what I learned at my last audition

Dear Self,

If you think it’s a good idea to audition for a show with a song chosen specifically from that show even if it’s out of your comfortable vocal range, IT IS NOT. YOU ARE WRONG.

love,
j

Last week, I had an audition – and I did end up getting cast in the ensemble, but I need to realize that I’m never going to be a mezzo-soprano without a lot of work. (At least, not a low-leaning mezzo-soprano.)

Unfortunately, I also got in a car accident last week so I won’t get to do the show. Nor will I be going to any singing lessons in the forseeable future. Nor will I be going to any other auditions for a while.

I need to figure out some projects to keep my performing mind busy while I’m trapped at home! I do have a couple of monologues to memorize. That’s something, at least?

I’m puttin’ on my shades to cover up my eyes.

today I worked on
Poor Wand’ring One
(I’m not fond of the weird modern orchestrations or her doo-wop sisters, but she is amazing.)

Today I had my first singing lesson in quite a while!

I missed it an awful lot. I wish I could say I took this opportunity with both hands and did some really great work today but that would be a lie. (Will I ever think I did a good job? Stay tuned to find out!)

I don’t know if it was because I’d been away from it for a bit, or what, but I went right back to my old way of “visually critiquing” myself and pulling notes down in a wobbly fashion. It’s somehow a combination of not thinking about it enough (or not thinking about the right things?) and thinking about it too much. It’s about striking a balance of thinking about the right things but not thinking about them too hard and not thinking about them in an uber-critical way.

And no, I didn’t get called back for that show, though I wasn’t really expecting to. But what it was, was more audition experience, which is never a bad thing. I sang two new pieces and now feel comfortable with them as 16-bar audition pieces. In other news, I heard back from the casting director I sent my headshot and resume to, so hopefully that audition will be scheduled soon! (I don’t think that from here on in I’ll blog about specific auditions just because I’m sure it will get repetitive.)

In other-other news, PC sent me the rough cuts of the version of “Ridin’ Solo” that L and I recorded with him (along with the incredibly hilarous ~*soulful piano version*~ (and no, the asterisks and tildes are not optional) with bonus reggae and Latin versions). Listening to that and also the rough cut of Vienna Teng’s “Antebellum” that he and I worked on just makes me want to get in and do it better, which is a much better attitude to have. (My previous reaction to listening to myself sing on a recording has been somewhere between “shut it off shut it off” and “kill it with fire”.) He’s already said that he’s open to having us come back to record (or just me, for that matter).

L and I have also started to think about recording other pop/r&b songs in different musical styles together, because a) it is fun and b) PC will let us and c) we always wanted to have a band. Sadly I know next-to-nothing about current pop music, so L will have to be the one finding ridiculous songs for us to cover – unless someone out there on the internet has ideas?

>16 bars of an uptempo, 16 bars of a ballad.

>

I had another audition today! I have yet to find out if it went well or not. I mean, I was there and everything, but I haven’t gotten word about callbacks one way or the other yet.

My (least) favorite part of the audition process is that they always want to hear 16 bars of an uptempo and 16 bars of a ballad in the style of [show you are auditioning for] but not from [show you are auditioning for]. I always feel as though I’ll lose points for picking something that isn’t quite in the style that they’re looking for! Like, “you can’t even recognize musical styles! clearly you are not cut out for this!”

I guess part of my problem is that I don’t have a huge repertoire at the moment. That’s part of what I want to work on with MP – having an uptempo song and a ballad for any such occasion. Legit musicals, Sondheim shows, Gilbert & Sullivan, pop-rock musicals… Although, if I may be frank, I don’t have a voice that’s suited to pop-rock musicals. (Which is what I auditioned for today!)

In any case, the audition seemed to go well. I had to psych myself up a little bit as I waited outside and listened to ten thousand girls belting as high as they can. ;) It was just singing the two pieces and then we’ll call you tomorrow if we want you to come back tomorrow, so I guess I will wait and see!

>courtesy is a lady’s armor.

>So yesterday, I had to set up a packet consisting of a headshot, resume and cover letter to send to a casting director to get an audition. I used a giant (seriously) padded mailer and my Mum told me to put a piece of cardboard in it and write DO NOT BEND on it so that my materials didn’t get wrecked in the mail.

I hesitated before I could write “DO NOT BEND” on my mailer. All I could think was that I would be inconveniencing some postal worker and that it didn’t really matter if it got bent in the mail, did it? I didn’t want them to think I was some demanding jerk, wanting my mail to be treated differently.

And then I stopped myself and thought “really, j? Really? This is supposed to be what you want to do with your life. This is an audition you really, really want to get. You seriously think people will think you’re a jerk for writing ‘DO NOT BEND’ on something? And even if they do, isn’t getting your information to that casting director more important? Why bother sending it if you clearly don’t have any pride or confidence in yourself?”

And then I thought to myself, “Self, you are correct.” And I took a red marker and wrote on my mailer:

PLEASE DO NOT BEND

Because I am nothing if not polite.

>dramatis personae

>

When I started writing here to record my impressions and my progress in trying to become a working actress, I just sort of jumped in with two feet. Which is, frankly, unlike me – especially in regards to projects of the writing or journaling sort. I’m the type that likes to have everything laid out neatly beforehand; a theme, a layout, tags, code names (yes, code names!) and ideas about what to write. And an introduction post, which I will belatedly start now!

dramatis personae
j, the acting ingénue – me! the tentatively-aspiring actress that writes this blog. (As an aside, I’ve thought to go by bluejay on this blog because it was a childhood nickname, blue is my favorite color, and I probably sound most like a bluejay when I sing (screechy).) (As another aside, I love parentheses.)

I live in Northern Massachusetts, as I have all my life, and I am definitely a Northern girl. ♥ Aside from singing and acting and performing, I am an avid bibliophile & love to read just about everything. I love to write – fiction as well as journaling of all kinds. I also enjoy drawing, photography, all things French, libraries and bookstores, beauty blogs ♥! (and yes, makeup and fashion!), and lots of other things that aren’t pertinent to this blog. :D

MP – My singing teacher, who is tiny and British and adorable and sings like Julie Andrews. The MP stands for Mary Poppins, for the aforementioned reasons and also because I think she is secretly magical.

PC – My musical genius ex-boyfriend (and now good-friend). PC stands for Prince Charming, since he has always compared me to Disney Princesses, both jokingly and not-so-jokingly.

D – My BFF and platonic soulmate. (Here is her awesome blog!) D is the first letter of her first name. I wanted to call her SO for Scarlett O’Hara, but since SO usually stands for Significant Other people might get confused. (D&D refers to D and her fiancé, whose name also begins with D. This is very original of me, I know!)

L – One of my closest friends. L is both the first letter of her first name and the first letter of “Ladybug,” my nickname for her. She is my hipster friend and Boston friend who I get to see when I have auditions in the city. She also plays the ukulele!

Regarding people that I’m in shows with, for the most part I will call them by their character’s name simply because I don’t go around disclosing that I’m writing about them on the internet. I try not to get too personal, but for someone that compares herself to others too much, other people tend to come up. (Is that redundant?)

Hopefully this is a bit helpful and makes my posts a bit more decipherable! Now if I can figure out how to make this a sticky post…