*Photo By Jon Taylor Photography
Or all the opposition in one week!
Sometimes you have a week that contains all the events. A birth, a death, a success, a failure, a great day, and a terrible one, etcetera. I say that’s just life, however I would be neglecting my analytic duties if I didn’t talk about what happened a couple weeks ago. Audition time.
There were two shows I was very interested in. Both would be great to get to do, however one intimidated me a little more. I have mostly experienced that the auditions you aren't too stressed about, you’ll give a better performance at, because you are loose and your nerves won’t get in the way. If you care too much…you are liable to get in your own artistic way and make a mess of things. Like carrying a precious piece of china vs. a solid plastic cup; which one are you more likely to drop? You’ll drop the china because you are worried about it.
So here we go. I attend the first one, the one I am less nervous about; go to the first dancing round having done all my prep work …and I full on leave the room when I was supposed to stay for more! And amazingly, I wasn’t cut from that round. Talk about being so out of your own way that you’re not even there!!! I come back later, do some more dancing, sing a little song, get a callback for the following week, rinse...repeat....I make a legend chuckle (in a good way) with a monologue I chose, just for some contrast, and nail it. Awesome. Low stress like it should be. Don’t you wish every audition could go just like that? I do! It was ideal!
Ok…now I have to tell you the shameful, awfulness of the next one. A mere two days later. I have my outfit, my newish broken in heels, heating pad on my hamstrings, did the ballet barre in the morning, made a smoothie, all the tricks I have in my Mary Poppins bag. I am SET UP, just like for the other one. I go in the room and dance…better than I have before. Happy that jumping in a three-inch heel is happening that morning. I get asked to stay and sing. I’ve been working on the PERFECT song for this role and this show. It couldn’t be more spot on. In fact, I sang it for the other audition and it went very well. I trust this song like a perfect reserve dress or shoe, I know it fits!
The casting director comes in to the holding tank and really emphasizes that it is a completely different style of song the team wants to hear. The polar opposite of what I’ve prepared. He says the team will emotionally “turn off” if we sing the kind of song I’ve got prepared. He's trying to be helpful, but I start to question my life choices.
Ok kids. This is the precise moment I went wrong. I’m going to tell you what I should have done…and then I’ll tell you what yours truly did on her not so bulletproof day. There are some takeaways that I hope you’ll glean from my mistake.
What I should have done (like some other wise ladies did) was say “so sorry, this is what I’ve got with me today…I can sing it really slow if you like, but it’s better fast” Allowing the team to respond “no, no, just sing it as it should be.” Or not even apologized at all! (Why are we so used to apologizing for every little thing?) And then nailed it like I’ve been working on for weeks, knowing that if I didn’t get a callback, it wasn’t because of my work, it was some other factor like “type”.
Now here’s what I did. I panicked. Being the people pleaser I can sometimes be, I flipped through my book and found what they were asking for; a lovely song… that I’ve not touched in at least three months. When it’s my turn, I go in the room and say hello, go to the pianist, and we kiki about it. I ask for a bell tone. I then head to the center of the room and begin singing…in an entirely…different…key! (It was higher in my head) Oh. The. Shame! Thankfully, the second legend of the week does a conductor cutoff after a couple notes, and compassionately and gracefully says “wait, lets get on the same page here.” We start over and I sing it …but now, it’s all ruined in my head. I finish the song, smile, and leave.
Ashamed and really, really pissed off at myself, I go in the holding tank. I’ve never been so mad at myself for that display.
I check my phone…and there’s a job offer from the first one.
Talk about balance.
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