Sunday, November 6, 2011

Epic. Audition. Fail.

This Thursday, I had the absolute worst audition of my life for Northern Stage's upcoming production of Annie.

Let me first preface this by saying that I'm not rock solid on why I submitted for this in the first place as 1) it's Annie and I didn't even really like the movie as a kid, 2) it's in Vermont in December and I'm cold enough in New York as it is, and 3) doing the show would mean not going home for Christmas following me already not going home for Thanksgiving. All the same I did, and they called me about auditioning, so I scheduled the appointment and in I went.

Now in my not-so-long and reasonably undistinguished career, there have already been a handful of auditions all ranging from so-so to downright awful, but nothing quiiiiite tops my experience from Thursday.

To begin, I should say the first problem was my own, namely that I was given music to learn and clearly did not do so to the best of my ability. I can blame work and the apartment hunt for taking up all my time and this is true, but frankly, I just should have known the song better. That, plus though it wasn't, say "Tomorrow" or "Little Girls," just about every aspiring musical theatre diva in her right mind knows "NYC" - or at least, every one but me. Nevertheless to be sure it created a not-to-stellar impression when I had to stop and restart not once, not twice, but a record three times. Strike one.

Then I finally actually start singing to discover that I have NO voice. And for no good reason, either! Not allergies, not drinking, not yelling, not sleep deprivation, nor ANY of the other usual culprits (aka really one of the first two but every once in a while a different one). The sounds I was producing in no way resembled good singing but in every way resembled the voice of a person who - to outsider ears - was far, far too sick to have bothered coming to audition that day. And I can't even justify that it was a good acting performance, because my only thought was "please god let me get through the song so this will be over." And we all know I can't keep anything off my face, so clearly that much was obvious as well.

To top it all off, I have (I would later learn) an ulcer on the surface of my right eye, thus making the eye in question at the time of the audition a frightening shade of Halloween costume red.

Not my finest hour. I quite literally apologized on my way out the door and bolted from the building like it was on fire. Humiliating on EVERY level.

But here's the thing - two years ago, if that had happened I would have gone home and cried to myself for an hour or two and then beaten up on myself for the next anywhere between two hours and weeks, convinced that this WOULD happen to me and it was a sign of my general talentlessness. (What can I say, I'm kind of hard on myself.) And I can't say that twinges of that didn't creep in as I called my parents and texted sympathetic actor friends to complain. But my overall reaction was "well fuck, that sucked, I'm fairly well humiliated, but I'll get over it." This is BIG, people. It means I might actually - finally - be learning something about the game I'm playing here. And so on to the next.

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