Auditions

She showed up at the school a little before 6 pm. Auditions were to start at 6, and she was there to assist and audition. She said hi to the familiar face at the desk, Trish, a fellow theater committee member, apologized for not being there sooner, then grabbed an application to fill out.

She entered a room full of high school students, with a few middle school students and some parents. She thought, “I do not want to audition with a bunch of high-schoolers.” She quickly filled out the paperwork and returned to the hallway.

When she turned in her application she told Trish that she would wait to audition. She wasn’t ready and the thought of making a fool of herself in front of the teenagers was something she’d rather pass on.

The night went by quickly and a familiar faced showed up. It was the actress who played Cinderella in the play last year. She decided she would audition with her friend, and another actor, one of the step sisters, also came. They were in a group together.

They filed in and took their seats in the front row of the high school theater and waited for their directions. It was decided they’d go in numerical order, #14 was first, her number.

She handed the young lady running the CD player her disk and walked on stage.

Her nerves were getting the better of her and she could feel her body trembling. Jokes were passed between herself and the judges as the disk was cued. “Who are you?” the director teasingly asked. She repeated her name in a halfway pretending to be extra shy way, “Uh, I’m Lacey Blake and I’ve come to audition.”

The music started, but then the CD skipped as the young lady moved the player to face her on stage. She asked if she could start it once more, since counting was the only way to know when to enter the song.

She was nervous, she probably entered too early, but it was a blur.

She knew she was not singing her best, so she focused on what seemed like a million little things, all at the same time, and tried to remember the words.
A stranger in white, in a car. Going somewhere. Going Far!…
Let your jaw drop.
Sing out.
…How it must feel to go racing wherever you please…
Make your movements look purposeful.
Listen to the music so you stay on tempo.
…Oh gods, oh gods hear my prayer!…
Wait, you can’t hear the music!
Go through this part slowly.
Don’t close your eyes so long.
…I’m here in the fields with my feet on the ground…
Use your whole body.
...And my fate in the air, waiting for life to begin!
Stopped being nervous.

The song ended in what seemed like just two seconds, but it was really one minute and ten seconds later.

Right after she finished the artistic director made a comment, “Lacey, I just want to say that was 100% better than your audition last year.” He was last years director.

She was flattered, but then the negative comments her brain automatically produce crept in, “He just said that to make you feel better, for when they don’t call you back or give you a lead.”

She watched the other women audition. She thought how wonderful they were and how they seemed to be so naturally talented. “Look how they get into their songs. They were so much better and they don’t even need voice lessons.”

She ran her hands through her hair and waited for it too all be over.

She exited quickly and found her way to her things near the desk. As she put away her CD, the other ladies exited and began talking, complimenting one another, reassuring each others egos. They didn’t notice her across the way or say anything, she thought it was because she was so bad and they didn’t want to give her any compliments out of pity.

After all the auditions were over she went into the theater. The director said, “Lacey, you actually have a very pretty voice. It’s very light and I really like that quality.” She said thank you.

Then the artistic director told her he thought she should audition for other theater groups. She found it hard to believe he meant it, but knew he wouldn’t suggest such a thing if he didn’t really mean it.

It’s hard to accept compliments after years of self doubt and deprecation. She really wants to be a better singer and performer, but she has never believed that she could be good enough, or had a nice enough voice to be a soloist. She’s always worried about making herself look like a fool by believing or acting like she had a beautiful voice, but really not having a nice one.

She’s now trying to change her thought process and her own beliefs about her voice.

It’s hard, and even though she hates to rely on others compliments, that is what’s helping her build her foundation. She can’t find her voice by herself, it takes a wonderful teacher, a supportive husband, and compliments she feels are genuine, but she is working hard and it’s developing.

So she’ll continue to sing, and maybe she will make a fool of herself, but at least she’ll be having fun, and at least a few people like her voice, and at this moment that’s all that matters.

Just two days later she was sent an e-mail and was invited to come back for callbacks. There are a lot of talented singers in the mix, so she’s finding joy in just being invited, hopefully she makes the final cut, but if not, she’ll know that she at least tried and finds comfort knowing that she’s getting better.

This won’t be the last play she auditions for.

4 Responses to “Auditions”

  1. Nice Niece Says:

    Awesome job, I’m bursting with pride for you! Congrats, I’m so happy to hear that you got the call back. Seeing you in the plays has been a highlight of my summers, and I can’t wait to see the play this summer. 🙂

  2. Sara Says:

    Wow! Good writing and congrats on being called back! I wish I had been only so I could actually sing for them and not just croak out a few words, but oh well. You’ll have to represent for the both of us. Knock ’em dead!

  3. andrea Says:

    I am proud of you! You really did impress us when you did your practice audition. B/c the drama dept. at the HS is so small they often have plays during the school year that adults are invited to audition for to perform with the students. I’ve thought it could be fun and a good experience, but it’s not happened, yet.

  4. mary brinkerhoff Says:

    Being called back is huge! Congrats!