The Big Audition

I wrote this as an exercise for an Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop. (Homework can come in handy.) This is a piece of flash fiction in a first person stream-of-consciousness style.

Now that I have scared everyone off with all that writer lingo — this is my funny, only slightly exaggerated look at what auditioning is really like.

Oh wow! Oh shit! I’m actually going to get up onto that stage and sing for the heads of the Metropolitan Opera. Me! What am I doing here? I don’t belong here. What am I thinking? Of course, I belong here. People who know what they are talking about have been telling me for years that I should be singing at the Met and I believe it. Really, I do.

Okay. Concentrate. Better go over the words of what I’m going to sing. Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore. Non feci mai male ad anima viva. What comes next? Fuck! I can’t blank out like this! Oh yes: Con man furtiva, quante miserie connobbi aiutai. I’ve sung this a gazillion times and never forgotten the words. I won’t forget them today.

Wow! That soprano who’s up there now sounds pretty good. I’m glad she’s a coloratura and not a spinto. She won’t be competition.

Damn! Why is it so cold in here? Why didn’t I bring my scarf? I’m going to sing on the stage of the Met, and I’m breathing cold air into my throat. I’d better check my voice out. HummmMMMmmm. Okay. It’s still there. I’ll just put my hand over my face to keep out the cold air. Why are those stagehands laughing at me? Haven’t they ever seen a singer before?

Oh, come on! Why am I so friggin’ nervous? I’ve been preparing for this for fifteen years. I’ve sung leading roles all over the place. I know all my music inside out. This is just another theater. No big deal.

Yes, it is a big deal! This is the MET, for Pete’s sake! You sing here, you’ve made it. Fail this audition and I might not get another chance, ever. It seats 4,000 people. A stage as big as a city block. Shit, my hand is shaking. If my hand is shaking, my voice will probably shake. One shaky hand and my whole career is over.

I’m making myself nervous again! Stop it! You’re going to do fine! Take some nice slow deep breaths and relax. One … two … three … ohmmmmm. Good. Much better.

Ooh, there’s a mirror over there. Let’s see. Makeup looks great. Hair looks fine. Dress fits just right. Boy, am I fat! I have a rear end like a beach ball. What if they turn me down because I’m too fat? Everybody keeps telling me how nobody wants to hire overweight opera singers anymore. What if the Met already has its quota of fat divas? I hate my shoes. What if they hate my shoes, too? What if I walk out there and stumble or say something really stupid like I did that time in Heidelberg?

Okay. Calm down. They HIRED me in Heidelberg, remember?

Con man furtiva … I have it in my brain now.

They’re calling my name. Here goes. Stand tall, walk with confidence and act like you think you’re the greatest soprano in the universe.

Yes, here I am!

AFTER you get the gig!

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4 thoughts on “The Big Audition”

  1. Been there. Done that. Have the tee shirt and the scars. There are a few fabulous memories, also, from jobs I was actually hired for!

  2. That’s really cool Kathy. It really captures the the spectrum of fear of going for an audition. Anybody who has been in that position can really relate to it.

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