“Simon would not want to audition in front of Simon.” (Paula Abdul)
Have you ever looked at your life and wondered how you got there? That happened to me the other day. I call it, “The Audition.” Get ready.
I confess I never imagined “audition” and “Andrea” would be mentioned in the same sentence, much less in connection with my life, unexpected or otherwise. But sometimes in life, you get things you never expected! (Wise words, where have I read them before…Oh, yes, in the “About Me” section of this blog.)
One night my husband was talking to me about a theater opportunity he was going to audition for. He made the mistake of mentioning how much the job paid and without thinking (because I’m always trying to figure out ways to enhance my income–still short every month, three years later, darn it) I said, “Really? Maybe I should audition!”
Did I REALLY just say that?
It came out of my mouth on a whim, as a joke or a warped version of wishful thinking in the way you dream of being the recipient of a little extra money…but before I knew it, my husband was off and running with the idea. He began planning: talked to me all about it, told me what to expect, said he’d help me work up a song to audition with, and when his married son dropped by, he started telling “everyone” (his children and my children and that always leads to information shared to many others:) what I was up to. Sort of a problem for me.
First, I hadn’t figured out how I was going to tell my kids that I was considering attempting something crazy. Second, I was still thinking I was in the “considering it” phase, not actually “planning to do it.” Third, believe it or not and contrary to what this blog may imply, I like to do things without having everyone know about it unless I choose to put it out there, like in this blog, and I always put it out there after the fact—after I’ve experienced it, processed it, mentally recovered from it and made sure enough time has passed I’m not imposing on anyone’s privacy. And fourth, in remarriage with children those opportunities for total privacy are few and far between. It feels like other parties always have to be notified of something we’re planning and thus, know my business almost as quickly as I do, so I relish the few things not connected to parenting/children that my husband and I can do without informing or involving anyone else…and then he told the kids right off the bat! (I know, I know, I’m hypersensitive where boundaries are concerned. I’m pretty sure it’s just an issue I have, but it has been a challenge because our two different families with two different cultures, which includes completely different ideas about boundaries, expectations and everything else, don’t always align. What’s normal to one family and the way they’ve always done it, doesn’t necessarily mesh with my expectations or isn’t how my family has always done it…you get the picture. Lets just say marriage, and especially remarriage, is a continual lesson in compromise, among many other things, is it not?)
Over the next few days, my husband continued to talk about the audition like it was a reality and I was really going to do it, left potential audition songs for me on the piano, and finally, the night before the audition, sat me down at the piano, had me sing a few songs, and selected one for me to master. Which led to an impromptu singing lesson because as he gave me vocal direction I could only look at him with a blank face. “Huh?” I frequently questioned. “What does that mean?” He’d demonstrate, we’d work on it and after quite a bit of time, he told me we were ready to leave it and he made a plan for us to go to the audition the next morning together.
As I stood in my living room, singing a solo in front of my husband and trying to sing in a more classical style (a huge challenge for me, lets just say I was Madonna on a cruise ship for a reason!), I had a hard time not laughing. I just kept thinking, “What in the heck am I doing? How did I get myself into this? This is NOT me. Didn’t I say I was never going to sing in public? I never would have imagined, on our first date, that someday my husband would be giving me a singing lesson…preparatory to an AUDITION!” Yet there I stood, preparing to do that very thing on the morrow.
And then wouldn’t you know it, after all of that time, work, effort and near humiliation I finally thought to check my calendar…and discovered I have a big work event scheduled the same weekend the show opens. Even if I were good enough (by some fluke) to make the show on the very first audition of my life, they’d never cast me if I were going to miss opening weekend performances!
I didn’t audition after all.
Saved by a scheduling conflict.
“A lot affects the outcome. It boils down to scheduling and the commitment of the network.” (David Ogden Stiers)
And that is the story of my first audition. Or the audition that actually didn’t happen. Whew—close call on that one!