Tag Archives: audition season


Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 10.56.46 PMWriting this from a hotel room several storeys above Houston’s sidewalks. Usually our Houston residencies are filled with cool weather, friendly faces, and ease. This year has been unusual. We still have some of my favorite friendly faces around, which is lovely. But the travel to Houston was long and tedious (hours on a plane with no ventilation, an aborted flight attempt, and an arrival late enough to miss all connecting flights, which warranted renting a car and driving from Austin to Houston in the black of night.), and the humidity has curled my hair and haloed the street lights. The view from the 17th floor is actually quite lovely…like my own private Lite-Brite.

I’m reminded, in sharp relief, how valuable time is. (Rough segue – bear with me.)

For the long travel day and the crazy hair and the swampiness? Well, it serves as karmic payment for several days of good singing, for reunions with pals and artists that I’m crazy about, for quality time in a city that I rather enjoy. I’m reminded that the same lunchtime deluge that drove my pals to hysterical laughter as we dodged raindrops and piled into a car was likely the straw that broke the camel’s backs for a singer who has driven/flown/bartered for a couch to sleep on/paid a coach or teacher for a 10 minute audition that can’t survive the logistical obstacles that preceded it. Now, this isn’t a reflection on the performances we heard today, it’s just me putting myself in their shoes and thinking “Whoa.”

But moreover, do I not owe those singers 100% of my time and attention?

I do.

So then I have to ask: why do I not give that same amount of attention to everyone who stands in front of me? When did I become able to skim faces and not take them in? When did cutting off sentences become acceptable behaviour?

We spent time in San Francisco with a young mother and her little boy. And, as tired as that little man was (and he was pooped), he still made eye contact – constantly – with all of us. Martha Stewart symbolizes unlimited free time – her creative crafting and meticulous planning appeal particularly to the chronically overscheduled. (Speaking from experience, natch.) But who is the patron saint of focused attention? Of listening until someone is truly finished talking?

I submit that our largest obstacle is in distraction. (And by ‘our’ I mean ‘my.’)

So when you see me, tell me a story. Musical, personal; fact or fiction. I want to hear the whole thing. I may never be an ace, but I’m interested in at least trying to emulate that patron saint, whoever he or she is.

Tagged , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , ,
%d bloggers like this: