Today, for the third time, I attended the Radio City Christmas Spectacular call for ensemble dancers. Yayy!! Third time’s a charm, right?
The call was listed on the website to start at 2 pm, and while I was originally planning on getting there around 1 pm, it is currently 90 degrees outside in New York, so I showed up a little later. Just in case they made us line up outside like they had in previous years. I arrived around 1:20 pm.
Luckily we got to wait in the air conditioned lobby. I met up with my friend Maria. Take a look at our super high numbers. There were also plenty of dancers after us. I’d set the total count at around 400, at least. But the nice thing about Radio City is that they are super organized with their auditions.
We didn’t have to wait terribly long before being sent in – they also took the first group before 2 pm so we went in around 2:20 I think. I felt pretty confident about this one since I had already done the audition twice before, but of course, I wasn’t sure if they would keep the same combination I’d learned last time.
They didn’t. It was significantly simplified – just two pique arabesques, followed by a double inside turn and a double outside turn. In character heels, of course.
We perform this for the auditors in randomized groups of three. The instructions I held on to from the director included “keep the shoulders back and the arms relaxed in the pique arabesques,” “don’t look so serious,” “keep your focus forward,” and “make sure the turns are in time with the music” (i.e. get around fast in those doubles!).
It’s been a long time since I worked on pirouettes in character heels, but I did them and I don’t think they sucked. I think they were actually pretty darn good. I still got cut, but I gave them a big smile, a ton of energy, took their directions, and landed my turns on time. The only thing I would have done differently is really check that my focus was always to the front in my pirouettes like they asked – one detail to watch out for. I’ll also work on my inside turns in heels.
Both me and Maria got cut. I did my best, which is all I can do really! I saw that they kept about 10 girls from our group, and to be honest, I couldn’t find a pattern or figure out what they might have been looking for specifically. So I’ll just try again next year, and maybe the fourth time will be a charm.
I also wanted to share two audition tactics I’ve been employing lately:
1) Use the Buddy System. Meaning, bring a friend! Not just any friend. Preferably, someone you see in class a lot, and someone who is positive and supportive. Maybe you are the type of person who really needs to focus inward and have some time to yourself before an audition, and in that case, this might not be the best tactic for you. But sometimes having someone else there who you see a lot in class can get you out of that nervous mindset, make you feel like you have an ally in the room with you, and remind you subconsciously of that classroom energy where things are more relaxed.
2) Reward Yourself. Yes, I am suggesting Pavlovian Conditioning. After any audition, no matter the outcome, reward yourself for showing up. Because in all honesty, that is at least half the battle, and you did it! Even if you fell on your face, you still put in the effort to show up and give your best, so you deserve a treat! Literally. Go buy yourself an iced coffee, a cookie, a massage, a rockin’ new top from one of your favorite stores, or maybe just go take a bubble bath at home – whatever floats your boat. Telling your brain that you will get a reward for going will make you more likely to show up next time!
My reward today? Coming home to this ridiculously adorable face:
So, Radio City is done for this year. I’ve got some past auditions to write about and more coming up.
P.S. – Read about my friend Maria’s inspiring journey as a dancer here on her blog!