I don't do a lot of shows, but I've done a fair share. And I should admit that, because of various circumstances, I have not had to do a lot of auditioning. There was a time when I did five or six shows without having to audition. I was asked to replace someone who dropped out a couple of times. I love helping out, and the trade-off for doing so is no auditions.
That works for me.
But tonight, my daughter and I signed up for the summer show at our local theatre. We were given a time and our assignments--sing sixteen bars of a song and prepare a short dialogue. We dressed up, drove the five miles to the theatre, dropped off our resumes and headshots and waited for out turn.
Then the nerves hit, the anticipation, the insecurities. I know it's part of the experience, but still.
I don't know why, but something about this audition felt off the entire time I prepared. I found a song similar to those in the show (as recommended in the audition instructions...), and I kept going over and over the dialogue. It never seemed to stick.
I found myself in a room with eight or so other nervous people waiting to be judged. There was a piano, a desk behind which were sitting the decision makers, the directors, the producers. We sat and waited our turn, gave unspoken support as each handed the accompanist their music and stood on the X made of masking tape.
Everyone did great, really great. I knew several who auditioned, having been in shows with them before. I could listen to them sing all day long. That goes for my daughter as well. She did an amazing job.
Then, it was my turn.
Let's just say it did not go as I had envisioned it. Oh no. It did not go well.
I began my song and after the second stanza, I had missed a couple of words. Then, the entire rest of the song just vanished like smoke in a breeze.
The piano player continued and I remained on the X, a silent monument to how one blows an audition. All I could do was smile.
In life, nothing comes but without a price. The price of doing a show is working hard, showing up, doing your best, and getting past the audition. There are many sayings about how a person cannot truly grow without being pushed, how a muscle wastes away if it's not worked, how getting out of one's comfort zone is the only way to really progress.
I'm sure all that's true, but it still sucks to blow an audition.
If I continue to do shows, there will continue to be the need to prepare and hopefully do better (I'd be hard pressed to do worse...). There's other sayings, too. Sayings about how everything that has happened is in the past, and is therefore, unchangeable, so worrying or regretting this particular audition is a waste of time. And, I can take comfort from the words penned from Margret Mitchell, "Tomorrow is another day."