Wow. What an extraordinary day! I am exhausted and in much need of sleep, so brevity will be key in this story…
Today was much like any other day, except that I enrolled in an opera scenes rehearsal course at the university and attended our first meeting of the semester this afternoon at 3 o’clock. After the faculty finished briefing us on the expectations for rehearsals and the class, the director casually reminded everyone that auditions for the study cover program for the spring productions of the large opera company in Phoenix–Arizona Opera–were at 4. (You see, everyone in the course is enrolled in a graduate program in voice at ASU, except me, and had received notice about the audition. Well, technically that’s not true. I have, for the purposes of the course, enrolled as a non-degree graduate student. But, suffice it to say that I’m not “in the loop.”)
After the announcement, I think to myself, “Pfew! I bet people are nervous waiting around right now for such a cool opportunity!” Then, I realize, “Wait a second. This could be my opportunity.” Then…hot flash, throat-gripping anxiety, need to vomit, have to pee, can’t breathe…and back on planet Earth. What followed was an argument between me, myself, and I.
Me: “We have to audition!”
Myself: “There’s no way we’re auditioning; we’re totally unprepared and haven’t spent nearly enough time agonizing over it.”
I: “We’re not going out there, are we?”
Me: “Of course we are! Would Rosie sit this one out?!”
Myself: “Well, Rosie hasn’t studied the roles and operas for the audition. She doesn’t know dates, places, nor composers. She has done any character analysis or emotional imagery. She’s not prepared at all.”
I: “I think we’re going to pass out.”
Me: “I’m raising our hand to see if we can audition.”
As it turned out, I happened to have my handy-dandy audition binder with me thanks to seeing the “big girls” carry one around at a competition in the spring that I was fairly unprepared for, and Rosie won.
So, I auditioned with a dozen other hopefuls. They were really good, and I went last, so I should know. When I came out, I wasn’t dressed appropriately, having come straight from teaching middle-school band, and I hadn’t taken care of my voice that day, having rehearsed, talked, and taught all day. Somehow, I still managed to seem composed enough (I think) to recall the roles that were appropriate to audition for and greet the judging panel. And I didn’t burp, hiccup, giggle, or come out with toilet paper on my shoe as I walked to the front, so I was already ahead of the game.
I decided to sing my favorite aria, the Queen of the Night’s famous, “Der Holle Rache.” It’s always a crowd-pleaser, assuming you can sing it well. As I got into the fun, yet killer, runs of coloratura, I was so happy that my Fs were pinging off the walls that I went to my Happy Place and flubbed the words in one measure. Then, I winked, yes winked, at the judges acknowledging my mistake and bravely going on because I was actually having fun! I have no idea who took over my body. I finished the aria with dramatic aplomb (i.e., I waved my arms a little bit). At least I’d like to imagine that I was the Queen at least for those three minutes.
I left wondering if I’d just done a good job or made a mistake by auditioning too soon. (I have very little audition experience, in case you hadn’t guessed.)
Well, it turns out that I did something right because I got a call-back for an audition again tomorrow at 4pm! Tomorrow, though, I’ll make sure to show up with resume, head shot, and high heels. Send positive energy this way, please!
I guess brevity isn’t my strong suit…