Singers in the City.

It’s the beginning of December.

If you’re a singer, you’re likely in (or have recently been in) New York, at Nola or Opera America or any number of other venues. Your binder is organized and you’ve made sure that the accompanist can see the bass clef on the bottom stave clearly. Your résumés are proofed and copied and pristine. You have several versions of your rep list, for good days, ok days, and i-shoulda-maybe-cancelled days. You have an audition outfit that makes you feel sparkly and special. You have a pre-show ritual that allows you to perform (i.e. have a positive, expansive experience) rather than audition (i.e. be judged, which triggers the fight-or-flight response in even the best folks). You run into people you know and love, people you know and don’t love, people who are stronger at intimidating or distracting others in the hallway than at auditioning.

You also have ways in which you reward yourself for putting yourself out there, in the face of rejection, over and over and over again.

You’re looking for a job. Something that will pay you to do what you love. You’ve worked diligently, paid your dues. It’s time.

For some of you? It is, in fact, time! And you’ll wrap up the audition season with a contract or two, refreshed energy, renewed contacts…

For others? Talented, driven, dues-paying others? You could end up empty-handed.

This article is from the theater world, but it still applies. Consider this a gentle reminder that the whole process is mostly out of your hands. If you’re cool with that? I am your fan, and am in awe of your generosity, resilience and persistence.

If you’re not? Stay tuned, as we’ll have some more articles and profiles heading your way over the holidays and beyond!

If you’re interested in what I’ve been doing this fall, you can check out my colleague/friend/audition-tour-compadre’s writing here and here. And if you just need some inspiration? Check here and here and hereIMG_2965!

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2 thoughts on “Singers in the City.

  1. PaulsVoice says:

    Your article pushed a lot of buttons. I realize our business is centered in NY, a fact that has made me want to give up on many occasions. For those of us far from the East Coast or who don’t have the time to spend a few weeks in the City, it takes a lot of $$ for very little return. Even though I’m willing to drive several hundred miles to sing for a regional company at their home base, I’ve often gotten the response: “Audition for us in NY in the fall.” VERY frustrating for someone who is anxiety-prone and who does not thrive in the hectic environs of NYC.

  2. Thanks, PaulsVoice! The equation is definitely weighted for those who live in the east, for sure, and the ROI is similarly lopsided. It’s one of the reasons we spend a large chunk of the fall on the road, listening to folks around the country and not just in NYC.
    Any thoughts/advice for companies who are looking to maximize their audition budgets, or for singers who feel similarly anxious at the prospect of heading to New York?

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