Saturday, November 12, 2011

I fell off the face of the Earth again...

... forgive me.  It's been a rough week.  And now I'm going to blab all about it, so if you are not interested in hearing me whine endlessly about auditions... please tune in tomorrow for a new post.  I'll probably still be whining, but at least it won't be about auditions!


My first of two Disney auditions was on Monday.  The audition was at 2:00 pm in Orlando, and it was for an amazing a cappella group that performs in Epcot called The Voices of Liberty.  This was one of those "dream job" auditions.  There is a running joke that Voices of Liberty only holds auditions when someone has died... not true, obviously, but it's a hard gig to get.  A lot of the singers in the group auditioned several times before getting in, often to the tune of 5+ auditions.  This is just one of the many, logical things that I told myself in order to not get my hopes up.  Obviously, I failed, and walked into the audition really, really, REALLY hoping to get a callback.  Perhaps not my best idea considering that I was going into the audition sick - my sore throat had escalated from a minor annoyance to a full blown problem, and I was also feeling lightheaded, weak, achy... you name it.

The sign-ins for the audition started at 1:30 pm, so I got there at 1:30 pm... and found that there were already at least 50 girls ahead of me.  So all the vocal warmups and attempts I'd made to keep my voice ready to get through the audition were a bit of a waste, because I ended up sitting around for about an hour and a half waiting to be called.  I found out from another girl that if you got a callback, the directors in the audition room would hand you a yellow sheet to fill out - she referred to it as a golden ticket.  They called us in groups of 10, and for every group of 10 that went back, one or two people seemed to be returning with the alleged golden ticket.  These were great odds, honestly, as I was expecting them to give out maybe one or two callbacks.  So my hopes went up even more.  And then I was called.  I went back to the audition area with my group, and we stood in a hallway outside the audition room.  We could hear another woman auditioning and she sounded incredible.  I remember listening and thinking "I'm not even in the same league."  Sure enough, she walked out with the yellow callback sheet.  The problem, though, is that I was #7 in my group of 10, and you could hear exactly what went on in the audition room while waiting.  So I'm standing there desperately trying to play my song over and over in my head while I can hear 6 other songs.  Finally it was my turn and I went in.  I gave my music to the piano player and tried to be very nice, and he was completely cold.  The directors caught me off guard and messed up my slate (a slate is the lame introduction thing - "Hi, my name is So-and-So, and I will be performing "It's A Small World"), so I felt off from the very beginning.  Then I botched the audition.  I forgot where I was starting in the song and had to start over.  It was the worst audition I'd done in a long time, and sure enough, I didn't get a callback.

I was really bummed, honestly - less because I didn't get a callback and more because I gave a bad audition.  I've been rejected for plenty of shows, just like any other performer, but I am usually okay with it because I can leave the audition with my head head high, knowing that I gave the best audition I could possibly give.  But I left this one kicking myself, fully aware of the fact that I could have done better.  If my voice had cracked because of my sore throat, that would have been one thing, but I had let myself get flustered by my surroundings.  I spent a while whining about it.  And knowing me, I probably will continue whining about it for a while to come.


On Tuesday, my parents were nice enough to go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with me (yes, I demanded to go to a Christmas party on November 8th just like the five year old I am), which helped distract me from the fact that I was definitely not doing a callback.  Then on Wednesday, I got to take on the daunting task of flying from Florida to California.  I suppose it was a more daunting task for the pilots, but this is my blog, so I get to make it sound like Mission: Impossible.


Yesterday was the second Disney audition and GOOD LORD.  Evil.  For one thing, I did not learn from the Voices of Liberty audition and got there right about at sign-in time, which was 9:30 am.  Actually, what happened was that I was staring at my sheet music at about 9:00 am and I slowly realized that I had been singing my audition piece in the wrong key.  So I spent the next 15 minutes frantically trying to get the right key into my head.  This did not bode well for the rest of the day, exactly, but it didn't even come close to preparing me for what was about to happen.  The audition was at a dance studio about 10 minutes away from David's apartment, so he took me over, dropped me off, and headed to the gym - based on the Voices of Liberty audition, which ended up taking about two hours, I told him that he had plenty of time to get in a good workout, shower, and then come pick me up.  This turned out to be the understatement of the century.  I walked into the studio and there were people EVERYWHERE.  I got into the sign-in line, which snaked through the entire room that we were in, and the room was huge.  The sign-in line itself took nearly an hour and a half to get through, and all that happened was each person handed the woman behind the desk a headshot and resume, signed their name, and got a number.  I ended up being #184, and I was not the end of the line.  I think there were about 300 people there in all.

Then began the waiting.  Luckily, I bonded with another girl - #168, a very nice girl from the bay area named Julie.  We talked together for a long time, which was great because I didn't actually get the chance to audition until about 4:30 pm.  David was a complete saint and came back several times through the day, including around lunchtime, when he drove Julie and I to Subway and we got to escape for a little while.  I joked several times throughout the day that at the very least, we would all have a great story to tell... but in the end, that's about all I got out of it.  The first couple groups of people auditioning got the best deal - the directors spent a lot of time with them in the audition room, and almost all of them were asked to stay for a singing callback, a dancing callback, and/or an improv callback.  By the time my number was about to come up, they had already taken measurements and pictures of at least 5 or 6 people from the first batch of auditions, and handed them what appeared to be contracts.  That was when my spirits just crashed.  It was clear at that point that they had found what they wanted, and were essentially going through the rest of us as a courtesy.  They finally called my number and I went back, did my 16 bars, and got a "thank you, that's all we need to see" and a swift kick out the door.  I got my stuff together, got into David's car, and just started bawling.  I cried for much of the night, actually.  I was incredibly disappointed, and kind of still am.


I'm hoping that in the next week or so, I'll be able to see these auditions as more experience, and be grateful that I had the chance to do them.  Right now, I just feel sad, especially about yesterday's audition.  I had my hopes seriously up for that one - reading the description, I felt like I was perfect for the job and that they would love me.  Plus, it would give me a job in California, so I'd have a steady income where David is.  As fun as the whole being long distance and only seeing each other for a few days every month or so is... eventually I want to actually be in the same state as my boyfriend.  Maybe even get crazy and be in the same city.  And the prospect of leaving a part time job with no benefits and not-so-great pay for a full time job with great benefits and good pay was incredibly glorious.  I have to admit that I am a little crushed that it isn't happening... but I have to keep my spirits up and look ahead to the future and hope that another prospect like this will come up again.

Okay... if you made it this far, congratulations.  You now have almost as good of a tolerance of my whining as Sir David.  You are to be commended.

2 comments:

  1. So sorry! That sounds very stressful and I too would cry for hours if I had spent that much time and airfare for an audition that didn't even seem to be taken seriously. I admire your determination and audacity for just being willing to put yourself in the spotlight like that. The right job will come along! Hope you feel better soon.

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  2. I, too, tried out for Voices of Liberty years ago. I made it to the second audition with about 30 other people - about 6 people for each part. There were six openings altogether. I felt great about my audition but it turned out the director brought in people from his church choir to fill the spots (I do think there was one girl who made it from my audition group and before the year was up her voice was shot). That was an extremely disappointing experience. But, I lived through it :-) Then, after auditioning for two other gigs that I knew I was too old to be in but used my own songs I wrote especially for the two different tryouts, I was asked to write for Disney. I was extremely happy about that. Except, the head of the music department said that he didn't need any writers so I ended up going back to teaching. I found out that the head of the music department was fired soon after I talked with him. He was fired for not being willing to hire anyone. So, I'm sure you did a great job. Unfortunately, there are only so many openings and lots of people who want to fill them and one never knows what's going on behind the scenes of those conducting the tryouts. Hope things worked out for you with David.

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