really take vacations because of his love of his job, and I think that much of that can be attributed to the joy one can get from painting a beautiful rainbow with music.

  • I think this article was inspirational and relatable because I too am an artist who soothes people. I want to be a film direction, and in this case both my ethnicity and gender hinder me. Film is a medium that much like theatre is ran by caucasian males which is very disheartening. However, I enjoy this career so much that I am willing to take the risk. I love film, it’s such a great industry to be in and being a movie director would mean the world to me. I am glad that you have found your passion in singing!

  • What I find most that I closely relate to Milton Davis, is his ethnicity and the problems arising to be what he is from his ethnicity. Not only do people judge you based on you ethnicity, but African Americans deal with a lot of racism and prejudice towards them. Coming from a multiracial background, one of them being black, I have learned that there are going to be people throughout your life that are going to tell you, your not going to become anything, your not smart, you won’t make it to college and all these things are ideas that have made me stronger and made me succeed to prove all those people wrong. Just like Milton Davis as long as you put your mind to what you want and keep on getting up even though there has been many times you have been pushed down, just shows that your determined and you won’t stop at anything less than what your striving for.

  • Milton Davis is a huge inspiration. I love acting and singing, and I know that the theatre is my calling. I relate so much to him; the way he describes how music is his outlet away from his hardships–that’s acting for me. To see someone, a normal person like me, reach and achieve their goals, so completely content in the way they make their living–It’s awe-inspiring. I wish Ito pursue my passion like that.

    And that’s another thing–his passion for performing. It’s so beautiful to hear about someone who really loves their job and can work every day and never tire. I wish to live a life like that–a life of performing, doing what I love. However, it isn’t all about me. Or him. He doesn’t perform completely for himself, otherwise no one would go and see him. He does it for the audience, he shares his emotion and life through music with the people who come see his shows and that will always be a fantastic thing to me, being able to share such intimate moments with complete strangers through art. Being able to manipulate the feelings of others with just your voice, or your fingers on keys, etc. Performing is such a beautiful thing.

  • Milton Davis’s story inspires me. Just reading everything that Milton says about his love, and passion for what he does for himself and for other people gives me a burning desire pursue my dreams whole heartedly. I also have a dream of becoming a performer, and I sing in the praise and worship team at my church; so we have that in common. Milton’s story is a testimony to me, saying that talent and heart can take you to unimaginable heights in life.

    I also found Milton’s story usefully informative when it came to the business side of the industry. With hopes of one day being in that industry, I take heed to his advice in learning and knowing the business working behind the scenes.

  • I found this story to be inspiring because Milton Davis is living out his purpose. When someone can say I don’t take much vacation because I love what I do–that is inspiring and exciting to think that I too can fulfill my purpose even in the midst of a stressful yet would there be much peace satisfaction.

  • Milton Davis is the epitome of determined. He pushed so hard to makes his dreams come true, regardless of differences. I strives to be able to do what e loves and what makes others happy. Many people are downers and they don’t want to see you succeed, but the negativity should motivate you to reach higher and push harder. Davis was so correct when he said, ” I think that everyone’s ethnicity and gender hurts and helps them to a degree.” Sometimes people are praised for being a certain ethnicity, and other times they are bashed. Just like Davis, keeping that hope and motivation alive.

  • This interview really speaks to me because it is inspiring to see someone have so much passion about reaching out and changing people’s lives in such a creative way. Just like Milton, i have found my artistic love, poetry. Poems not only force people to think and reflect on how creatively metaphoric they can be, but poems often speak to peoples souls. Poems for me are also a way of expression to forget about the hardship i have faced in life. If one of my of poem’s motivates someone to achieve greater things in life then i know i have done my job; to make someone else a better person.

  • What I love most about this is Milton Davis’s passion! You can tell that singing is truly what he loves to do. It’s inspiring! He says “I get up and go to work to make people happy.” It means that yes, he sings for himself and for his own pleasure, but he also sings and performs for others, to bring them joy and to aid them in a tough time in their lives.

    I too discovered my passion not long ago – composing music – and I know it’s something I want to do for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I am able to attend university to study composition and technology which is amazing. I too want my compositions to make people happy. I want to create music that excites and interests my listeners and hopefully my music will help those in need too.

  • Music may not be animation, however they both require a passion to be the best they can be. Music and animation are similar since they both tell a story that is meant to convey emotions and hardships which is why this article means a lot to me. Ever since I was a child, I could not get enough Disney or Pixar movies.In elementary school, I would come home every day from school just to help my aunt with her babysitting program which took place in my living room. We never had money, so the money from babysitting was all that my family lived off of. In order to keep the children happy and to keep business, my brother and I constantly performed plays and sang songs, using our living room as our stage. Since then, entertainment has always been part of my life and I love hearing of someone following their passion. I want to spread a message to the world that no matter what others say, as long as you continue to push yourself, and never give up on your dreams, anything is possible.

  • This article is such an inspiring article. Milton Davis’s story is very similar to mine. I am an overweight African American male who wants to pursue his dreams in the Musical Theatre world. Throughout my life in performing, I have always had my struggle trying to find my style of musical theatre and voice. I always wanted to have the voice of an R&B singer who could belt his head off. As I continued trying to do the typical black R&B voice, I started losing my voice as well as my drive to what I wanted to do. Then I came to college and started finding what style of voice I was. Yes, I’m not the next Seaweed from Hairspray the musical who can belt high B flats, but with the performer and singer I am, I can be a great comedic Nicely Johnson from Guys and Dolls and kill the performance every time I get on stage.
    This article is very relatable to me because I totally understand about stereotypes and people thinking you can only do one type of thing when you can do so much more than what they are expecting you to do. I learned that you have to do what you love no matter what others tell you. Thank you Milton Davis for your article and story to help others who are fighting the stereotypes and living their dreams.

  • This article speaks to me in so many ways. Racism and discrimination in music is a topic I feel very strongly about, and have even done a 2-day presentation project on in my Healing Racism class at school. I am an African American LGBT female with a disibility. Dance is my passion, especially the genres hip hop, tribal, and street jazz. I have been dancing for my whole life and I can really relate to Milton Davis’ experience with discrimination in the music industry.

    I am on a hip hop crew outside of school, dance/drill team inside of school, and I go to several dance studios in Houston. I frequently dance at school talent shows, and being a Black female, people always expect me to do a sexually promiscuous hip hop dance, and wear baggy pants on stage or something really form-fitting. instead, I break those stereotypical boundaries that are set by society. Just as Milton got up on stage and surprised the crowd by singing country music, I do lots of African dance for my school to show the true meaning and the root of Black culture. I portray the Black culture in a beautiful and artistic way through dance, rather than the way it is often misinterpreted.

  • Its interesting reading about people that have achieved what you want to achieve. It must be hard to get to that place but I know that once you are singing and living form it its as good as it gets because living doing what your most passionate about makes your everyday life entirely beautiful and fun. It fills your mornings with joy and great expectations. Waking up to do what you like destroys the uglyness of your days and whatever situations may come. Pleasing the public makes you feel out of this world. It transforms you and creates sounds of wonder around you. I do believe that the right music and the right time heals the soul.

    I consider that professional singing may be tricky because of the business part of it. Having experience in administration skills and taxing would help in a big way no matter if you have a person that deals with it for you.

  • While reading this article i thought back to when i was in high school and all i studied was vocal music. Going to a performing arts school you only think about having fun and not what career you want to study in college. Towards the end of high school i had to make a decision as to whether or not i wanted to take a career in music or try for the business world. Milton Davis chose what he loved to do and i commend him and wish i was as brave as him.

    Instead of following my dreams i chose to pick a career where i know i can find a good paying job where i can support myself and know that i will have a stable financial life. As much as i miss singing and music i know that it will always be apart of my life.

  • As an aspiring professional performer in the music industry, I, myself, have run into the ups and downs of the business. I enjoyed this article mainly because Milton Davis expanded more on the positive benefits of being an artist for a living. Not everyone in the music industry knows how to grasp onto the things they love about it, but they sure do know how to harbor the negatives.

    I definitely can relate to the stereotypes that come with ethnicity and gender. For instance, I am a hip-hop artist, meaning I am a lyricist or “rapper”. When I tell people I am in the music industry they usually assume that I sing because I am a black-female. It does get to be a bit much, but as Milton said, the talent speaks for itself and all doubts are out of the window by the end of the performance.

  • I enjoyed reading this article because it truly inspired me. Davis writes music that other people can relate to which I feel says more than a song written about tattoos, parties, and clothing. This article has inspired me to follow my dreams in becoming a movie producer. The music industry could use more artist like Milton Davis!

  • Performing is something that I hold very close to my heart. In high school, I was involved in symphonic band, marching band, jazz band, concert choir, chamber choir, and many theatrical productions. Now that I attend the University of Missouri, I am involved in marching band. I also minor in theatre.

    I wish that I could perform for the rest of my. It is the only time when I truly feel like myself. Perform gives me this sense of comfort. Performing also allows me to express myself in ways I could never do in any other activity. I enjoy the fax that people have come to see me and others perform. I hope that they enjoyed all of my performances. The best part of being a performer is have someone from the audience come to me and tell me how great I did. I a just happy that someone has noticed my talents.

    I didn’t chose performing as a career because I didn’t feel that I was amazing. Yes, I was great at different aspects of performing, but I wasn’t amazing at one single thing. That is the problem of being well-rounded.

    The author of this article is doing things that I only dream about. Even though I am not consumed by performing, it will always be something that I love. My life would not be right without performing.

  • This article is great and very inspiring. I initially went into college as a vocal performance major and have since dropped to a piano minor, but I completely adore music. Music is so unifying, it’s probably one of the most unifying elements in any culture. Music can bring whole countries together and allow different ethnic groups to find common ground.
    In general, I believe that a person’s origins are always going to play a part in their lives professionally. Sadly, many people groups are discriminated against because of their origins. However, music blurs those lines of prejudice and allows us to see individual talent, rather than race. Music is a road that we can all walk together, regardless of gender, race, or circumstance.

  • I’m a huge music fan and can relate to the fact that it is a great way to get through rough times. I’ve never been a good singer but have always admired the ways people can be positively affected through the power of song. One thing I can really identify with after reading the article is the author’s drive to make people happy. I think this is what also drives me to become a nurse. I want to be able to make people happy or just comforted. Nursing for me will be like music is to Mr. Davis.

  • I may not be a music major, but as a lover of this art form, I can say that it’s so deeply entwined with my goals that this story does give me hope. I’m an artist; I want to paint music. I want to show its colors and movements and the way it swirls in and out of existence. I’m in college now, but soon I will be able to live the life I want and be happy with my work, just as this man is. I want to be able to do the same with my life. Fulfillment.

  • I love this article I felt a great connection to it. I too grew up singing in the church choir as well as. I commend him for living out his dreams. Love the passion he has for his God given gift.

  • I myself would like to be a singer on day Gospel especially, To read how Milton Davis is very unique and stays positive, he leaves you inspired to know that no matter what comes in your way you can still fulfill your dreams.

  • I’m not a musician or a singer, but I can empathize with wanting to pursue a career that you can’t always be sure of. I’m a writer, and although we may not be up on stage, writers can be just as vulnerable seeing their work being performed. I’m a latin female, and I’m lucky to be able to express myself through a medium in which people can’t criticize me based on those characteristics. I respect Milton Davis a heck of a lot more for not being afraid to get up in front of people and do what he loves. He has a great story, and there’s a lot of credence to be given to his words near the end of the interview, about doing what you need to do in order to get what you want if you don’t have it yet.

  • This article is an embodiment to my own philosophy in choosing a career choice while being in constant difficult situations and difficult times but the hard work will pay off in the end if I do what I love.

  • As a music major, this article is extremely pertinent to my life. I identify with his passion for music and his honesty about the music business. His enthusiasm for his job is inspiring and I hope to be as openly passionate and enthusiastic about performing music as he is.

    I also appreciated his discussion of gender and ethnicity. As a women who is half Filipino and half Caucasian, I experience a lot of discrimination from both sides. My dad used to tell me that being mixed race would only be an advantage in my life, but I have often experienced the struggle of not quite fitting in with either culture. Music is also my escape from hardship and sadness. It’s very cathartic for me to listen to a strongly emotional song after I’ve experienced struggle or sadness.

    Music and the arts have a special way of connecting humans from different cultures and bring them together through one common piece of art. I think the fact that Milton Davis was able to gain acceptance from a country community even though he is often thought of as a jazz musician is a prime example of this. I don’t think Milton Davis is unique in this aspect either. But just as diversity is important in real life, diversity is also important in musicianship. For musicians, it’s crucially important that you are a well-rounded performer. If you stick to one type of music, people start to see you for only one thing. But if you can prove you can perform a variety of songs, you’ll gain more respect as a musician. This is something I strive to do as a music major.

  • I really appreciate Miltons last statements. What really stuck out to me was the fact that he realized that his career was meaningful not because he was making a large amount of money but because he loved what he does. I also agree with the philosophy of doing something different to get what you want.

    Alot of people had to do something different in order to get where they were today even if the majority did not like that different thing they were doing.

  • What do you when the only one holding you back is you? I’m going to be honest, I do not know how to
    answer this question, but within time maybe I will–maybe if I do as Milton did…pursue the very thing that drives me…the very thing that I feel in my bones. I love film and just as Milton’s relationship with music, I grew up watching mature films at a young age with my family. What film did for us was allowed us to leave the present moment of struggle and live in someone else’s shoes for an hour or two. However, more than pretend to be someone else I developed an ability and a longing to connect with people just as my favorite
    characters did with me. If I wanted to be young and persuasive, I looked to Lily from Baby Face (1933), strong-willed and modest Clarice from Silence of the Lambs (1991), determined and unwavering Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill (2003), mysterious and confused Clementine Kruczynksi from Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004) or observational and daring Juror #8 in 12 Angry Men (1957). To me film communicates something more than entertainment or amusement; it provides an allotted time to be a different person and live life from a different perspective. To me that is communication: the ability to relay a message through various mediums to a broad audience; as a result, the diverse body of spectators will successfully recognize this message—maybe not necessarily agree, but indeed understand.

    I know that I want to pursue a career in film—first doing production work—working behind the camera
    for different film corporations…but then I would like to produce the screenplays I have been developing since I was a freshman in high school. Just as Milton said that music is business,…same goes for the film industry. Though it may be an artistic field it is really about who you know and what services you can provide. That is why I am more than willing to work my way from the bottom up.

    My goal is to create films that hold ideas, characters, and messages that an audience of various
    ethnicities and genders can relate to. As a black female, I struggled being comfortable in my own skin mainly because the way the media (film included) defined beauty. A key importance in my potential films is to rewire synthetic concepts of beauty, ethnicity and gender—I would like to represent minorities in a different light and to have them more importantly represent themselves.

    From reading the article, I admire Milton’s ambition to not hold back on what he wants to do. I think sometimes people are caught up in the scary idea of a fluctuating salary. However, I think what propels him forward is not only his talent but as well as his passion to take the risk of inconsistency. I think that I am more than willing to take that risk.

  • I was very inspired by this article. Being an African American myself, it is hard to disassociate you career with your ethnicity. I love the arts and have been drawing all my life and the satisfaction i get from it is a thrill. Yet I always want to break from the standard that people classify as art. Looking at Milton breaking the standards by doing Country music when his friend asked him to and doing a good job when performing it not only inspires me but should inspire all to break free from the standards that society, race, or anyone puts you in. I love in the end how he explains that you are responsible for everything that you have. Nothing should stop you from something you love to do.

  • I am also a singer and can certainly understand the unique and overall unmatched feeling that comes from performing. As a female, I have lost many awards, accolades, and dollars simply because there was a male in the competition. Many people feel that just because there is as great of a multitude of male singer, as there are female, that any male performer should be awarded just for participation. Now, granted, this is not the case in the level and the caliber that Milton Davis is performing at, but for a middle-class, white, teenage girl trying to earn money to attend college, it certainly is an obstacle.
    Regarding the paragraph above, I do absolutely love what I do. Music has a unique ability to connect with every portion of a persons mind, soul, and essence, and maintain a firm grasp on it. I often do volunteer work around the holidays by performing at local nursing homes. Sure, there are some audience members who could care less; they stay slightly comatose, but for the members who do care, I can always see in their eyes that I have reached some part of them with my music. I have connected with some memory or feeling that brings them joy, and in turn, brings them a certain life. When I sing I try to create a world around me, a world that is beautiful and pure and simple. A world that is full of life and growth. I always try to imagine singing in a big beautiful forest, where the sun peaks through every gap in the leaves and shines a beautiful, healthy green through the foliage. I think of the wind traveling on tiny, set tracks that run through my hair, around my legs, and whirl in the itty-bitty space behind my ears. I try to create a world that can be felt by others, and make it a place that they would want to go. I try to make people happy.
    I love this article. It speaks with a pure voice and I feel as if I can hear him saying it to me right now.

  • I loved reading this!!!! I am becoming a composer, and would like to pursue a career in Film scoring. It is my life long dream to create music for movies!!

  • This was a great article and it reminds me of myself when it comes to art. I have been drawing since I was 2 years old and never really took lessons for it. I don’t brag or let anyone know that I can draw, but the feeling I get when someone who does come across a painting or a drawing and want to pay me to do something for them makes me feel as if my talent is not just a gift but a blessing that I can bestow on another person. This is definently an article of inspiration.

  • I’m not sure how to fully describe it, but I feel almost as if I know this person oh so well. I understand where he’s coming from when he says that he tries to give people feelings that they have experienced before, or that he wants to give them comfort. I feel those same urges running through my own veins, that at some moments, it gets too overwhelming. Getting other individuals to feel my writing and understand me through the words that I have written on the paper for them to see, there’s just no words to describe how that would feel. And through what this man has said, I know that getting closer to that feeling won’t take me as long if I just work hard and focus on what I want to achieve. I am so greatly thankful at this very moment that I was able to come across this article in my desperate time of need. And I hope that sooner, rather than later, I’ll be he next person to help another on their journey to finding who they are through a miraculous talent.

  • I found this article extremely relateable. I too, love musical arts. My father has been a musician since grade school and has been an influence on my life musically. I am recently coming to see that like Milton Davis, getting something you want requires work and effort. I can see that staying positive can keep someone on the right track which is what i strive to do everyday. Reading this article has helped me see that being prepared is a major part of getting everything in life together, it takes preserverance and determination. i will work harder to achieve my goals because of this article.

  • This man is truly a musician who loves to sing. I personally, as a singer, admire how he doesn’t
    merely sing for his audience, but tries to “give people a feeling” with his music.
    This whole article is overflowing with Milton’s love for his job and his awareness of the factors that affect his job, such as his gender and race. I also can relate to his musical environment and being in the church choir, which makes his realization of a career as a singer seem more reachable to someone like me.

  • I enjoyed this article a lot because the writer was able to identify with his inner talent, his calling if you will, and understand that when you love what you do and you inspire people as a result of what you do that other things (ex. monetary compensation, fame, etc.) don’t matter. I also like how he compared himself as an artist to being a doctor, a mentalist. His ability to heal and comfort the minds, the souls, and the hearts of his audience with his voice brings satisfaction not only those he touches but to himself as well. It doesn’t get much better than that!?!?

  • This article touches me in so many ways because he was able to do what he loves and grew up doing and turn it into a career. Everyday Milton wakes up happy to make others happy, and I believe that that’s the key ingredient to a fulfilling career.

    As much as I enjoy the art of music I can also relate to Milton’s story because I am currently going through the same situation where I am pursuing a career in Human Resource’s because of my passion for psychology. I love connecting with people and truly understanding them to make their lives easier in every way possible. That is why i choose a career in Human Resources because i can use the advantages I have to help individuals in one of the most important aspects of their lives.

    Pursuing this passion has been one of the most exciting rides of my life and I am sure it will bring me so much joy because i am do what i love to make others happy. I am thankful for Milton’s story because it has encouraged me to always choose a path that I find fulfilling no matter what others may think or say.

  • Not only that one is “responsible for all things” but rather one is totally in control of all works produced. It matters not what field of work, interest, or hobby, one is in complete care of their output. It resonates to the reader that it is the measure of your thoughts, words, and actions that moves industries into the future. The article instructs the reader to produce one’s maximum in all things.

  • I find it fascinating how he is able to passionately describe his calling. I too was struck by a similar experience when I discovered a similar thing.
    I was attending a Physics II lecture on the nature of light waves and sinusoidal motion on a quantum mechanical scale. Suddenly it was as if the world became infinitely more complex to me. I began to view every day objects as systems of molecules interacting with billions of atoms. I really found a sense of beauty in the world itself, knowing that everything was so much more than just something, and that there were millions of scientific processes going on to allow for what we all viewed to be simple things, such as the beat of a human heart, or the blinking of an eye. It was this sense of beauty that made me realize that I wanted to preserve the beauty that existed in such complexity, and it was this mindset that made me desire to pursue premedicine, and what I hope will one day be embrace my true calling as a Doctor, maybe as a mentalist, like the interviewee above me, or perhaps with a specialization in neurosurgery.

  • I can definitely relate to this. Sometimes not only words but just the music can move people. Playing in the orchestra and playing for my mom and my grandmother would always move them and make them happy which would in turn make me happy. But songs with lyrics, sometimes you don’t really hear them unless you’ve been through something traumatic and then you really take those words to heart and can really connect with the artist. A lot of the times the songs can lift you up knowing that you’re not the only one going through it

  • I love this article. The ambition that you mantain to just simply keep going is amazing. I, myself deal with alot of discrimination but unfortunately from my own race. I am a black female & the people in my neighborhood don’t understand my passion for performing arts.
    I highly enjoy classic musicals, classic music. Songs with meaning. I’m into hip-hop, jazz, R&B, but there is so much more out there in store. I, too started in church. As a matter of fact, I still am. I’m 17 years old & as I get closer to graduation day, my passion to move away & go to a performing arts college increases abundantly.
    Thank you for this inspiring story.

  • I like this article. I had the
    same experience. About 4 years ago, I tried to be voice actress. It was too
    hard but I really loved to. It is hard to be in others shows. I have tried so
    much. I was awake for days and nights and keep trying to work on that. Finally,
    I got successful and my boss said that you are my best employee. It was one of
    my best periods of life.

  • As a female of Latino heritage, I can relate to Davis in his overcoming the stereotype. I grew up singing and playing the piano, and later began playing the harp. It’s often difficult to convey the passion I have for music to those who don’t quite understand why someone would dedicate their life to it. But it’s that and so much more.

    I have found that my background in music not only inspires me to further pursue an education in music as a composer, but also to appreciate all aspects of art. Through music I have embraced visual arts, dance, writing, and most of all, the beauty in historic architecture. Thus, my passion for historic preservation is built on those experiences in the arts throughout my life.

    When Davis says that he often has people tell him that his music has helped them through a tough time, I completely understand. Often a painting, a performance, any form of expression, has the ability to uplift like nothing else. I am constantly amazed at the ability of art to inspire.

    There are skeptics, of course, that argue that my love for music and historic preservation do not coincide and could not be more different from one another. I beg to differ. Art inspires more art, just like this article inspires the reader. Therefore, I feel that my love for different forms of art only breeds more creativity.

  • I’m not a musician, though what I want to be is similar – an animator. Both are arts rooted in motion and timed-progression. Like dance. I make lines that dance across the eyes, while Milton’s dance across the ears. And I love music so much for this metaphor, so I instantly gravitated to this one – after scrolling through the first page of essays, reading the headings and seeing nothing that struck my chord, I immediately looked for a way to narrow my sights. I looked at the listings on the left of the page – nothing about art, or entertainment. But there was music, and that’s art. So I clicked it and it brought me to this, the one essay headed under that category. Of course this was it.

    But is it? After some thinking I say yes, but it wasn’t what I expected. I thought this essay would be easy. Even before I clicked the link in the heading, and started reading the whole thing, I was already conceptualizing what I would type. But then I read it, and. . .

    Damn you Milton Davis for making my mind and my fingers work. Though I would argue that’s what good artist do by trade.

    Davis doesn’t talk a great deal about his art, which is what I expected. It’s what you usually see. It’s what I planned for.

    He’d rather talk about his experiences AS an artist. The business. The deals gone down. The expectations connected with physical appearance (which I can relate to, as a black man myself, but I’m not going to talk about that here).

    I was knocked off step a little when I read it. Like an unexpected note in a piece of music you’re dancing to. A switch in time signature, or a heavy as heaven swing to a note. You know, a little jazz.

    Yeah, I can feel that. I can groove to this.

    Cause, to be honest, I don’t need another person giving me advice on how to be an artist. I’m pretty damn sure I know how to be one by now. I would say I am one, and have been one for awhile.

    But I’m still a kid. Not yet full out, legs deep in the cold hard world, though I’ve been a few feet in it. I have college ahead of me. I AM an artist, but I have not yet LIVED the life of an artist. And that’s what Milton Davis is singing to me about right now. And that’s cool. That’s real cool.

    I can vibe to this.

  • I can relate to this person’s story a lot. Although I am going to school to become an artist, I have been a performer (actor) as well, and in both media, I find that the most important thing to me is providing my audience with some piece of happiness or pleasure that will add to their lives, even if it is just to lighten their emotional load that day. I guess that is why I am in the arts, and will always stay there.

  • This article is one of my favorite since i love to read about music and arts. I really like how Milton Davis think outside of the box because his thought gives him more strength about what he does. His positive thoughts and attitudes are beyond awesome including his point of mine of writing music that relates to people life and connects with them as well. By reading this article, it leads me to follow my dreams further more as becoming a model/dancer.

  • This article was very touching to me, I can relate to what the author, we all have dreams and a passion that drives us. We want to make the world hear our voice. We all want to feel that our hard work will pay of with a great award, but sometimes the greatest reward it our audience. In whatever you do, you have a calling as well. just don’t be blindside.

    Also we should never judge a book by it cover, its amazing that as the author was talking about we all not the same, we have many gifts that makes all of us different.

    Finally learning to share your experience is real to a person, ever experience will bring your audience closer, making them feel that you was talking about them, and we all can make it.

  • As an artist, there are adversities on every end of the spectrum that will either strengthen you and your artistry or diminish the pursuing of your endeavors. In this instance, the hardships challenged Milton and made him more knowledgeable of the business.

    We still live a global society where stereotypical discrimination and racism are not as blatantly apparent but still exist. Music is one of those universal grammars that unites the world because it does not have a face but a story – a testimony that millions can understand and relate to. Many artists commence their careers in church and cross over to secular music but it does not change their relationship with God or their gospel roots. It empowers them to face the challenges that may come their way and increases their endurance.

    Thank you sharing this testimony with us, Milton. This certainly solidified my calling and re-energized my drive to pursue my dreams. Continue to change and uplift the world with your gift. I wish you the best.

  • I absolutely love the quote in this article “Look around you. If there is something that you want that you do not have, then there is somethiing that you need to do that you have not done.” Its so simple yet profound. That’s exactly what we all need to hear. Over and over and over again. We’re all going to struggle. Life is a roller coaster. Just as soon as we get used to the view “at the top” we’ll experience startling drops that will leave us in a valley we’ll be certain we just can’t get out of.

    I’m not a music major. In fact, I don’t even sing. I’m terrible at it. This atricle struck me because it reminded me of my younger sister. She’s a singer and has been since she could talk-maybe even before that. She’s insanely talented. Yet, with that talent comes the illusion sometimes that she doesn’t have to work at it. Because she has this gift, sometimes she thinks she doesn’t have to put the work in. I’ll hear her cry sometimes when she doesn’t get a part she hoped to get in the local musical and the quote above would completely apply in those situations. What didn’t she do this time? What coul she try next time that she didn’t before? I don’t want her to ever give up on her dream. I want her to keep getting better and to keep reaching for the stars. I don’t want her to stop growing as an artist-ever.

  • I found this article to be inspiring,encouraging, and makes me want to pursue my calling even further.
    tells me that there is gonna be discrimination and stereotypes that
    will hinder me in the future but it is up to me to overcome that. I’m
    pursuing a degree in cartoon animation and I hope to show people that
    can do a spectacular job without race being in the mix. You are clearly
    doing what you love and are really passionate and put your 100% into
    your job without anyone stopping you.

    It makes me want to never
    give up on my career and,if luck allows, take me a step farther than I
    have planned. At the end of the day, it is about how much work you put
    into your job and to be remembered for that than to be remembered for
    the color of your skin.

  • This captivating story has helped me realize that it does not matter who you are. Gender and race may hinder you, but anyone can accomplish anything, even becoming a professional musician. Music gives people a chance to connect with each other, and to feel each other’s emotions. I am Hispanic, and I yearn to pursue a well-rounded education in music.
    I have written plenty of poetry, and with each poem, there is a melody that constantly plays inside my head. It matches well with the kind of lyrics I have written down on paper. I am in the process of learning how to write music and I yearn to inspire people with my written work, be it an audience or one person.

  • I appreciate this article. It was great to read a musician’s perspective on the business that isn’t in it for the money or fame but is in the industry for the love of music. I could relate because I want to work in the business on the business end, the 90% as Davis explained. I want to work with talent because I love to hear stories like this. I love to watch a musician sing their heart out to a happy and satisfied audience. The joy in the relationship between and artist and fan is the best thing in the world.

    I appreciate the comment Davis said, “Talent wins the day.” Yet I would word that saying differently. I really think “Brand wins the day”. If artists were based just on talent, not as many artists would be popular these days. I think that artists have to many the complete package to win over the fans and perform great.

  • I can relate to his story, I am a music lover and I actually spent four years managing my own music production company. The music business is 10% music and 90% business and from my experience, most musicians do not like the business aspect. Musicians want to do the thing they love best, make great music!

  • This story was very interesting and so very true. I myself started singing in the church as well and then begun to sing in many talent shows to futher my exposure. Many people began to ask me to sing at weddings which was very exciting. Futhermore, as Mr. Davis mentioned in his story, its an enjoyment in touching peoples heart and soul when singing. But unfortunately for me it was very hard to sing and support my family because of the fluctuating income and the amount of time you have to invest to fulfill your dream as a singer. It would have been much easier had I not had a family.

  • People say that eyes are the windows to the soul, but our guests didn’t seem very happy this morning. Their eyes were dull and unfocused and their heads were hung low, with flies were
    buzzing in their hair. But a tan elderly man hidden underneath a large, blue
    sombrero looked directly into my eyes as I served him his huevos rancheros. His
    piercing stare caught me off guard and made me feel uncomfortable as if I had
    somehow wronged him. For a fraction of a second, I caught a glimpse into this
    man’s frustrating world, but before I could react, he had moved on. I was at a
    church in Tijuana, Mexico for a house building project for the needy, but our
    mission this morning was to serve breakfast to the homeless familias of the
    Zona Camionera district.

    While everyone was busy eating, I spotted a rusty, old piano in the corner and an idea popped into my head. How about some music for our guests? I dusted off the keys and began playing theMozart Sonata I was practicing for my Certificate of Merit exam. I wasn’t too enthusiastic
    about this particular piece, but after practicing it countless times in preparation, it became second nature. After being enrolled in piano for 8 years by my parents and practicing designated songs each year for the exam, I find myself playing more by muscle memory than enthusiasm.

    As I played this rusty instrument in a foreign environment, I instinctively looked up at the irritable man with the blue sombrero. The angry gaze from earlier this morning had softened; in its
    stead lay a playful twinkle and on his face a lopsided grin that betrayed his
    true feelings. Had he liked my Sonata? This unexpected subtle encouragement
    urged me on. I could do better. I would do better.

    Smiling myself, I returned to the keys. Attempting a song that had nothing to do with piano class, I played my own rendition of La Cucaracha, a popular song that I had heard during fiestas
    throughout in town. A hushed silence filled the room, followed by
    laughter and cheering, and I knew that I had struck gold. Someone began
    clapping to the beat, and soon after, others joined in and began singing along.
    I felt empowered by their enthusiasm. Everybody in the room was listening
    attentively now, clapping and singing along. The music resonated with me as
    well, a sensation I had never experienced before playing classical. Despite
    years of piano recitals in front of an audience so quiet that you could hear a
    pin drop, this was the first time I truly felt connected to the people I was
    playing for.

    I traveled to Mexico as a volunteer to help build new homes in Tijuana, but left with a fateful encounter that allowed me to find my own voice, a voice without words that even strangers from
    completely different backgrounds could understand. Even in a country where I
    had a language barrier, I spoke to locals through my music.

    This unforgettable experience with the homeless spurred me to continue expressing myself. I started my own Youtube Channel, posting my piano renditions of songs I enjoyed from Frank Sinatra and the Beatles that viewers from around the world listen to every day. I now
    volunteer in homeless shelters and nursery homes every week, sharing my love
    for music with the unfortunate and the elderly. Every year, I perform in the
    school’s anti-human trafficking concert and Charity Fashion Show, raising money
    by playing covers of popular radio songs. And every day, every week,
    every year, I continue to see the impact a simple melody can have on people.
    These priceless moments I have created with music have been some of the greatests
    highlights of my life.

  • I am a first generation Asian American child in my family and i found this article to be truly inspiring. I am the first in my family to graduate from High School and the first in my family to attend in higher education. I live in a mostly white town and the struggles of racism come on a once in a while basis. I have been discriminated in school by fellow peers for being Asian and have been stereotyped. I believe though that with hard work anyone can become successful. This article is truly shows one of my beliefs. I want to become very successful as an industrial engineering the future and show that race has nothing to do with success and that hard work is the quality that everyone must have to succeed.

  • I can completely relate to Davis’ story of success in the music business. My name is Kellen, I’m 20 years old and currently the singer/songwriter/guitarist/booker/manager for a band located in Towson, Maryland. I write all of the songs and all the parts for all instruments including drums, guitar, bass, vocals, lyrics, trumpet, sax, and trombone. I definitely understand what it’s like to know whole-heartedly that what I’m doing with my career is exactly what I should be doing. I share the same satisfaction of connecting with audiences whether it’s ten or ten thousand people. I’ve performed on stages at some of the largest venues the Baltimore Maryland and Washington D.C. area have to offer with national and international acts. I’ve been in pursuit of making my passion for this band that I’ve nurtured for six years now into my career and love every second of it.

    I challenge this article in one aspect: I don’t completely agree with the notion of catering to your audience and giving them a feeling that they’ve felt before. I suppose it depends on what you’re going for. If you’re a cover artist, of course you want to allow them an easy opportunity to connect with your performance. However, my band’s performances consist of almost all original material that I wrote. I intend on giving our audiences a special, memorable, and unforgettable new experience that they won’t forget. I don’t intend on giving a hint of the possibility of brushing us up against the rest of the cover artists in the world. I’m not giving the world a choice – my group is going to make it, and I could really use this scholarship to help with my school funds in order to do it!

  • This is inspiring to me because music is one of my passions. Throughout my life I’ve always sung and made little rhymes here and there but I really got into my sophomore year of high school. After hearing how competitive it is in the business world, felt that having musical talent and knowing different software could help me be more marketable as an advertiser whether I chose to do music or make the song scores you hear in commercials.

  • As a black male, I immediately connected to Milton Davis. I too have discovered that race and gender hurt us all at some point in our lives. However, mastering your craft will always serve you best, and force others to appreciate your talent.

    More importantly, Milton Davis inspires one to pursue the desires of their heart. The article helped confirm that happiness is what is most important to me. I too hope to find my calling in life as he has. I think that is truly one of the greatest gifts of life.

  • Even though my career does not involve music, I grew up as a percussionist performing for various groups.

    Throughout my years of music, I did notice that there did seem to be a mild level of discrimination due to stereotypes. Being in my school’s concert, jazz and marching bands as well as drum corps didn’t bring about too much of that as the times I spent working with my friend’s own band. During auditions, my friend noticed a man in jazz clothing and even said, “there’s no way he can be auditioning for a rock band.” Putting aside his initial reaction, we allowed him the standard audition time and he earned a spot in the group.

    Sometimes you truly can’t judge someone on appearance, especially in music. Any form of music can be learned by anyone, all that matters is that they actually feel that music alive in them.

  • This is a very inspirational story, as I too can relate to some of the statements that Mr. Davis has shared. I have grown up singing in the church, however the spotlight was not mainly on me. I lent my voice to the church choir, and praise and worship teams; but it was not until just recently that I broke out of my shell and shared my gift of singing with the ones I love most. I was afraid that others would not accept me due to the fact that they may have believed me to be just another African American female claiming that I had the talent to sing, knowing darn well that I did not. That all changed this year though when I stepped outside of my comfort zone and decided to sing a solo in a talent show that I had signed up to compete in.By doing that I allowed myself to build up the confidence that I needed to let my gift/talent be shared with those who needed it.

    This was a great feat for me, as I now sing openly and freely wherever! I actually just recently sang a solo at church, in which many were touched. I appreciate and love music, and although I am not pursuing a professional career of it right now, I am just grateful that I have the ability to uplift the spirits of others! Music is a great medicine for the soul, and I will continue to share my gift!

  • I do agree that arts is a way to overcome social and cultural barriers. I have worked many years with troubled teenagers. These teenagers were often victim of discrimination and social segregation because of their familial situation and their cultural background. Violence was present in our daily life. Nonetheless, I was in charge of doing drum music workshop and dance workshop. It was amazing to see how arts helped them to find their inner identity and to express fully themselves in a peaceful way.

    Arts is a common, international and transcultural language. It can help us to overcome stereotype and learn from each other. It is also a social value. Doing arts is respectful in many society despite the fact that government tends to minimize its value by reducing arts in curriculum and cutting budget. The full power of arts that helps community to get closer should be acknowledge and fostered.

  • As a trained vocalist, I identify with the author of this piece and that’s why I initially clicked on this story. However, I ended up resonating (no pun intended) with a whole other area of my life based on this story. I practice improvisational comedy. I’m black, I’m a female, I’m from a lower- middle class upbringing with an immigrant family. People probably have preconceived notions about me, but I haven’t been able to notice because I focus on my craft and people enjoy what I do. My performances are also a bonding experience.

    As a fellow Mentalist, I give people the therapy of laughter and that’s important to me. While singing mostly comes naturally to me this other form of performance is completely learned – it feels as if I’m going through the rigorous course of becoming a doctor! But it’s 100% worth it. Improvisation isn’t a job for me, it’s a practice or a hobby but it fills me with the same sort of satisfaction that the author describes here. The best part of it all is that I get to share that joy with an audience.

  • Being a musician is hard and extremely intimidating. Many musicians have trouble fitting in with other great musicians or making new friends in the music industry because so many people are stereotyping a genre or a specific song to a point that if the person is not a certain race or talks a certain way the song will not be the same. The fact that Milton Davis defeated this battle of stereotyping music was amazing and it definitely inspired me to continue listening and creating music of any genre or style.

    I am Hispanic and I love all kinds of music ranging from death metal to classical music then switch to jazz or country. I always have people come into my car and when the radio turns on and they hear the kind of music that I was listening to they immediately ask, “Why are you listening to that?” and I always respond, “Why not?” My friends are still having a hard time to believe that a Hispanic like myself loves to listen to country music. I can relate to Milton Davis when he was asked to do a country type show and everyone awkwardly looked at him in confusion; when I pull out my guitar and start singing “Country Boy” from Alan Jackson everyone stares at me in shock and are surprised that I know that song word for word. I can share many perfect examples of my stereotype experiences like that of Milton Davis, and I responded almost the same way as he did. I continued to play regardless of what everyone said and when every realized that I was not too bad of a singer and a guitar player they seem to forget that they are listening to a Hispanic sing Country music.

    Stereotyping genres needs to stop and Milton Davis did just that. He may be just one person, but the people who seen him perform may have been inspired or may have made them realize that genres are not always designed for a specific race, even if a Hispanic is singing “Country Boy”.

  • Finding your calling is very important. Reading this article about Milton Davis just goes to show that finding it is more important than just simply getting a job. You need to do what you love, not do do a job just because it pays well. I personally connect with this article because during my first semester in college my main focus was finding a job that pays. Money was the motive. But after trying new things and leaving my comfort zone I began to realize that having a job should be a joy not a pain. Counting down the days for when your next vacation day will be detrimental to yourself. Those types of jobs are not worth it. Do what you want to do no matter how much you make monetarily, because in the end you will gain so much more.

  • I can say I have a main professional goal, and
    that all I have done and all I am doing today is oriented toward achieving that
    goal. Before stating it is necessary for me to explain that as a Colombian I
    believe music in particular and the arts in general can contribute to solving
    my country’s internal conflicts because the more knowledge about ourselves we
    can obtain, the more conscious we can be about others and this means tolerance.
    I believe as well, the arts can bring the Colombian people the opportunity to
    think about themselves, to recognize their lives and history as a community and
    to be aware of other ways to think about and to understand differences. Also,
    arts can provide a long term goal and a life project irrespective of financial
    circumstances for young Colombians.

    Those are the main reasons that I have chosen
    this specific path in arts administration and my main professional goal: to own
    and manage an organization dedicated to promoting Colombian arts both at the
    national and international levels. That organization has been already started
    with “Ruta Libertadora,” a non-profit organization I have founded.

    It is clear to me as a musician and as a
    teacher that it is not enough to have an artistic background or research
    experience in order to work in the arts administration field. There are lots of
    aspects to consider when working as a project leader or as a company manager;
    financial, administrative, management and legal skills related to procedures
    are required to manage artistic projects. All those aspects are part of the
    proficiency I want to acquire during my graduate studies because they are
    essential to achieve my future goals. On the other hand, thanks to Diversity
    Jobs I have realized that I need to be effective, and to align what I do with
    who I am, it is simple but I am sure that those advices will make the

  • An article like this is fitting for me because I am an aspiring author, and although I know this type of career has it’s ups and downs, as Milton Davis said “This job does move my heart”. I know that wanting to be a writer is something that has and will always move me, no matter how hard it is to make it. What I found very helpful and inspiring is mentioning that you have to do something you haven’t done to get what you don’t have. This is a concept I hold highly in my life and I will constantly continue to strive to get where I want to be.

  • this article was very inspirational!

    being apart of a minority may be hard, be we all have the strength

    within us to pursue anything we put our heart and mind to.

  • This is inspiring. Ethnicity hurts or helps people in certain ways. Being a minority, I have learned how to make the best use of everything.

  • Very interesting, I think music is the key for relaxion and creativity. The use of music can tap into a person’s soul to change or enhance one’s personality. This shows that music is universal in aiding anyone, in any circumstance. I plan to use music and psychology to help aid those with mental disorders or other issues.

  • I found Davis story to very inspiring, and I related to it because I too use a form of expression to connect to an audience that I amy have never connected with had it not been for writing. What started as poetry, than spoken word, to journaling, to now blogging, I can speak what ever is on my mind, and people actually relate to it. I’ll speak on being a mixed girl in white america, and people despite their ethnicity can relate to it in some form or another, and take something from it. Like oh, I’m not the only one going through this. What started out as sharing my adversities in regard to race now are just my adversities and overcoming them in regard to life. Whatever life throws my way I write about it, and it’s helped a lot of people, but more importantly myself.

  • Like Davis, I wasn’t always involved performing arts, like singing, except for in church. One day a teacher talked me into auditioning for a production held by my school. In the auction we had to prepare a song snippet and memorize and perform a monologue. I was extremely nervous! After I introduced myself, I began performing my monologue followed by my song. Little did I know, one of the judges was our schools honor choir director. After the audition I was greeted by her and told I must join choir! That women changed my life! She was no doubt my favorite teacher/director of all time. She truly encouraged me to come out of my shell as a performer and I’m still in contact with her today! This article was very inspirational and eye opening with the business talk side of being an artist. I enjoyed learning Davis’s success story!

  • Many people with a career will tell
    you that the only thing that keeps them going is the love for their craft. I am
    inspired by this article because after reading it, I perceive that this man
    truly loves singing and reaching out to people of all different backgrounds.
    Even though he describes, “I
    think that everyone’s ethnicity and gender hurts and helps them to a degree.” I
    feel he does not let any of these factors effect his personal goals of singing.
    In a way, certain aspects in his story are closely related to my future. I plan
    on one day becoming a Dentist reaching out to people in the community who don’t
    always have the means of providing their own oral care. Being that I am a young African American woman,
    I will have many obstacles in my future to overcome. But my passion will always
    be helping others and giving back, so just like the man in this article I plan
    on using the talent God has given me to be successful in my future career.

  • This is a very interesting article since I feel that I completely parallel it being in the entertainment industry as well but in that of Stand Up Comedy. Many people do not understand that it takes a passion to go onto a stage every night (and sometimes not even a stage just a floor) and sometimes express yourself and have others laugh at what you may be going through. I am currently taking up a business course as well to be able to handle the back in of progressing forward win the entertainment industry.

  • What an inspirational testimony from a man who clearly loves what he does. Being a performer, of any type isn’t easy, I know from firsthand experience. There are many obstacles that come along with following your passions and it is truly inspiring to hear about a man who was relentless with his drive and was willing to work to get where he wanted in life.

    What really resonates with me is the honesty expressed throughout the article. Mr. Davis not only knew what it took for him to be successful, but he recognizes and and openly acknowledges the challenges he faces, which makes him better equipped to overcome them.

    What sticks with me is when he says,”Look around you. If there is something you want that you do not have, then there is something that you need to do that you have not done” this quote is helpful not only when thinking about future a future career, but can also be applied to all areas of my life.

  • I found this article inspiring toward the idea of pursuing your dreams and finding what makes you happy when looking for a career. I cannot directly relate to pursuing a career in the entertainment industry, but I can relate to making many sacrifices to pursue a dream.

    I am currently a graduate student at California Baptist University, pursuing a Masters of Science in School Psychology. I took a tough route that involved moving away from my family and friends, committing to a three-year program, and taking a chance on the future job market in order to pursue my dream of using my education to give back to the community. I’ve always been driven to use my education to inspire and educate the community that has treated me so well during my upbringing, and pursuing this degree in School Psychology will give me the tools I need to do so.

    However, the expenses I have accumulated throughout the years in pursuing this goal have become overwhelming and I can definitely use the financial assistance this scholarship offers in order to continue in my educational endeavors.

  • I found this article extremely inspiring! I happen to have a love for music and found this article uplifting and breathtaking. I am also a minority- being Hispanic, I can identify with Milton and understand where he is coming from. Today, the 21st century, stereotypes still exist and its sad, but true that people are still judged for their ethnicity and race. But one thing that every person no matter what color they are, where they are from, how much money they make, or what they like to do has in common is that we can all connect through the arts. Music, painting, and dancing are a way to express yourself and your beliefs. To me the arts is also a way of communication with others. We look at art to understand the past and to help predict the future. Someone once said, “Music speaks that which cannot be put into words,” and I couldn’t agree more. Milton hit the spot with this article and really made me feel how he was feeling. And yes, society today can use some updates and work, but with peoples help and encouragement- who knows what we can become. And with the help of music- we have endless possibilities because music connects everyone.

  • It is important today that one chooses a career path that he or she would want to do everyday for the rest of his or her life. This article shows exactly this. Milton Davis is a figure of inspiration for the youth today to do what makes them happy.

    This article really touched me because I myself am in a band, and would like nothing more than to go tour the world someday. The more realistic side of me, however, tells me that this dream is a bit far fetched. It will always be a dream and a hobby for me, but I decided I needed to find more of my interests to pursue as a career choice.

    I decided that I needed to be set on the right path and went to ask my freshman year adviser for advice. She told me to way my strengths and weaknesses and never forget my hobbies. This was no easy task for me, because this decision would change my life forever. I knew I needed to play my strengths, but I also knew that I needed to do something that would make me happy doing it everyday. This is why I particularly like the part of the article that states “I rate my job satisfaction at a 10, without a doubt. There is nothing that I would rather do.”

    I wish to be able to say that one day. I want to know in my mind that the decision I made will truly make me happy in the long run. Yes, money is nice, but it’s not everything. I would rather be happy with what I do, knowing that I made the right choice, and go to work happy everyday.

  • I feel where you’re coming from. It’s like I’m looking in a telling pool to my future (hopefully) but with visual art. It was refreshing to read your story and I am very glad I did. I am a black female and even the arts can be a male dominated industry. But hopefully like you talent can overcome such things. I believe people should love what they do because people rarely do and it makes me happy to see someone rank if profession as a “10”. Thank you for sharing your story. It has been an inspiration.

  • It really is inspiring to read about someone whose heart is in performance and who actually gets to do it for a living. I too am a performer and a person of color. My goal is not to become rich and famous, but to be able to do what I love, which is perform, and make a decent living at it. It took me many years to get to the point of realizing that this is all I really want to do. I majored in many things, and I was good at all of them, but what I love…is performing. That stage is my life blood and without it I am not a whole person.

    Right now, I feel completely clueless when it comes to the business aspect. I know it exists, but I don’t yet know how to navigate that. I am hoping in my studies at UC Berkeley to network and make connections with people who can mentor me in the “business” area of the business. Many happy returns on the effort that you are taking to pursue your life’s dream.

  • I identified with this article and Milton on several levels. Like Milton, I am Black and male and feel myself being pulled to my natural ability – making people laugh. Whenever my family experienced hardship growing up, we always managed to find the humor in the situation. Being the youngest, I always found a way to “charm” people and make them laugh because in turn, it made me feel good.

    When I perform at open mics and other comedy events, there’s a certain level of humor that people “expect” from me simply because I’m Black. What makes things more interesting is the crowd, however, I expect this is the case for anybody. Some people may expect crude or animated humor when I’m simply trying to educate while shedding a funny light on the subject. Each venue holds a different crowd, but I’m proud to say I get laughs regardless. Since I’m currently enrolled in school and working full time, any free time is dedicated to writing jokes or making people laugh when I’m out.
    Over the years, I’ve become a firm believer in “doing something you love won’t feel like work”. The article expresses that and when I’m performing any type of comedy its more about fun. The money will come with a lifestyle like that, so this encourages me to complete my degree and gradually transition to being focused on my true calling.

  • I know what you mean when you say you get to connect with people in a rare way. As a rapper and a singer, there’s no stronger adrenaline rush than being on stage and harboring all of my energy, pain, thoughts, and passion then channelling it through my music to the audience. I think that’s where the power of music comes from.
    As an artist in the industry, do you find balancing the soul in music with the business side challenging and how to you separate the two? P.S. Thanks for the advice on the tax prep course.

  • Performing on stage with bright
    lights shining in my face and the screaming of the lyrics I had written, I have
    a feeling of happiness when I sing. This is the spotlight of my dream. I believe singing is a way of expressing my passion. Just like the influential
    “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Jr., lyrics of songs unite people
    around the world, someday allowing for global peace. I inherited this passion
    from my mother and I wish to share happiness, love, and appreciation for life. By
    spreading these three ingredients people of all walks of life can become a team
    united in peace. These are the three lessons my mom taught me and now I wish to
    begin living my dream.

  • I find this article to be vey inspiring. I am a black woman. I also happen to be a lover of the arts. From fashion deisgning to painting to stories and of course, music. A few years ago I tried to pursue my dream in the music industry. Time and time again I was labelled because I was a woman and because I was black, that the type of music I should do is RnB. But to be honest… I want to try all forms of music. My voice is an instrument, and like many legendary musicians that came before my time, I want to challenge and see how far I can experiment with my vocals. Hopefully, some day, I can share my songs with the world. When that day finally comes, I hope to be able to educate the world through music, whether as a singer or as an owner of a business.

  • WOW! I can connect to your story so much! I am a black male entertainer in the musical theatre industry. Musical theatre is becoming more and more liberal with color blind casting, but some things will never change and I am finding myself competing against something that I cannot fight, my ethnicity. Your story rings true to me and things that I will be experiencing in the future.
    I agree with what you said about just singing a song the best you can and letting your talent carry you. I have been cast in roles that I probably shouldn’t have been cast in because I am black. It’s all because I just let my talent speak for itself.
    I will keep fighting my way through and make a difference in this industry!

  • This Article is one of many examples of how you will know what your “calling” in life is. No matter what hardships and tribulations doing what you love puts you through, you still stick with it because its your passion. I too hope to one day find my calling. I wish to be successful, comfortable, and doing what keeps a smile on my face, while making a great salary at the same time. Regardless of how much the world tries to deter you from your dreams, whether it be discrimination of any type or simply hatefulness, you should never give it up if it means the world to you.

  • I found this article to be relevant to my life. Although I haven’t made to what they would call the “big leagues” I am an aspiring gospel singer/ performer. My first year in college wasn’t anywhere near my best. I struggled with being caught up with what one would call the “college life.” Going to parties and focusing on my studies. Even through all of this I struggled with finding myself. After a long summer vacation back home, I realized that I need to get myself together. I made up in my mind that I wouldn’t let my parents and myself down anymore. Singing is what gives me the strength to continue to stay focused. I know that my education comes first and If I have to put my dreams on hold to get the education that I want, then it’s a must that I do it. I don’t wanna be another statistic. I want to be apart of the statistic that shows that ALL minorities can be successful. Not everyone is going to accept the plans that you have for your life, but like my parents always said Don’t go to school to prove to others, go to school because you made the choice and prove to yourself that you will and you can do it. I’m gunna do whatever it takes so that I can accomplish my dreams and goals as a professional singer.

  • This article was very interesting to me in the sense that no matter who liked your music or not, you did not let that stop you from doing what you love to do. I am a young black female and although I may not be the best singer, I am a dancer; and I believe music and dancing comes hand in hand, but people would assume that because I am black, a female, and I dance, I would dance like typical black girls. They would expect me to only dance to hip hop and/or r&b, although I do dance to both genres, I also dance to other genres as well, and not only “black people’s music”. The music that I choose are more on the lyrical side and have meanings to them, and when others view my performance to such music, some are amazed and others just stare and look with a “non interested” look or “what are you doing” look, but I do not let that stop me from doing what I love doing. Like what you have stated about your music helping people get through tough situations, I believe this is true because when I listen to music that interests me, I escape the realities of life and express my feelings through dance. I also believe (rephrasing your words) to get where you have never been, you have to do things you have never done; and being open about the music I express myself to, I found some very great musicians and artists, whom may not be the same color as me, to be inspirational in a myriad of ways. Overall, I enjoyed reading this article.

  • I found this article intresting not because of the topic at hand, but because of the message that it delivered. “Look around you. If there is something that you want that you do not have, then there is something that you need to do that you have not done.” This quote struck me the most because as a young individual living in todays society, I’ve reached many crosswords that kept me down about reaching certain goals & achieving that success I so dearly long for . Milton Davis’ quote however, is the golden key.
    Everyday, I search for ways to re-do things I’ve done in the past so that maybe one day everything will fall into place. Changing jobs, majors, and even my social life did nothing more than shift the wrong puzzle pieces in a continuous pattern. What I’ve taken from this article is the idea that maybe instead of shifting those same pieces around, prehaps I should create a new picture and generate new pieces so that my final outcome will be more than promising. Even if those pieces are small, generating a new and thoughtful outlook on my situation will more than likely open up that door that has been shut for so long.

  • This article is inspiring and expressive. From elementary to
    high school I have been in choir, the difference was that in high school choir
    changed. In high school choir it was about being the best and impressing the teacher.
    I am a college student studying psychology, but I never thought that I wanted
    to be a songwriter. Music also moves my heart and breaks the barriers of any
    type of difference. That is what I want to do; write inspiring and moving songs
    that breaks the obstacles. Being a Hispanic female in a mostly Hispanic town is
    not hard, but once I went away for one month I saw more ethnicities. It is true
    that your ethnicity is both good and bad in some places or situations. Either way
    the words of the music brings us together.

  • Thank you for posting this article. It just confirmeed thie importance of perseverence, dedication, and preparedness. I too sing and have been singing since I was a young girl. So I know all about being able to captivate your audiene and how giving them what they are used to is safe. But being skilled in what you do goes a long way. I am not sure I would ever pursue a professional singing career, but at least I can say I know what basic foundation you need to have to pursue a singing career. It takes more than just a good voice and some connections. In order to be successful you must be willing to sacrifice and give your all.

  • I could really relate being an african american artist. I use music as a form of expression. I have expressed on numerous occasions that I think music is my calling. It always seems as if everyone shuts down the idea.

  • This article is very interesting and amusing. I like this article because there seems to be so much honesty involved. Honesty is what kept me interested through out the article. On way I can relate to Milton is that I agree that everyones ethnicity can help or hurt them to some degree. No matter what with the diversity in America today ethnicity can play a role in most situations. I can also relate to Milton in the sense that most entertainment is 10% entertainment and 90% business. My sister sings, at churches and schools and she’s says the same thing, that entertainment is mostly a business.

  • This was an extremely interesting story. I am a Business major and I have a clsoe relative that desires to be in the music industry. He writes and sings. Before now I would not have imagined that our two different worlds could come together. I am excited of the possibility of joining forces with him to promote his music career and utilize my business background.

  • I really enjoyed this article because, looking at what you have went through I have also been through this too. Some of the thing’s you may want to accomplish in life you have to push yourself but, when you have people in your ear saying ” You will never accomplish anyhting?” Well, prove to the ones around you if you have a dream in life, an you want to do something prove them wrong. Thing’s that I have said I wanted to do in life , I have been doing it because other’s said I wouldn’t do anything with my life. But, I have learn when your going through thing’s in life singing or writting is one way to do it. When im having a bad moment in life I either pray , or write my feeling’s down.

  • I’ve never seen or delt with the upfront implications of being discriminated against because of my race in the workplace or school. But I can related to gender discrimination. In high school I would sign up for various academic clubs and events both in school and out. Often times they would be dominated by white males and they always seemed more taken back by the fact that I was a girl and still interested. I’m sure some may have had thoughts about me being black but I dont think it was every expressed.
    It didnt stop me!

  • I really enjoyed this article. I think I am a pretty good singer, Well i take that back i’m a good singer with a range that is pretty vast. I have never thought about doing it professionally. However, I know how I react when I go to a concert or when I or my siblings and I are asked to sing. I’m pumped like i’ve just won the lottery. Good to know about taking business courses and tax prepration courses. Considering this line of work is not like an everyday 9-5. Your story wil inspire many, because it definately has inspired me. Thanks.

  • I could really relate to this article. I was born in the church and started singing, playing piano, and singing at the age of three. I was a child prodigy. I loved music and at that age that is what I wanted to do. When I entered school I made it my business to learn how to read music and be musical. I was in every choir and band from elementary to high school. When I was younger I was entered into many piano and singing competitions. I have won many of those competitions.

    WHen I entered high school I found that music became very competitive. I am a African American male student and would get those weird looks when I walked into a honors choir or a piano or vocal competition. I really was saw as weird when I would be able belt out a Italian Aria at 14. After a few years choral directors and band directors became more accepting but it was a fight because the directors could not believe that this black kid could be a classically trained singer and pianist.

    I finally graduated from high school and got a scholarship to a music school. When I walked in the door the teachers did not know what to do with me. They said that I should not think of becoming a music teacher but I should be a opera singer. I had to fight for everything. I had to fight to be in groups with other vocalist because they said my voice was always to big or too black. I decided to press and ended up in the top choir in the school as a freshmen.

    WHen i got in the top group they did not make it easy for me and I worked very hard to stay there. I ended up as an honors student there and was offered the opportunity to study in europe. All of the hard work paid off. Persistence and hard work has sent me all over the world

  • This article is very inspiring, and encouraging. I move to a different town and found it hard to really break into the area that I really wanted to work in health insurance because of my color.

    Just like Milton Davis I put my best foot forward and wowed them with my administrative and insurance skills. Now the same people are seeking me out for my expertise in my field. I too returned to college to obtain my Bachelors in Health Administration. I love what I do and the lives that I touch doing it.

  • I think this article is excellent, and provides positive motivation. It was interesting to see how he used his struggles and turmoil to humble himself and motivate himself to become a better musician. No matter if you are a musician, writer etc. this article shows that whatever you are doing, if you pursue it throughout all the obstacles you can come out triumphant.
    As an African-American male you see this all time, and unfortunately discrimination still exists but what is most important about this article is that it shows how he did not use it as an excuse but as motivation to become better.

  • After reading about the many obstacles that you have overcome it gave me a sense of hope. Nothing in life is easy and you have to chase your dreams no matter what stands in your way ! If it’s menat to be it will be. Your story shows that you never give up and you do your best no matter the circumstances. Some people (like me) needs someone or something to encourage them to keep moving along in life despite its challenges.
    It is sad to know that stereotypes are as strong as they are today but this gives even more of a reason to put your best foot forward and prove society wrong. I am a person who gets discouraged after taking a fall and needs motivation to help me back up. One source of motivation being music. I do not discriminate, I listen to all kinds of music. To me its all about the purpose of the song and the feeling it provides to me. Listening to someone sing about thier personal experiences and their breakthrough lifts my spirits and gives me faith.
    Another thing about your story is, it was nice to see that eventhough you have talent you still see the importance of educating yourself to make you a better person. Hearing someone who is as successful as yourself speak about branching out and learning makes a bit of a difference as well. I feel that the moral of this story is to stay proud of who you are, move forward, and do what you love ! I enjoyed this story as to it gave me self inspiration.

  • I liked this story even though I can’t sing. The message of trying your best and little everything else fall into place is exactly how I try to live. All you can do is your best as that is all we have.
    I am a single mother with a 21 year old daughter and divorced for about 2 years now. My ex-husband was not my daughther’s father and I mention that because I raised her until the age of 9 before I got married. I was in school the first time when she was 3 and I did graduate. It was important to me to show her that no matter what mistakes you make always find the lesson and keep moving. She is the reason I kept going then and now. I want her to learn to be strong and I hope she sees I have tried to live that example for her. I come from a hard working family and my father always told my sister and I “if someone did it before you then you can do it too, because you are just as strong, smart, and capable as anyone else”. I have seen my father go to work throwing up sick and he even walked in the snow to work. This is the kind of strength I tried and have each and everyday, and trust me I get really tired. Sometimes I have to miss a month or two because I don’t have the funds to pay for the next class, but i try and take it one class at a time and keep going to work. Thank you for reading my story.

  • I found this article to be very relatable. When I first went to college to pursue music, I thought that all I needed to do was to enhance and refine my musical skills and that if I was good enough I would be able to make a living off of music. Through my schooling, I have learned that business plays such a huge role in having a successful musical career. So, the career of music is much different than I expected before attending college, but I still love it and cannot imagine doing anything else career wise. Whether I end up performing, teaching, providing music therapy or another path, music will always play an integral and primary role.

    I haven’t experienced much prejudice in music when it comes to my race. I am biracial, half black and half white, and I definitely think that in school other classmates and professors don’t necessarily judge me as a competitive threat or have very high expectations for me when they haven’t heard me play. But once I play and show musicality and technical skill, any preconceptions are thrown out.

    I have definitely experienced more prejudice when it comes to my gender. I am a percussionist, and this instrument is typically dominated by males. So, females are typically underestimated. Fellow percussionists and audience members typically don’t have as high of expectations for women percussionists. But like Mr. Davis said in the article, talent does typically cancel out any prejudice. I love music because it connects to the heart and soul, to the deepest parts of humanity. Music crosses all barriers of race, gender, culture, and language, and that is what makes it so beautiful.

  • I found this article extremely helpful, encouraging, and
    inspiring. Being a Hispanic male pursuing a degree music composition, I can
    identify with Milton in many ways. Sadly, discrimination and stereotypes still exists
    in many sides of our society. However, it seems to me that art is one of the
    most effective ways of breaking and erasing such barriers. This is why I think
    artists contribute to the progress of society in very much the same way as
    doctors or scientist do.

    Generally, when people are presented with a good artistic
    performance, their prejudices and stereotypes sink as their fascination with
    human talent and art rises to the surface. This is why I chose an artistic path
    as my professional career. At school, I have experience first hand how cultural
    and ethnic barriers completely disappear between students and professors. At
    the end of the day, the only language we all end up speaking is called music.

  • This was helpful for me because it was motivational. I cant sing the best but i can talk your head off with powerful words. Thats my gift. I wish to go into the radio industry but as you touch people with your music I want to touch people with my interviews and speakings on societal issues.

  • I love the last line of this article “maybe take a tax preparation course at a community college”. I started off at a community college and I have heard lots of comments about it, as if it’s not as good as a university. Well i’ll have you know if I didn’t go to community college I would not have such a clear focus on my goals, where I am heading and what I truly want to do. All without breaking the bank.

  • As someone who has a passion for all types, forms, genres, and mediums of music, I can relate well to this story. Although I realize that most who enter the music field do not become as successful as this man, it always encourages me to hear of those who can and do use music as a profession to provide for themselves.