Friday, August 22, 2014

Another Day. Another Audition.

If there is one thing that is most important in my life, it is the pursuit for honesty. Honesty in my singing. Honestly in my writing. Honesty in the way I interact with people on a daily basis.

Sometimes though, the person I'm least honest to is myself.

There is one thing I know for sure: I haven't been myself for a while. I caught a glimpse of her while I was in West Virginia, singing in another production of South Pacific; the unadulterated laughter, the nonjudgmental voice telling me that everything was going to be ok, not worrying about whether my silliness would look immature to the people that surrounded me. I danced all night, and didn't care whether my hair looked like a sloppy, sweaty mess as I walked back to the hotel.

There is an undercurrent of common fear I carry on a constant basis now. Did I over-dress for this audition? Everyone else in jeans. Did I choose the wrong song? Yes. I can tell by the look on the casting director's face. Did I say something stupid to the boy in that bar? Maybe I shouldn't have said that one thing. God, do you even remember how to flirt anymore? You need to clean your room. You need to find a job. You need to research. You need to keep auditioning. You need to get off your ass and exercise. You need. You need. You need.

That. Running through my head on a constant loop. It's exhausting.

Looking back, I've realized a pattern in my life. When I'm pushing this hard for the career I want, I usually burn out after two years. Take a wild guess what anniversary is coming up in 9 days. 2 years of living in New York. Wait. Not living. Surviving. Because that's what you do in New York. You survive.

But I want more than that. I want to enjoy my life in this city that wears you down. I want to be able to let loose. I haven't been able to - and that tension is showing up in my auditions now too. My singing is fine, but I haven't been able to connect to my body, my character. I am stiff. I am not able to let go of what is going on in the audition room. And I'm getting the same reaction over and over before I leave: "Beautiful. Thank you so much for coming." Which really means Thanks, but no thanks.

I should be nailing these auditions. A few have been for South Pacific - the one show I know every note of, every nuance of. I tell myself that even at my worst, I'm still better than 90% of everyone else's best. But that's not being honest any more. I am 100% burnt out. And yet I keep pushing myself to keep going.

I told myself I wouldn't give up when I moved here. But now I don't know what to do. I can't keep doing what I am doing right now. It's affecting everything. This month has been especially harsh what with the loss of my friend...but then out of nowhere, there are these small moments - where I've felt something close to happiness for a second or two. I am trying to grasp onto them with both hands, but they just keep slipping away.

But it's in these moments that I remember what it is to be myself; to laugh freely again, to speak with another human being without the pressure of expectation, to actually enjoy music for what simple beauty it brings me. And this is what I need.

I had every intention of telling everyone that I would be taking a hiatus from singing in this post. But I also know that is not true. I can't give up. I am a survivor. I will keep going. But I will definitely be taking a step away for a bit. The stress of the last few months have been a bit much for me to bear. But that's another post for another day. And you know what another day brings...another audition.

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