That’s my mantra for tomorrow’s audition. Relax. Have fun. I’m so NOT a mantra person, but I am doing whatever I can here. When I was younger, I thought that people in their 30’s (and 40’s) couldn’t possibly be as good as those of us who were younger and had such quick muscles. Now I know better. I have never been playing the violin better than I am right now, and no matter what happens tomorrow, that will continue to be true.
(Curious about orchestral auditions—you’ll have to read this blog post I wrote a few years ago to understand more how the system works—or doesn’t work.)
(how big the cat was the last time I took a St Louis Symphony audition…approximately)
I was just thinking, the last time I took a full St Louis section audition (I’ve taken the sub list here and a one year audition, but never for a full position) was in the winter of 2003. Long time! Most of us who take auditions have taken a fair amount. Let’s see—my first professional audition (meaning, for a full time job, not a regional orchestra, because I’ve take tons of those too) was for the Rochester Philharmonic. I’ve also auditioned in Houston, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Detroit, San Diego and Charlotte (a position I won and left after a few years for a variety of reasons).
(several couches and millions of pounds of food later…)
But I’m more ready for tomorrow than ever. I’m terrified to admit that on the internet, and what bothers me most, is if I don’t advance tomorrow, then I’m just lumped in with all the other fools who didn’t advance. Not that they are all fools, but there’s such a range, some people who had no business being there in the first place, people who just didn’t play their best, or people who would really be great for the job and just didn’t manage to show the committee that. I feel like I’m in the last category—I know I would be an asset to the orchestra, to any orchestra, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get that chance. And I hate just feeling like some idiot who took the audition and didn’t advance, and being lumped in with (actual thing that happened) the woman who, in my last audition, was unable to tune her own violin and ASKED FOR HELP. But yet we both didn’t advance…and in the eyes of the common bystander, are the same. Someone who auditioned for the symphony and didn’t advance. Doesn’t seem quite fair.
(This is also not fair—my sister’s new kitten in black, being cleaned by her old kitty…the cute just isn’t fair!)
That seems like negative thinking though (and maybe a little bit mean :/ ), so I’m going to think positive. I’m going to go out there, I’m going to stay relaxed, sit back on my heels, focus, and let my preparation shine through. I am going to be excited to show them how beautifully I play each piece or excerpt they ask for, and I’m just going to have a good time with it. No matter what they think, if I go out on that stage and enjoy myself, I don’t care.
Well, of course I care. I care more than just about anything. But let’s pretend I don’t, because I know the odds here. I also know that I’m proud of the work I’ve done and my husband is too, and that’s probably, in the greater scheme of things, most important.
Advice from my teacher in college on auditions: If you drink the night before, don’t drink too much.
(And publishing this post terrifies me: I have friends that take auditions all the time and it seems like no big deal to them…maybe that’s just them covering up their feelings, or maybe they are just better at it than I am? I don’t know! I’m not freaking out or anything, but I’ve been utterly unable to focus on anything else in the past couple of weeks.)