It's Done…But I Didn't Get Out Unscathed.
So today I auditioned for The Western Stage at Hartnell College.
Last weekend, Rob and I went to see The Producers there with another couple that we hang out with and we loved it. It was an amazing show and in the program they put a little flier about what was upcoming as far as the shows for next year. What caught my eye was “Carrie: The Musical”. I thought that would be an amazing show to watch. As I flipped further into the program I noticed that they were having auditions the following weekend. It gave a number and email address to call for an appointment. I sort of filed this in the back of my mind and went on to enjoy the show.
Days later I had gone over it and over it again in my mind. Other than a very bad audition for RENT at MPC six or seven years ago, I have never auditioned at any other theater company other than Paper Wing. Paper Wing is and always will be my theater home. I am comfortable there. I am familiar with most everyone there and I love them. Stepping outside of my comfort zone is not my favorite thing to do. I don’t like change. On a good day, I already have a pretty high level of anxiety, so I don’t see a need to raise it any higher by changing anything up in my daily life or routine.
But that is how I felt about it when I got involved in Paper Wing and I can easily say that it was one of the best things I have ever done. I have not only made life long friends there, but I have evolved so much as a person. I went into Paper Wing a painfully shy woman that was petrified of standing out in a crowd to… Well, to this obnoxious, outgoing person you know today.
Having said all that, I dropped an email to The Western Stage and asked for an appointment. I was given 2:00 PM today. All week long I have stressed over it. I have gone back and forth on my song selection so many times that in the end, I didn’t feel confident in ANY of my choices so I just went with the one I was the most familiar with even thought it wasn’t my strongest vocally.
This morning I wanted to bail so bad. I had thrown my neck out the day before, and Mother Nature was nice enough to bless me with my monthly gift, and I had accidentally left the only printed copy I had of my resume at work, and I had just about every other excuse in the book ready to go to justify it. And I honestly think that is the reason I had posted about the auditions on Facebook. It was a way to hold myself accountable. Now, everyone will know if I back out. I could try and put whatever spin I wanted on it, but everyone would know that I did not face up to the challenge I put on myself.
So I put on my big girl panties and went for it. I sent a copy of my resume to Fed Ex/Kinko’s in Salinas and picked up the printed copy on the way to the audition. I got to Hartnell, filled out the paperwork and was so glad to see a friendly face I knew from Paper Wing so I had a buddy to see me through.
We were pulled in to dance first and there was another friendly face. Devin has done some work with Paper Wing and is an AMAZING dancer, turns out he was leading the choreography part of the audition. I was so glad, because he is super awesome and patient.
It is no secret that I am not a great dancer. If given enough time and practice, I can fake it enough to make it look OKAY, but I will never be mistaken for any sort of dancer ever. But I did the best that I could and smiled my way through it.
After Devin taught us the combination we split into two groups and ran through it for the panel. I was in the first group. Once we were done, the two youngsters in front of me ran over to the right side of the stage and headed into the audience. I followed suit, but when I got to the edge of the stage I noticed there were no stairs. I had three choices. I could look like an asshole and backtrack around behind the 2nd group, distracting from their dancing, to get the the left side of the stage that DID have steps. I could look like an idiot and just stand there staring at the three foot drop and wait until they were done dancing. Or I could just pretend I was a spring chicken and make the jump like the two girls before me did. I chose number three.
Yeah, take a guess how that worked out for me.
I landed on my left leg in a very awkward position. Sort of sideways from the knee, you know the part that DOESN’T bend? There was no immediate pain, just a sense of: “OH MY GOD! WHAT DID I JUST DO??? THAT IS GOING TO HURT SO FUCKING BAD!!” but I hobbled up the steps and got to where I had set my purse down in the audience seats. I sat and rubbed my knee while the second group finished and then we were all called back up on the stage to run the combination all together, one more time.
That is when I started to feel the pain. I could not run the combination the way it was supposed to be done. I could barely move my left leg at all. I faked it and hoped for the best.
After that we were called in to where the rest of the groups were waiting to read and sing. I saw some more friendly faces in the groups that had gone before us so that was cool, but I was really freaking out about my leg. My first thought was I had fractured something in my shin. It felt that bad. However, I discovered that I could walk it off some, so I knew it must be just a muscle strain, albeit a very bad one.
The only good thing about that was that it was able to distract me from being nervous. Considering whether or not you need to go to the ER after your audition really sort of makes being nervous for singing in front of people seem kinda silly.
We waited around and I walked every so often to keep my leg from stiffening up. I was given a couple pages to read and a partner to read them with, so we practiced a little. More waiting and then I sang. I faltered when I started and faltered a bit at the end but I did stronger than I thought I was going to do so I guess I have no complaints. I could have done a lot better had I been better prepared with a song. That is on me.
Shortly after I sang, they called us in for the reading and that was it.
I am now at home icing my knee and leg. I am not confident that I will get a call back, but I don’t really care. I did it. I put myself outside of my comfort zone and I did it. The fact that I auditioned at all is a success in my book. I was seriously so close to backing out this morning that I’m shocked I followed through. That is something that I can feel good about.
My only regret is the knee thing, but I guess I’ve got a good story out of it right?
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