Today was the RENT audition.
Before I go tell today’s tale, however, let me cover another topic that kinda ties in.
I don’t believe I’ve written about it here in this blog but if you know me(and if you didn’t why the hell are you reading my blog???) chances are pretty good you know about the tango I do with a finger infection every few years.
Well I woke up on Wednesday of this week with a sore fingertip. Not on the finger I always get my infection on but the ring finger right next to it. Odd but I didn’t think too much about it. By the end of the day it was swollen and I could see where this was leading so I called my doc and made an appt for the next morning at eleven.
The next morning it was even more swollen and now the tip had turned blue, like there was a large blood blister or something.
Went to the doctor and told her the only thing I could figure was that in trying to grow out my acrylics I had been cutting them really short and something happened from that. She agreed it must have been some trauma to the nail-bed when I cut it recently and said the blue was blood pooled underneath the skin. She didn’t seem all that concerned even though the red line of infection was already creeping down my hand. She gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way.
After finally getting my prescription filled I headed back to work but my finger was in some serious pain and pretty much all I could do was cry. I went home early.
That was Thursday. Yesterday I called in sick again and kept waiting for the meds to take effect.
Last night rob and I had a long talk since the line of infection was up passed my elbow and I had some small pain in my armpit. We decided that if it had gotten worse by one in the morning when I had to take my next round of meds he would take me to the ER.
That is the back story.
So when I woke up this morning the infection was no better but no worse. I had a choice to make. Go to the ER or go to the audition. Or as I actually phrased it to myself; go to the audition or take full advantage of this infection as an opportunity to chicken out legitimitely from the thing that was scaring me to death. Let’s face it, if I skipped the auditions in lue of taking care of my finger, there wasn’t a single person that could blame me. It was like the universe was offering me the perfect excuse to blow off everything I had worked for the last couple of months.
It was a very hard decision for me, but in the end I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn’t at least try to audition.
Today I did what I never thought in a million years that I would do even though I have always wanted to. I auditioned for a play. That means I voluntarily sang and danced in front of people whose whole purpose was to judge me harshly . I conquered a lifelong fear and it was pretty awesome.
Since it was my first time auditioning for anything I did my research. I picked Eva’s brain because she has been through this kinda stuff before and I also emailed the director of the play. I’m glad I did because it made me aware of just how short of a window we were going to have to sing…I was able to fix my song accordingly for maximum belting capacity.
Of course I was the first one there, I didn’t realize that meant I would be the first one to sing but I’m kinda glad now. It was sort of like ripping off the band aid, nice and clean. No time to sit around and worry about forgetting lyrics or being in the wrong key.
The singing took place in front of two people. I thought it would be more but this was fine with me. The room we were in had tiered seating. The director was at the top, me at the bottom with the piano player. I gave the Piano player my sheet music and told him where I would like to begin and off I went. I did the first chorus just like I had rehearsed it. The piano guy went a little bit faster than the background track I had been using but I think I did an okay job at keeping up. When I was done the director said: “I want you to sing this like your heart is being ripped right out of your chest. This isn’t about pretty, I don’t want pretty.”
So I ran through the same chorus singing as best a person can with a vital organ being torn from their body and when I was done the director asked the piano player if he wanted to go over my range.
He said sure and then asked what my range was. I honestly answered that I didn’t know and that this was my first audition. We ran through some lalala’s with the piano and he said that I was an alto and something or other and gave my key range which I wish I remembered. After that the director thanked me and as I was walking up the tiers to leave asked: “This is your first audition?” I said yes and he mumbled, “Odd choice.” I just smiled and said: “Well, RENT is my passion.” and thanked him before walking out the door.
The dance part was next. There were to be two kinds of dancing. One that was choreographed and one that was improvised. The thought of either made me break out into a cold sweat, but I figured I can take direction fairly well so maybe I’d do better on the first one. To tell you the truth that is when I started to tell myself that I had only come to sing and that I didn’t even care if I got the part so why should I have to go through the dance part right? I mean, I had done what I had gone there to do and hey, who wants to spend so much of their summer rehearsing all the time anyway?
I almost had myself convinced but I couldn’t do it. I had to finish this thing till the end, even if that meant making an even bigger fool of myself in front of a large number of people.
There were about 20 of us in the dance group so it was pretty easy to blend into the back when learning the routine…and I use the word “learning” loosely as I never fully got it, but then she broke us up into groups. Curses!
Eventually I didn’t feel like a total klutz even if I didn’t have most of the act down. The director came in and watched us dance in our smaller groups and then came the improv dancing. The song they chose was “Today 4 U” from the broadway soundtrack. The director got all of us on the floor and told us to just go wild as he put the song on. Instantly the dance floor became a club and everyone just started dancing. I found myself getting caught up in it and just grooving. When that was over he had us pair up and come down a line like in the movie Grease and dance at the end of the line until he told us to stop. And then it was over. Turns out that was the funnest part for me. Who knew?
And that was it. Four hours after I got there it was done and I had only preformed for the director a total of three minutes.
As I was leaving the music hall and heading for my car I found a huge smile creeping across my face. “I did it!” I whispered to myself. “I really did it!”
I am fully aware I will probably not get a part in this play and I am perfectly okay with that. I did what I set out to do today and ended up actually having fun. The hugeness of this day for me is really hard to comprehend. It is not a day I will ever forget and I’m so glad I went through with it.
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