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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Country Mouse in New York, Vol. II: The Audition - Oh, Right, That Was The Actual Reason I Went

This, of course, was the reason I went to NYC, so here goes.  I was auditioning for an opera coach training program at a prestigious summer festival.  I turned in paperwork, signed up for the waitlist, and about a month before the audition, got a slot.  I got the address, verified it on Googlemaps, found reviews of it online, and was ALL SET YO.

(Now, I did something kind of stupid here, so at the risk of tarnishing my image of perfection, I choose to lay my mistake open in hopes it will benefit future generations.  I’m sullying myself for you, my children.  You’re welcome.)

Normally, I have a strict preparation policy:  when I have an audition, performance, interview, meeting, etc., I scope out the area first.  I prefer going the day before, but sometimes it’s just hours before.  Anyway, I pre-trace the route I will take from wherever I will be coming from, just in case something weird happens or there’s something I need to take note of.  It helps in new situations; I did it at grad school auditions.  I should have done it here.  But here was my reasoning:  my hotel was only three streets over, it would be a ten/fifteen minute walk, and on Googlemaps, it looked perfectly simple.

It was only when I showed up to the spot that I discovered:  nothing.  No studio.  No sign.  250 W 54th was there, but it was definitely not Nola Studios.  Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

I was twenty minutes early, so I bolted back to my hotel to double-check the address – it was the same – and bolted back (not sure what to do).  There was a gym at 246, so in a desperate last-ditch attempt to save my audition (for which I was already a minute late now), I poked my head in and asked.  Thank God the guy at the counter was able to help.  Dear guy at counter:  if I’m ever back in Manhattan and I find you, your next beer is on me. 

For anyone who’s curious, Nola Rehearsal Studios is NOT at 250 W 54th.  It is at 244.    Learn from my panic.

So I managed to get there.  Since musicians are absolutely incapable or running anything on time – don’t even fight me on this, because I am right, and I will CUT YOU like Bon Qui Qui – I was actually about two minutes early.  They had already given my slot to someone else, so I agreed to keep hers, since it gave me a chance to calm down, catch my breath and put on my high heels. 

The audition itself was pretty basic.  I was the only person there auditioning for coaching.  I went in with the three excerpts they had asked for; sang one and just played the other two.  I did okay; I was still a little rattled, but I played fine, stayed with the conductor, and was smart enough to start with the Boheme excerpt, my strongest, which I sang well.  It went fine.  I could tell the auditioners were tired, since it was the end of a long day, but they were very nice and I walked out with the calm of I think that went well

The moral of the story:  double-check things in person.  Shockingly, sometimes the Internet gets things wrong.

Dear Googlemaps, Nola Rehearsal Studios and the [name of] Opera Theater Center Department:  Fuck you all for almost ruining my audition by making it NOT WHERE YOU ALL SAID IT WAS.

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