Friday, April 14, 2006

some thoughts on auditions and competition...

Seattle has been a great place to start out as a singer. There are, for the size of the town, many opportunities for young singers here, and I’ve been able to work more steadily than many of my friends from graduate school who have multiple degrees in voice. Granted, many (not all, but many) of these gigs pay little or nothing, but it’s been a good place to build up my resume a little, especially given that I was starting with nothing, having earned two degrees in piano performance.

One of the problems, and blessings, about living in a city with a relatively small singing community is that we all know each other. We’re all in the same small pond auditioning for the same roles, and we all know the people who are getting them or not getting them. Being in direct competition with friends and other people who I know and like (both musically and personally) is not easy. It’s not easy when a friend gets offered a role that I really wanted. I know that it’s just part of the business. In fact, a big part of starting off in this business for me has been learning to forget an audition right after I do it. I have no illusions that I will be offered every role or concert I audition for, or even one out of every two or three. The most important things for me right now are to keep growing as a musician and actress, to keep auditioning, and to trust that I’m on the right path. I’m getting better at that. I’m pretty sure it’s something I’ll always work on.

In the past couple of days I’ve run in to a slightly different difficulty. Getting offered the role means that other people (who really wanted it, too) didn’t get the offer. I like to get along with people. It bothers me when I feel like I can’t, whether or not it’s in my control. I don’t like feeling like, by my success, someone else has been hurt.

It’s all part of learning to be a good colleague, I guess. I hope that I can be happy for people’s successes, and not view them as my failures, because they really aren’t, when I step back and look at the big picture. And when I do get the gigs, I hope to do the work to the best of my ability, and to know and accept that competition is just part of what we do. It’s part of the business, but not part of the music and art that we create, which is why I’m on this path in the first place.

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