I just love feedback. Sometimes. Oy.
After a particularly ridiculous audition experience, I sent my little note to the AD, as I always do, thanking them for the opportunity and asking for any feedback on my audition, if he might have the chance to provide it. My feeling about the actual singing part of the experience had been that it was okay, not my best, but partially due to a couple of the crazy things I had been asked to do in 97 degree heat and no air-conditioning. I was just really proud of myself that I didn't walk in and sing Angry Musetta and Angry Manon and then cuss everyone out. So maybe I shouldn't have asked in the first place.
Well, low and behold, I actually got some feedback. This almost never actually happens, mind you. I wish it would-- I would have been much better prepared for what I was about to read.
On first reading, a couple of adjectives stood out that left me with that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, and made me feel a little weird. On second reading, I understood what was being said and started to make sense of it. On third reading, I realized that it was overall, a pretty good review of what I had done, especially in light of the circumstances, and, hell, they asked me to come back and sing again. No part for you, but you didn't suck, so, feel free to try it again, in three years when we have our next round of auditions, and by the way, you might need to fix the following things, and here's some words that people throw around to totally freak singers out. But that no one's sure exactly what you really mean when using them.
I remember my consultation with Cindy Sadler with great fondness now, looking back, because it put me in high gear, let's kick some ass mode, and actually resulted in me really kick-starting my singing career as I know it. But while it was happening I was nothing less than mortified, freaked out, shell-shocked. And not because she wasn't perfectly nice-- but because I knew she had no reason not to be completely honest.
The hard truth about what you do, and how other people perceive your singing and your presentation of yourself is sometimes pretty hard to take...especially if you assume that none of the nice things are the real truth and all of the negative things ARE. Lots of singers do that-- including me. While I think that I have the ability to tell the difference between genuine compliments and the fake ones, I still tend to remember all the bad things way more.
Who do I actually really currently trust to give me feedback? My teacher and my coach. And should I be trusting people I'm paying? who knows. Should I trust ADs that I don't know and don't know me? who knows.
Do I trust myself? Yes. And because I do, I'll just trust who I trust, and feel my way through all of it, hoping that I'll have the good sense to tell if somebody's telling me the wrong stuff.