Cross ‘Audition for a Show’ Off The Bucket List
A while back an ad came up on my Facebook feed asking for people to audition for a spoken-word show about mothers – it’s called Listen to Your Mother. It was going to be in NYC, you had to read your own work, it had to take less than 5 minutes, and you had to be free to rehearse on specific dates.
Now, I do not enjoy speaking in public. My hands get all clammy and I have this irrational fear that people will laugh at me, or think I have nothing important to say. Ridiculous, I know, but there it is.
I have always wanted to overcome this ridiculous fear. It’s one thing to make a speech at my sons’ barmitzvahs, it’s another to speak in front of a theater full of people who don’t know me. On an impulse I decided to ask for an audition slot – I am working on being fearless and forty, after all! The email with time and date came back very quickly. Instructions were included.
I knew instantly which piece I wanted to read. It had to be edited, and brought up to date, but it was the perfect piece. I edited it, printed out a bunch of copies, marked my calendar, and promptly put the audition to the back of my mind.
I went to Israel, came home, became sick with a nasty cold and then remembered. Oh yeah, audition. Gulp. I thought several times about cancelling it. A very good friend of mine was also auditioning, and the thought of us BOTH being chosen and the blast we would have doing this show together, well, that thought kept me going.
I had no time to practice. I had a full day the day before the audition, plus I had a six hour drive round-trip to pick up my boys. So there would be no run through.
I awoke bright and early, and decided that I really did not have the guts to go through with this, the nerves were not worth my peace of mind. I posted to Facebook that I didn’t know what I was thinking, there was no way this was going to go well.
I drove into the city, having an internal debate. What did I have to lose, other than an hour or two of my time and a few bucks for parking? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. They won’t pick me anyway, I told myself, because everyone else will be so much better. Give it my best shot and move on.
Sitting outside the audition room I texted a friend – “I can’t do this, I’m going home”. I stayed.
I auditioned in front of three lovely women. They put me instantly at ease – some light chatting before I read my piece. I had printed up copies for all of them so they could follow along. I did not know my piece off-by-heart, and my heart was hammering so hard in my chest that I was afraid too look up too much from the lectern as I read. But the more I read the more comfortable I became. The panel actually laughed in all the right places – and they were not being paid to do so! One of the panel had been held up, so I was asked to repeat a couple of the paragraphs so they could video me and show it to her when she showed up. I did so – with way more eye contact this time.
I finished, gathered my things, and left. They will give me an answer either way within a week. If they choose me that will be awesome. Seriously. But even if they don’t – I got such a rush out of doing this, such an adrenalin spike – especially as I was convinced I was going to bomb in a major way.
I rocked that audition. I am sure the other auditioners were just as awesome, if not more, but I WAS FABULOUS. That’s good enough for me.
And as for my inner doubting voice – it has been fired, without hope of ever being rehired.
UPDATE 3/3/2013 6.30 pm – I wasn’t chosen. I got the most lovely rejection letter – personal and sweet and it didn’t make me feel like a loser. I am just thrilled that I had this opportunity, and who knows, maybe I’ll audition for something else some time soon.