DEAR HARRIETTE: My dad is a professional singer with 25 years of experience and connections I could not even dream of having. I admire all he does and want to pursue a passion similar to his. The only problem is, I don't even know where to start, and I’m nervous to ask him for help because we don't talk regularly. What do you think I should do? -- Aspiring Artist
DEAR ASPIRING ARTIST: This may be your entry point into building a closer bond with your father. Schedule a time to talk to him, preferably in person. Tell him how much you admire the career he has built and that he has inspired you to want to walk in his footsteps. Admit that you aren’t exactly sure what you want to do, but you would appreciate talking to him and learning more about the industry from him. Ask him if he would be willing to coach you.
One way to get your father to talk is to ask him to tell you stories about his life and career. People generally love to talk about themselves. Once he gets started telling stories, you will likely learn a lot about your father that you never knew before. Record video of your conversations if he will allow it. Since he has had such a long and full career, he may appreciate your documenting his story in this way.
As you are learning about him, listen to see what sparks your interest. In order for your father to be able to help you, even when it comes to introducing you to his connections, you need to have a sense of what you want to do. You have to get specific so that his introductions will count in terms of helping to open doors for you.