29 October, 2009

the lesson

Yes, it's time to write about the quest for perfection and pleasing...
Which is mainly what this business is about.
Getting people to like you--and hire you--for one reason or another. Usually mostly having to do with your voice, plus the sometimes elements of looks, acting, connections, and what the audition panel had for lunch that day.

So- according to some feedback, yesterday was not one of my best days.
That makes one audition out of..however many...but it still annoys me.

Should I be happy it wasn't a live performance for an audience?
Should I still be annoyed that I spent a rather large sum to come and even DO this audition and couldn't bring my best?
Should I think about the fact that even though the feedback wasn't great, I am still being considered for one of the roles that I was requested to sing an aria from yesterday?
Should I try to figure out what was wrong (well, without a recording, and just based on my own personal feelings about the singing?

Yes. I felt not the greatest from the first note I sang. I started singing it, and then it came blasting back in my face, distorting whatever tone I originally had in my ear (cadenza..have to stay on pitch..that did not happen)..and pretty much disorienting me for the rest of the introduction.
But then the aria begins.
So I get over it, start to sing the words and just think about the story and the language instead of vibrations coming back at me. I probably gave up on some phrases support-wise at the end which contributed more to the problem even though I was trying to ease up to make sure everything was still in order. I probably second guessed myself which made things sound tentative...I can't say I thought there was any problem with the coloratura sections at all...but then again...I couldn't hear well so maybe there was.
For the second piece I didn't hear anything, really..so who knows what was on or off. All I know is that to me it seemed like the F's that needed to be there were there, as were the arpeggios leading up to them. But again, since I have no recording I don't know.
And do I WANT a recording to hear something that as of right now--I feel like I couldn't control or have done better under the circumstances?
No. of course I can't blame a "room". I have sung in horrible horrible acoustics before and been just fine.
What should I 'blame' then? Nothing.
It's my job to do the best possible job at performances and auditions. But it is a reality that I may not be able to do that every single time. Since I'm not a wooden instrument with 4 strings and a bow, and since I'm a human whose physical surroundings influence the production of my 'instrument'.

So I can only say that yesterday I didn't perform as well at my job as I would have liked--or, as those who attended and offered feedback would have liked.

It's not the greatest feeling in the world. It's also not the worst.
I didn't know it before when I was warming up. It's not like I was sick and should have cancelled. Things felt fine warming up at 2 and getting ready for the day earlier.

What's the lesson?
No one is perfect, but we all strive for perfection on stage and in our careers. Things are so pressured all the time---from just beginning- Get into a conservatory, get an MM, get a scholarship, get a yap, get an agent, get a job, keep the agent, keep the job, get ..."famous"...get momentum, KEEP working...
that we forget that our entire job is to bring the childlike wonder of the voice and the story...to an appreciative audience.

It's easy to start feeling the pressure after a day like yesterday, but instead I'm going to leave it for what it was...and move on toward bigger and better and much more exciting things that will be happening about three weeks from now...and my next three operas, and my last 2 European performances, and the next European auditions...and everything good and exciting that is coming up in the next weeks, months and years.

Not forgetting that I can always do better and should do better and maybe should have done better...but needing to leave a sub-par day behind and just look ahead to other things.

1 comment:

cantante-lirica said...

Thank you for this. I've been stressing out about an audition I have tomorrow. But the reality is, I will go in, do the best I can, and leave it behind me, going on to the next thing. Thanks for the reminder!