Inexplicably, OP, you’ve A2A’d me.
I played in school orchestra, and gave that up for university. I did have my dreams crushed later, with academia.
And for all that it’s the worst thing to have happened in my life, I would not take it back. It’s made me who I am.
So I don’t know about pit orchestras, although I am grateful for what they do, but I do know about dreams being crushed.
Allow me to say some avuncular shit per your request. Some of it will crush your dreams. Some of it should. None of it means you should not pursue the profession.
- Even the dream job is still just a job.
- With petty admin shit, with office fights, with jealousies, with long hours, and with not enough personal validation. There’s group validation, as part of a team; but that too is fleeting. It’s work.
- The pay is shit, and you gotta eat. Expect to be doing a day job. If you’re lucky, it’s a day job with its own set of fulfillments. If you’re unlucky, it’s like your night job, but even worse. Work out whether you’d be cool teaching or not.
- It’s not a soloist gig, but it’s still a gig to which many are called and few are chosen. (Unless you’re a violist; they’re always in demand, and it’s worth the lameass viola jokes.) Have a plan B. And C, and D. In fact, that applies now for any job ever, but it especially applies to the performing arts.
You know what I’d tell starry eyed kids wanting to do a PhD in linguistics? Do it, only if you can’t imagine yourself doing anything else in life. Otherwise, spare yourself the heartache.
I’m proud that I talked my best student out of it, and I hope she’s got a fulfilling career as a psychologist somewhere.
If your inmost soul craves being in a pit orchestra, Hayley, make it happen. But please go into it with your eyes open.
The fact you’re asking this suggests you will. Good luck!
Oh and OP? You’re 16. You’re British, which means your uni situation is not as dire as in the US, so you still have time to dip your toe in and change your mind.