Yesterday, I was on top of the world! I had the guts to audition for a program that sounded very cool on no notice, my kids and hubby were very proud of me taking a risk, and I also received much needed affirmation of my skill by getting a call-back audition for today. After the experience of the call-back audition, the difficulty is that the world just keeps turning. Please, allow me to elaborate.
Last night was a frenzy of me taking a crash course in the upcoming operas that the cover study program would include in the spring–Orpheo ed Euridice and Aida. I was somewhat familiar with the stories, and it helps that all opera stories are similar in most ways–unrequited love, betrayal, hatred, death, and drama to the extreme in all cases. Anyway, then came the character/role assessment. I mean, yesterday I auditioned for roles I’ve never even looked at for Pete’s sake! I basically asked someone in the corridor what roles were closest to a coloratura fach (specific voice type, which is mine) and trusted that she was correct! As it turns out, no roles in either opera are for a coloratura, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Then, I spent an hour on the phone with a dear friend who picked apart my résumé and head shot and basically revised everything from what I included to the font color, arguing over whether cream colored paper was appropriate and if I could add my name to the head shot. Details! (Seriously, I wonder whether Joan Sutherland ever did this?) Ok. Finally bed time, and I’m exhausted…except that I can’t sleep. I am not an insomniac, but I swear that last night I woke up every hour on the hour until it was time to get ready for taking my children to school and teach kindergartners for three hours. Right. Put a bit of extra espresso in the Moka pot this morning.
I went to school and sort of taught, but couldn’t keep my mind on anything except the audition. Then, I raced to the university to get any feedback I could from yesterday’s faculty judges. Got it. Ok…beautiful voice, great coloratura, but you seem to conduct yourself like you’re in a band. Ugh. I know. I’m trying to correct it, but what can I say? I’m a music teacher. I conduct my husband’s snores in my sleep! Crimine! Ok…accept feedback in grateful way, and absorb the message.
Then, I had to run to the store to pick up new prints of my head shots. The man at the counter selected his favorite as my least favorite, so then I had to ruminate over my choice for the next hour. Next, I went home to correct and print out my resume and bio and get dressed. Resume and bio work fine…good! I begin getting dressed and realize I have multiple runs in the nylons I selected and my freshly dry-cleaned dress has a spot on the front from the cleaner! Argh! I decide nylons don’t matter, especially since it means that they make my feet slide in my shoes anyway, and I use spot-cleaner and a hair dryer to take care of the dress; no time for changing the whole line-up at this point in the game.
I take off from my house only 10 minutes later than I’d planned only to get stuck on the highway due to an accident. Ack! However, I played AC/DC all the way, so I sped and made up time on the road. Parking spots were plentiful, and I sent a prayer up that no parking attendant would notice that I hadn’t put one dime into the meter because I was fresh out of coins. I’m actually 10 minutes early! Yay for me!
I get to the audition space and realize that everyone’s already there. Whoah. Is this normal? I thought I was doing well. Anyway, everyone’s prepared or preparing, but I feel good that I don’t look as panicked as some. If you’ve never been to an audition area before, it is truly a sight. People do the weirdest things, and the weirdest part about that is no one finds it weird. Know what I mean? People talk to themselves, do yoga, stare absently into space to “get into character,’ change from sweats into gowns and back in the blink of an eye, and even have attendants for support. Then, they all vie for the next spot in the audition line-up because otherwise they will vomit, pee, or pass out from nerves. It’s all quite interesting actually, if you can detach yourself from the situation. One girl had a plane to catch, so she had been given the privilege of going first. After that, all bets were off. Since I have the advantage of a degree in psychology, I thought to myself, “I should go last. They will remember me…for better or worse.” So, I volunteered to go last. It’s good to be last, too, because you get to hear everyone, which is quite educational, as long as you can breathe through the anxiety, which is quite difficult.
Lots of lyric sopranos and mezzos later…
It was finally my turn. I was going to walk in front of people from AZ Opera, give them my materials, and audition. People don’t typically get this opportunity unless they’re under management! Carpe diem!
I tried my best to get into the character of the Queen of the Night–furious, insane, powerful! I sang my heart out making sure NOT to conduct myself, but to be focused on rage. Two minutes, fourty-three seconds later, I’m done. Then, I have to try to stuff all of those emotions into a bottle quickly in order to smile and thank my accompanist and judging panel. It’s very discombobulating…kind of like using smelling salts. The judges say, “Thank you.” That’s all. Thank you. I’m expected to walk out without any more feedback or comment. So, I do, and it’s over. I’m told that the company will be back in touch probably within a week or so. A week or so?! Now, what do I do?!
Now, I have to go back about my business. “The world keeps turnin’. Oh, what a day. What a day, what a day!”
Perhaps once I’ve done this about thirty-seven million times, I’ll be able to turn the switch on and off. Right now, though, I’m obsessing about the results, having residual character emotions, and feeling life to be mundane. What the…?! I’m hoping that a good night’s rest and shopping on a Saturday will help. Shoes are always a good bet.
So, there you have it. Pretty good audition. Fairly normal life. Absolutely confused and tired singer. ‘Til tomorrow, my friends!