I know that the Blogging 101 assignments/prompts are piling up unattended, but it’s been another late night, so I am just going to have to write quickly about the topic that is most front of mind for me — and I’ll catch up on Blogging 101 tomorrow and over the weekend.
And why was it another late night for me?
As it turns out, that’s exactly the topic I want to be writing about tonight.
I was out late because I was auditioning for a show.
Last spring,* I posted about my past experiences with musical theater (both the affection and the trauma of it), as well as the discernment process by which I considered whether or — as I ultimately decided — not to audition for a fall production. Ultimately, I decided that I was just way too likely to get caught up in all the ego-insecurity of the process for it to be a good idea back then.
And quite frankly, things have been so busy in so many other directions that I hadn’t thought much about the theater thing.
But then yesterday, as I was driving to my local medical center for a doctor’s appointment,** I saw a sign with the name of a local community theatre on it. I recognized them as one of the theatre groups I’d looked up last spring, and thought to myself: “Don’t they do their spring show in April or May? I wonder if that sign has something to do with auditions?”
So, while in the Doctor’s waiting room, I looked them up on the trusty iPhone and sure enough, it’s audition season for them. And they’re doing a Sondheim show. (Squee!) And the auditions were tonight.
I’m continuing to practice following signs when Spirit offers them, and this one was offered in such a literal format (I mean, seriously: it was a big wooden sign!) I decided I might as well just leap and do my first musical theater audition in a long stretch of years.
I did reflect a little bit during the last 24 hours to make sure I was staying centered in my expectations. Community theatre companies always have a core group of regular participants, so my most likely scenario is to have a chance to prove myself a dependable and loyal volunteer behind-the-scenes on this show before (one hopes) being cast a year or two down the line. The last words I said to Mr. Mezzo as I walked out the door: “Seriously, I’ll be lucky to even get a part.”
And now I can reaffirm that sentiment for an entirely different reason — the fact that I had a crappy audition. (Trust me that I am not saying this out of any sort of manipulative false modesty.)
To begin with, I’m still in poor voice from this damn cold I’ve been fighting. Then, the sheer spontaneity of the decision (plus last night’s choir commitment plus a thoroughly crazy day at work today) means I didn’t have time to prepare — or even thoughtfully select — a song. I just grabbed my Sondheim book off the shelf and chose a song I knew I still had in the dusty memory banks. As it turns out, the song was just too high to show my voice well. I think that would have been true even if I was in full voice, and with me all scratchy and froggy like tonight? Game over.
I’d tried to warm up well in the car on the drive over, but then the time I had to wait sitting in a cold auditorium hallway meant I lost whatever benefit I might have managed from that. And then, yes, I know there was some level where my anxiety grew and I began to psych myself out as the minutes of waiting ticked by, and I saw more and more skinny long-haired bombshells and more and more people greeting one another as members of a club to which I don’t belong.
So yeah: I will be damn lucky to get a part in this show. But I have enough backstage experience: vocal director, conductor, stage manager, set design — that I’m pretty sure I’ll get tapped for some thankless behind-the-scenes job.
Which, ultimately, is what I was expecting to begin with.
If nothing else, the drive home was a fabulous experiment in shutting down the self-critical voice that so much wants to run with the “You don’t belong, you’ll never belong, what were you thinking!?” script.
And, no, I don’t belong to this particular club. Yet. But I might soon.
Or, if not, I still belong where I’m meant to.
* And oh, by Gaia, does it feel weird to know that the change over to 2015 means that I restarted JALC last spring. How did that happen?!?
** I have a wacky knee thing going on I’ll have to explain some other day.
Image credit: Vintage postcard by Frog in Your Throat cold lozenges. Unaltered. Public domain.
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