How to accept defeat
About two weeks ago, I boarded a plane at 6:20 AM in Cleveland, landed in Atlanta two hours later, only to find out my next flight wasn’t leaving for another three hours, and that it wasn’t even going to my destination directly once we departed. I then took the plane to Raleigh, North Carolina, where I was able to remain seated on the plane, which meant I got to take the emergency row seating (which was probably the only good thing I experienced the whole morning, considering I was also sick), and then proceeded to Tampa, my hometown.
It was a well deserved trip; I’d been in Cleveland for about six weeks, studying hard, playing hard, and it’d been a while since I’d seen my family and close family friends back in Florida. While it was nice to catch up and see my “people” again, my trip had another, and easily more stressful purpose to it; I had an audition with an orchestra that I respect and love immensely ever since I was young and decided to pursue music professionally, so this was important to me, to say the least.
The spot that was opening up was for a tenured principal position, a position many musicians would kill to have. I’d personally been waiting for this position to open up for several years, knowing the individual who previously sat in this chair was going to be moving on towards bigger and better things. Well, it was finally happening; I walked into one of the buildings where the orchestra rehearses, signed in, got my initial check deposit back, and proceeded to my green room to warm up and practice in. The room was nice; two bathrooms, a mirror with display bulbs, a couch, and a few chairs.
The committee was running a little behind, so that meant I got a little more time to warm up than I thought, which was nice. While the room was comfortable, I was able to hear at least three other bassoonists playing the same material I was in preparation for the opening round. about 45 minutes pass until I walk out on stage for my audition. As I walk out onto the stage that I practically grew up in, I realize that now is more important than anything I’ve done that entire morning. I sit down, get comfortable, make sure all of my excerpts are in the correct order, and begin. Before I knew it, my audition didn’t even feel like five minutes had passed. I walked off stage, and felt great about what I had presented to the committee. I went back to my green room, packed up, and walked to the leisure room where the other candidates were waiting for their results.
Unfortunately, no one in that hour had advanced into the next round, which was my biggest goal for the afternoon. I walked out of the same door I entered in when the results were announced, but I wasn’t disappointed whatsoever. What I proved in my audition was that I was convincing enough to get through all of the excerpts in the first round, which to me was a huge chunk of progress. The last audition I took was more than a year and a half ago, and I only played them about four excerpts before being excused, which wasn’t exactly a great feeling. But with this, I was able to walk away saying “I didn’t over-prepare or under-prepare, and I feel good.”
Now this isn’t to say that I have no work to do; trust me, I do! Always. But I really enjoyed the fact that I was able to say that I felt great about my audition and how I sounded and prepped myself. As one of my old teachers said, “It’s not music; it’s war.”
As far as auditions go, I’ll take them if I feel ready for them. However, I’m in Cleveland to be in Cleveland, and I really enjoy it. I’m not going to stress myself out if I don’t advance in my auditions for right now. I need more experience under my belt first, which is what CIM’s for.
Thank you for reading my story on my audition. I hope that somehow it can make a positive effect on your auditions and your outcome of your auditions.