Friday, 27 January 2017

How much information is too much information?

So, I have talked before about my ineptitude at auditions. By that I mean everything apart from the bits where I show them what I can do. Normally, I am pretty good at showing I am a pretty darn good singer and actress and a pretty capable mover (not dancer) thanks to all those Zumba classes. No, the ineptitude happens between all these bits.

When I am nervous I tend to have no control over my common sense. I talk too much and very fast. I say derogatory things about myself and my abilities so as not to appear like I am showing off. What is an audition for but to show off for goodness sake! Yet I still to this day can't help but play down my talents. Where is this coming from? "What did I do?" I hear you cry. Well, let me tell you.

This year I have done 2 auditions. Not bad, not great, but not bad and the actual audition bits, I think, were pretty solid. However, my face and the rubbish I spouted between were ridiculous. The first audition was for an Easter panto. The director and choreographer were so inspiring in the audition I really wanted that job just to work with them. Unfortunately the character I would be playing was a grandmother, and although where I come from it is possible to be a grandmother at 40, I think this was a bit of a stretch. Of course this may not have been the reason I didn't get the job. Whilst doing the dance call I may have looked a little, let's say, uncomfortable. I was told the "movement" call would be basic. It was anything but basic. The choreographer used proper dancey terms, some in French, which meant this was not basic. Halfway through I wanted to leave. I thought it was too hard for a girl like me, I have trouble with Agadoo, and my ridiculously expressive face, I believe, showed this fact. As it was I totally nailed the routine when we had to actually do it. I didn't nail it the way a dancer would but I did all the steps in the right order and with as much expression as I could muster but had I put the nail in my own coffin by showing, via my face, that I thought I was not getting it earlier in the session?

The second audition was better and worse in equal measure. This audition was for a tour of a musical and I had to take my best 80s belter and a bit of script. No dancing, phew. So I took my old favourite, Pat Benetar's classic, "Hit Me with Your Best Shot". The first time I sang this I was 14 and a member of the school rock band, Jetlag. It was always my fave and when I stopped auditioning for operas and needed, instead, to sing pop songs at auditions it was a no-brainer that this would come out again. So I told the audition panel what I was going to sing and the musical supervisor asked me who had sung it originally, so I told her. I then took it upon myself to tell them how I had sung it all those years ago with my school rock band, all the while the voice in my head was screaming "SHUT UP AND JUST F**KING SING". I quickly finished my banal story and apologised for foisting upon them something that they had in no way asked for. The good thing about this song is it always works and I love singing it. However, there is always a however at the moment, since I lost my voice at the end of last year I have had a bit of a crisis of confidence in my belt so I decided to take the song down a semitone. Halfway through it struck me that this was a ridiculous thing to have done. The MD, who was playing for me, obviously also thought the same and asked if we could do it a tone higher. OK, I said. We did it again and it was SO much better although it felt higher than a tone. He was pleased but asked me to do it one more time, to make sure it wasn't a fluke I suppose, it wasn't. It was the best I have sung in an audition in a LONG time. However, yes another however, I asked the MD what the top note I had belted actually was as I was sure it was higher. It was a D he said with a cheeky smile, and this is where I should have had control over my uncontrollable mouth, "That's what I thought" I said, "Thank goodness it wasn't an E flat". SHUUUT UUUP. I can belt Fs, for f**ks sake, but those people in that audition room now think D is my limit which, I reckon, went a long way towards me not getting that job either.

There is a fine line between being personable and giving to much information and I have done this in the last two auditions I have had. I have an incessant need to be funny all the time. I am rarely serious so perhaps this is where I am ultimately going wrong. Perhaps I need to show I am professional before showing them I also like to be the class clown.

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