It’s Columbus Day and I have the day off of work. What am I going to do? Audition, duh!
I was invited to the :pushing progress contemporary dance company audition. It’s at 10 am and walking distance from my apartment. I’m excited about that an I’m also excited to NOT have to do ballet (You all know I love ballet. Just not today).
When I get there I’m wondering what is going on with my self-perception because at the Eglevsky ballet audition I felt short and kind of fat, and at this one I felt almost tall and wiry compared to the muscular powerhouses that are contemporary dancers. I can’t win.
I am #14 and I’m in the first group. I need to work on this not getting too low a number thing. I was one of those girls in school who always had to be first in line and take over the entire group science project to be sure we’d get an A, so this will take practice for me.
All the auditors are really sweet and wonderful, especially the Artistic Director. There are about 30 of us in the first group. The AD and one of the company members teaches the combination. After yesterday’s ballet audition, I’m clearly not in Kansas anymore.
As always with a new combination when I first start learning it I think to myself “how the f&%k am I ever going to get this?!” and then I somehow I magically do… usually. I felt really good about the combination. I take a disproportionate amount of ballet classes compared to contemporary classes so I was worried, but I definitely got the whole combination and I was comfortable with it. I even liked it. Even though there were no counts whatsoever.
Unlike Eglevsky, I could actually focus on performing the piece and adding my own nuances. I did my best at this, but of course I can’t jump out of my body and see myself or read the auditor’s minds as to what they want. They asked two girls in my group to repeat the combination again, so at this point I know I’m not in the running anymore. I noticed they were more of that muscular, powerhouse type.
The audition studio, I also have to say, was a veritable sauna. It was the Bikram Pushing Progress Contemporary Audition. The mirrors were fogged and several dancers slipped on their own sweat doing the combination. I think I could have filled my water bottle with my own perspiration. No joke.
Thank god I was not in group 2. Otherwise I would have had to deal with the mess group 1 left behind.
Of course I was cut. I have no idea why, but it would probably be helpful for me to figure that out. But I did go shake hands with the director and thank him before I left the room and he did look at me and say “lovely work” and he meant it. That must count for something right?
With that goes another trick I learned. This is probably really obvious to everyone but me, but ALWAYS thank your auditors on your way out. If it’s a huge call you might not be able to, but they are paying good money to rent a studio so that they can pick out the people they need from the hundreds who show up, which is not any easier a job than it is for you to go in and give a good audition. Be sure to acknowledge that and thank them for seeing you.
I had a rough day after this one, especially followed by Eglevsky. I was hoping I would do better at the non-ballet audition. But I got cut early, too. It doesn’t bother me so much personally as much as I just want to figure out when I go in what the basic substance is that people are looking for in dancers. I can’t help the things that are out of my control, such as blonde, 5’3″, etc. That you either want or you don’t, but I DO want to know how to get better as a dancer.
I was feeling so down on myself I was ready to give up, honestly. But, a good friend got in my face and said, and I quote, “you’re only on audition 13, if you give up now I will bitch slap you in your sleep!”
I definitely don’t want to incur her wrath. She’s pretty hardcore.
I also realized haven’t had any auditions yet that I really, truly, do NOT care about, so those are coming up this weekend. I finally found a few auditions for really stupid non-paying gigs that I couldn’t at all possibly care less about, so maybe these will be good practice. Until then, I’m back to class and nursing this odd strain in my hip.