Friday, 1 November 2013

Auditions have to be the weirdest things out.  They simply do not comply to any rational scheme of things.  Logically, to do ones best, one should be well prepared, calm, decently rested, hydrated, etc etc etc.  That's what we aim for; we book travel so as to arrive in good time, we splash out on hotels when we have no money, in order to sleep well, we determinedly push problems to one side for the duration, in order to keep our minds clear and our focus untainted.

So how on earth could I have arrived at an audition a few days ago utterly ragged with exhaustion (travel plans had, to put it mildly, gone to pot), in anything but a calm and focused state of mind, only to somehow take a breath and surpass all that for the duration of the audition?  I even walked in apologising for squelching (there had been a bit of a plumbing failure in the corridor; my audition shoes are actually dance shoes, as they are light and flexible; fabulous for bunging in ones case, but slightly less wonderful when soggy, due to their suede soles...).

It doesn't work when the panic of other circumstances is deliberately induced (please don't ask me how I know this), but sometimes the hysteria of adverse circumstances allows one to slip into an attitude of devil-may-care (or MoFo, as expounded brilliantly years ago by a tenor friend of mine whose fascinating blog is a must-read for anyone in the opera industry), which turns incipient nerves into amusing passing thoughts, and lets the voice rip out unhindered by overthinking.

I have no idea yet whether I got the job, but I at least achieved my audition aim, which is basically to sing as well as I can on any given day; if I don't get the role, well it's not because I let myself down in my performance on that occasion.  They simply wanted something else...

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