Dear Diary: Audition nerves

I hate auditions. I know most people probably aren’t fond of them, but I really hate them. My legs shake, I feel sick, my throat seizes up, my heart pounds so hard I think I’m having a heart attack. It’s not pretty.

Last night, I auditioned for my local amateur operatic society’s production of Oklahoma. I’ve been performing with them on and off for nearly 10 years now and so far I’ve never been given a principal role.  Maybe this time was my chance?

Every year I audition, every year I miss out and every year I swear I’m never doing it again. I must be masochist.  Still, I turned up, script in hand and heart in throat.  I honestly think I’d prefer to have a tooth pulled.

The problem is, although I’m fairly certain I could play the role if given chance, I’m also pretty certain that I don’t come across at my best in auditions.  All of the aforementioned symptoms don’t exactly help with giving a confident performance.  It’s very hard to control a note while your legs are shaking and you’re running out of oxygen.

I always try to make sure that  I’m thoroughly prepared. ( I’ve know these songs since I was 15) It just never really seems to make a difference. The moment I walk into the room I become a gibbering, trembling wreck.

It gets quite soul-destroying after a while.  The daft thing is I don’t even get this nervous in actual performances.  I’ve been on stage in front of 200-300 people and barely had a flutter, yet put me in a room which 6 people behind a table and I cease being a functioning human being!  It’s ridiculous.

This year I tried to take a slightly different approach. I told myself that this was probably the only opportunity I’d ever get to perform these songs in front of an audience (albeit it very small one). So I wanted to enjoy it.  Just be myself and give the performance I’d always wanted to.

Sadly, that’s very easy to say but not so easy to do.  I walked in, trying to appear confident but the cracks began to show.  I do think I managed to put a lot of character into the songs, but the singing was hit and miss.  I walked out feeling a little deflated.

On the flip side, I absolutely loved the dialogue reading.  It’s always my favourite part as I’m pretty good at it (I think) and I love getting the chance to play off against other people.  I could have quite happily kept reading all night and I was a little gutted that we skipped some of my favourite parts!

As it is, there’s nothing to do now but set and wait for the cast list to be revealed.  As you can probably tell, my expectations are pretty low but maybe that’s for the best.  I try to convince myself I won’t get a part so I’m not too disappointed but I know it won’t help cushion the blow when I finally get it confirmed.

That’s showbiz, I guess!

Whatever happens, I’m determined to do the show and enjoy it.  I really love theatre and I feel completely at home on the stage.  I can’t wait to show Moogle that Mummy loves to perform as much as she does!

And I swear I absolutely will not be auditioning for another lead role ever.  Until the next show is announced and I forget… I bring it on myself really.

Are you a performer?  Do you have any top tips to beating those nerves?  Or are you one of those lucky devils who breezes through without a care?  Leave me a comment below with your experience.




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