Earlier this week someone remarked to me that I might not be cast in roles because, “Perhaps you’re trying too hard.” I’ve been pondering this remark for a few days now. Given that any audition is essentially a job interview, is it possible to try too hard? Would one ever say to a jobless individual who hasn’t been receiving invitations to interview for jobs to which they’ve applied—or who hasn’t been receiving job offers despite interviewing—that, “Perhaps you’re trying too hard”? I would think some jobseekers might be offended by such a statement. Would one hire another because s/he has put forth little to no effort in the interview process?
What constitutes “trying too hard”? My knowledge, experience, and education tell me that I should:
• arrive to every audition a few minutes before my scheduled appointment;
• always have at least one current headshot and résumé;
• have any sides memorized or copy rehearsed (yet still in hand);
• make strong choices;
• supply any other material requested;
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Recently, the New York Times published a call for reader experiences in ArtsBeat entitled, What Inspired You to Work in Classical Music? A selection were chosen for inclusion with an essay by Anthony Tommasini, It All Started With a Toy Piano. The inquiry spurred my own thoughts about how I became a musician. Here follows my rumination on the matter.
To me, classical music and inspiration are corollaries. There is no distinct event in my life that inspired music performance as a career choice per se. I am a product of experience.
One of my earliest books was Richard Scarry’s Mein allerschönstes Wörterbuch, which introduced me to German and French at age three while living in a Spanish-speaking city. I had been given recordings of Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34, Prokofiev’s Peter and the … Read more »
It’s no secret I haven’t blogged in six months. They’ve been an educational and defining six months, but therein lies another blog post for another time–or perhaps a novel. During this period, I’ve given considerable thought to the purpose of blogging. My friend, Mo, once remarked that he didn’t think it was prudent for the title of my blog to be “Professional Auditionee“, indicating that such a title could imply to readers that I am not a professional or do not have a career. However, I believe the majority of the public only perceives two paths for those working in the arts: poverty or extraordinary wealth. These are the two stories commonly repeated in news media and pseudo-news media, and few realize there is a large portion of those working in artistic fields that exist between these two dichotomous perspectives. We haven’t got roles in weekly TV series (yet) or large roles in feature films paying hefty residuals (yet) or spokesperson roles for major advertisers (yet) or roles in long-running Broadway … Read more »
One week ago I took a chance–a risk–one I might not recommend to everyone. I was called, you see, about ten days ago to audition for a highly-regarded theatre company. That phone call made my day wonderful because I had submitted my materials and a polite note with no expectation of being invited to audition. Perhaps the first lesson of this tale (and of many others) is: bar any sense of expectation one may have as it relates to anything. Then, one may be continually surprised.
Reflecting on the requirements of the audition, I felt I had two worthwhile monologues to present, but not a good third–an appropriate dramatic Shakespearean monologue. So, with 36 hours to go I set to work identifying, committing to, cultivating, and memorizing one that was suitable to the occasion. Is this nuts? Yes. Would I recommend such a challenge to anyone? No. Why did I do it? Because (1) I figured it was likely this group would want to hear a Shakespearean selection, and (2) I really love Shakespeare’s … Read more »