Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Not really sure how, but I lived through this weekend.

Saturday, naturally, was the first snow of the year, and also the day that I needed to drive to Philly for an audition. Despite being really rather ill, Joe came along and drove me, and so it made it easier more fun than going alone. After my last audition, when I felt I had been a bit distracted in the acting part of my performance, my focus on Saturday was to make my showing a truly well-rounded performance, solid vocally and dramatically. There were plenty of practice rooms, and I had time to warm up and primp, and I was feeling good, despite the fact that I hadn't slept well the night before, and my low voice was the slightest bit labored. My middle and high voice is always there, but the low is the first thing to go when things go wrong. I need to remember that a switch in starting arias is prudent if I feel at all tired. Something higher would work better.

The auditions were running behind, but when I was finally called, the panel was very warm, and that always helps, and I love it when auditions are on a real stage. It puts a little distance between me and the panel, and helps me remember that auditions are supposed to be just another performance. The pianist was kind of unorthodox, and played my very familiar aria in a way I had never heard before, which only slightly threw me...but I really started to love the way that he helped me in the phrasing and really played loud enough to make me feel as though there was really something underneath to sing over. I ended the aria wishing it had been longer and that I could have sung with him for a few more minutes. As usual, nerves make any natural effects of fatigue worse, and it was not the cleanest singing I have ever done, but I felt I gave a good performance, and was very committed to the character. At least that's how I felt when I walked out of the room. On the drive home, I did what I always do and began to analyze the notes I wasn't pleased with and stress about the ways it could have been better, and how I need to be perfect if I expect to be hired for any of these things for which I am auditioning. Which, as we all know is entirely counter-productive, and the best thing to do is to just sing and completely forget about it the minute you walk out the door, and go on to the next thing.

Sunday, well. You know how Sundays go. They are stressful in their own way, with my fill of straight-tone unaccompanied singing at nine in the morning, and then rushing to the next job to sing a solos and lead hymns, and then off to school to work a concert afterward. All I can say about Sunday is that I was really glad when it was over! I came home, put on my pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, and took a nap.

Yesterday, I drove to DC for another audition, warmed up before, knowing that there would be no place to do so at the venue. I planned my time of arrival carefully, and went dressed and made-up, so that I could essentially walk in and sing. No such luck. They were running behind an hour, and I let three other sopranos go before me who had planes to catch. Sometimes I wish I could be a mean diva and say no to things like that, but the truth of the matter was, after standing there in the cold, warehouse-like waiting room for an hour waiting, what was another fifteen? All of us were wrapped in our coats, freezing. I felt especially bad for the girl in a gorgeous gray sleeveless dress and no tights!
When it was finally my turn, the auditor kindly apologized for the wait, and the pianist was very good. But I found that when I opened my mouth to sing, what I heard did not sound very warmed up any more. I cracked, something that never happens to me, on the first high note of the first aria, and couldn't spend any time being mortified (until afterward, of course), but tried to go on and make the rest of it so fantastic they would forget. Thankfully, my second piece went very well. So, it wasn't perfect, but under the circumstances, I made the best of it. Then, I went home and finished decorating the Christmas tree, all the while, trying to forget about that frightening crack in my first aria.

Now, I am back at my desk. With work seeming like a lovely, comforting routine, and just glad to be able to SIT somewhere for a while. After this weekend, my round of December auditions will be done.

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