So, about two weeks ago (since I am once again writing this post late) I took a step into one of the components of my God-sized dreams. After a year of going back to college to finish a Musical Theatre Performance degree, I auditioned for a musical production at a regional theatre. I’ve worked at this theatre before a few times in various shows, but my last job there was at least a few years ago. I was particularly excited for this audition, as I had also previously worked with both the director and musical director they are bringing in from NYC to mount the production. It’s a show I know I am the ‘right type’ for, and I felt good (for once) about what I was going to sing for my audition.
Now, let me just say, when I was a ‘full time creative’ years ago, living the starving artist’s life in NYC and various other metropolitan cities, for me, an audition was just not a big deal. The average professional actor usually does at least 5-6 auditions a week if they can help it. You get so good at that part of your craft, and put yourself and your creative talent out there in front of others so often, you usually (and of course, there are always exceptions to the rule) don’t have time to obsess over each one. I remember one spring, I wrote down every audition in my journal. I think I took almost 50 auditions before I got a callback, and a job offer. (I have actor friends in NYC who tell me nowadays sometimes it’s double that number before a job turns up.)
My point is that sometimes it’s harder to have only one or two auditions in a 5 month time frame, because the stakes are higher. In your mind, you have one chance to get it right. You fight waves of desperation, fear and insecurity. You see your body wrapped in Spanx and a possibly-too-tight dress next to the gal who just finished her Rockette gig a few weeks ago. You hear a voice soaring to the heavens through the wall, and wonder if your High C is just a thing of the past.
In short, it’s easy to doubt.
After finishing my audition song, I had a lovely conversation with the creative team in the room. They all complimented my performance–multiple times even! Being affirmed in that way in an audition is quite a rare treat, so I was thrilled.
But I also didn’t get a callback.
As I was getting ready to leave the theatre, I heard other actors talking about how this particular production of a rather traditional musical was going to be a newer, ‘sexified’ version. I also only saw young (at least, younger than me), slender ladies being called back for further auditioning. (Hard to admit, but not ‘my type’ right now.)
It’s now been a full two weeks, which usually means I most likely did not get the job. (Phone calls for regional theatres such as this most definitely come sooner than later. I know from being previously hired).
While yes, I have fought feelings of disappointment throughout this process, I am grateful for any chance to engage in the creative process, even at an audition for a job I most likely did not get.
I’m remembering I mustn’t forget that so much more goes into casting consideration than a good audition.
I’m remembering there is always another audition opportunity around the corner, perhaps for a show I am much more suited for.
I’m remembering that any chance to be creative is a chance to learn and grow.
I’m remembering that there are many God-sized dreams in my heart, not just one.
So, though this dream didn’t reach fruition, I know there’s a reason.
And I’m excited to keep dreaming as God leads me to the next step.
And the next.
That black sound
from the soles of your feet,
the gut-insistence of music,
an old teacher’s fingers
on your ear
This way, this way.