Tuesday 20 December 2016

Fight or flight?...given the choice it would always be flight.

So, at 3.50 on Thursday not so long ago I was supposed to have the second part of, what should have been, a two part audition. At 11.15 there was a movement call and for reasons, partly, beyond my control I was late. By late, I mean a matter of minutes. Maybe 7. Going back a few steps I should probably furnish you with reasons for my tardiness.

There were the usual train troubles but I thought I had allowed for that. Although, had the trains been on time and had the first train that turned up not been a useless 4 car type that, approximately, 841 people were trying to cram themselves onto (I didn't even try, there was an 8 car train due 2 minutes later) I would have got into London around 10.15 and had plenty of time to get to the famous dance studios named after an exotic fruit. As it was, I disembarked at 10.35. On almost any other day this still would have been enough time to get there. Unfortunately, I made the catastrophic decision to get a bus and by 10.50 I was only at Westminster Abbey. At this point disaster struck and the traffic came to a standstill. I think they were opening the Field of Remembrance outside the Abbey and, although it was the 10th of November not the 11th, 2 minutes silence was to be observed at 11am. I had not factored this into my journey, it had not even occurred to me.

I decided to get off the bus. I know I will walk/run, I thought, I still could make it. The next important, nay, embarrassing thing to note at this juncture is that, because I had 4 pairs of footwear with me (including the ones I was wearing) I had decided to be one of those people that rock up to auditions with a little case on wheels. So there I was, pulling my case past the throngs of people gathered outside the Abbey, as the chimes of Big Ben rang out to mark 11am. Everything went silent, everything except the sound of my little case thundering through the ether as I dragged it over some cobblestones. I had decided to keep walking, thinking solemn thoughts to make up for the horrendous, disrespectful sound coming from my suitcase. In the end I picked up my little case and said a silent apology to the fallen and promised to do 4 minutes silence the following morning to make up for it. I really meant no disrespect, I was just horrendously flustered.

Incredibly, I walked through the dance studios doors at 11.20. A very tall, beautiful girl was in front of me and was sent to the same studio as me, which I thought a little odd but not unthinkable. However, I followed her and she joined a small group of equally tall, leggy, beautiful girls waiting outside the studio. One of the waiting girls said to the girl I was following (not in a stalkery way) that we were to wait outside until called so I thought a) that's not what I had expected and b) ooh good I can nip in the changing rooms and sort myself out. By the time I re-emerged it was 11.22. Something was not right about the whole situation so I plucked up the courage to ask one of the tall, leggy beautiful girls what they were auditioning for. Turns out they were there for a shoe commercial. "Thank goodness" I said to the tall, leggy beautiful girl, " I didn't think I would ever be auditioning for the same thing as you beautiful lot". "No" she replied, with a chuckle. Alright love, don't rub it in.

Turns out my audition was in the studio next door to the shoe commercial so I crept in only to be presented with a whole new set of tall, leggy, beautiful girls who all seemed to know the majority of the dance combination we were there to learn. My eyes also met the eyes of the choreographer who, quite rightly, looked annoyed that I had walked in late. I watched the girls going through their paces for about 30 seconds and thought, "Fight or Flight?"

Well, for the first time in my career, not in life, I chose flight. I could not catch up with these beautiful dancer types, the choreographer already loathed me and I would just have been in the way. Under the circumstances I think, although many people I have told the tale to disagree and think I was crazy to leave, I made the right choice for me. I am not a bad mover but I am not a dancer. My flustered, singer's brain would not have allowed me to take the information in (especially at my age). Catching up just would not have been possible even though I was only 7 or 8 minutes late.

All was not lost, however. Following a very sheepish, apologetic phone call to my agent it transpired that the casting people still wanted to see me in the afternoon to sing. I did not get the job, funnily enough, but at least I made up, in a small way, for all that had happened that morning. It also meant I got to wear one of the pairs of shoes that had meant I had to degrade myself dragging that silly wheelie case around London Town.

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