No rest for the weary, here, folks!
(Just kidding… not weary!)
Auditions for Wild Swans, our summer ballet, were last Friday.
I had all these grand plans of leaving work a smidge early, getting home with time to wash my face and redo my makeup, bun up my hair neatly, do some stretching and some foot exercises, arrive to the studio with plenty of time to register and pay my audition fee, pin on my number and warm up.
It was raining. Which meant that I was only able to accomplish step one of my grand plan. Then it all went to heck.
What does rain have to do with it?
Well, in the greater Boston metro area, rain means, “Hey, everyone, let’s slam on our brakes on the highway and panic!” (Granted this is also an issue on sunny days… however, I’ve been passed at high rates of speed while fishtailing down the interstate in a blizzard… so there you go).
As my commuter bus creeped ever slowly away from the city… for over two hours… with a rather chatty, screechy toddler who is apparently the only child in the world who does not zonk out in a moving vehicle sitting in the seat in front of me… I tried not to panic. I tried to nap (Screechy McChitchat was a willful adversary in that attempt). I practiced deep breathing and NOT looking at my phone/watch to see the time. I got to the bus station with only 40 minutes to spare to run home, put on my dance stuff, and run back out to the dance studio, checkbook in hand. I arrived with a mere 2 minutes to spare.
Quickly threw on my pointe shoes (no time for tape!), pinned on my number, and filled out my audition sheet. I was the last person into the audition studio (though thankfully there was one other person who arrived at the same time I did, so I wasn’t alone in my tardiness!).
As if being late wasn’t enough to make me stand out… everyone, save one other girl, was wearing a black leo. I guess I didn’t get the memo. I had picked what I felt to be my most flattering, prettiest leotard, which happens to be a bright raspberry color. The Sesame Street “One of these things is not like the others” song suddenly popped into my head. Sigh.
We lined up by numerical order and were given our first combination.
Although my pre-audition plans went all to pot, I admit there are some advantages to being late. For one thing… my number was the very last number in the pile, so I was at the end of the line meaning I got to watch and mentally go through the combination before it was my turn to perform it (preferable to the time I was #1!). Also… I had zero time to freak out before the audition. It was still nerve-wracking, of course, but I was probably the calmest I’ve ever felt simply because I didn’t have time to overthink it beforehand.
As for how it went. First combination… not too bad. Second… um, when the director got to the part of the combination that went “pirouette, and fouetté turn, fouetté turn, fouetté turn, pas de bourrée” I inwardly snickered to myself, “Yeah, like THAT’s going to happen!” I mean, it did happen for a fair number of the kids for whom fouetté turns are a regular part of their repertoire. I haven’t tried to bust one of those out en pointe in a couple decades… i.e., long before those kids were even born. While I have dreams of one day being able to do them before I hang up my pointe shoes for good, that wasn’t the day to start trying. So I demi-pointed them… poorly. Meh. Third combo was okay. I felt like I could finally put a bit of artistry and epaulment in there.
And then… oh then… came the “improvisational acting” part. Eeeeeeeeekkkkk!!! Step one: act happy. Step two: be sad. Step three: be an angry gypsy. They actually had us turn to face the wall while we waited so that no one would be embarrassed. And we went through in singles instead of pairs. I kind of wished we had done it with an audience and with a buddy. I find it hard to pull random emotion out without having something to feed off of. But hey, I did it.
Then we got our Tootsie Pops (which I later realized I can’t even eat because of the current orthodontic contraption in my mouth… rats!!! It was a chocolate-flavored one, too!) and went on our way.
I didn’t feel great about it, but not terrible, either. Whatever will be will be and quite honestly I was mostly pleased with myself for doing my first audition in over a year with relative calm.
When I got to class the next morning one of my fellow adults who had auditioned before me in the non-pointe audition commented to me that she heard I’d had a good audition.
Yes, and I’m next in line to be the Queen of Sheba, too!
The director and one of the other adjudicators happened to be in the room and overheard this and said, “Yes, you did have a good audition.”
Hm… well, okay then. Even though their account doesn’t jibe with mine, I’ll take the compliment.
Casting hasn’t been posted yet as the parts and costumes are still being sorted out. I don’t even know what parts are available, so there’s nothing that I can say I’m hoping for. But whatever I end up with, I’m looking forward to it!