Reflections

Do the Things That Scare You

I sit on the couch in the audition green room, silently gripping my music book. The other two auditioners nonchalantly browse their phones, as we wait for the auditors to return from their break. I try to calm myself, but familiar thoughts start flooding my mind:

“Why did you sign up for a singing audition? You should have just done two monologues — your acting is much stronger.”

“It doesn’t matter how much you’ve practiced. You’re going to get nervous and screw up like you normally do.”

“I bet those other auditioners are much stronger singers than you.”

A little background — I got my start on the stage doing musical theater. I did it throughout high school and a little in college. And when I moved to the Bay Area and decided to get back into theater, I did musicals.

My very first play in the Bay Area – Oklahoma! Jud, Laurey, & Curly

But I almost always get nervous during singing auditions. I suddenly lose my confidence, drop all my support and slip into bad singing habits. I also get so preoccupied with how I sound that I forget to actually act during my audition song.

I would consider myself a decent singer, but not amazing. And I am definitely a much better actor. So, quite a few years ago, I made a conscious decision to shift my focus to straight plays.

I will always love musicals. And I do enjoy being in them. I love singing. I just hate singing auditions.

But one of my big rules during this sabbatical is to do the things that scare me. If there’s a choice between the familiar, something I’m comfortable with vs. something new and a little scary, I am determined to pursue the latter. Because if I don’t, there will always be that nagging thought in the back of my head: “What if?”

So, whether it’s producing a podcast even though I had no experience or taking interior design classes after being out of school for over a decade, I want to embrace it all.

And the little mantra that helps get me through it: It doesn’t matter how well you do it. The accomplishment is in doing it.

So, as I sat on that couch, doubts and fears bombarding me, I took a breath and just reminded myself that I will succeed as long as I go in there and just do it.

And that’s what I did. It wasn’t perfect. I definitely sang it differently than I had practiced. I didn’t have the proper breath support for some of the notes. And I could have acted a little bit more. I don’t anticipate being called back for their musicals. But it was also the most relaxed I’ve been for a singing audition in a very long time.

And when I left that audition and hopped into my car to head home, I couldn’t help but crack a huge smile. Because I had done it.

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