How much control do we really have over our future? In my life so far, and especially in the past few years, I have had a little bit of luck and a basic sense of control over my future, and the opportunities I offered myself. It seems that I have always been successful in enough of my auditions that i could feel basically sure that I would continue to do so.
This year, the final year of my degree, I felt ready to go into the ‘big’ auditions that I would be taking on. And why wouldn’t I? I have the blessing of my incredible teachers and of one of the best opera programs in North America, as well as years of hard work and a fabulous repertoire list. I have the ‘look’, good acting skills, and methods of dealing with my nerves at auditions.
Let me give you a little update on how things are going so far:
Auditions not granted: 2
Auditions sung: 9
Results pending: 1
Number of contracts not offered: 8
This weekend, I sang at the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in Buffalo, NY. I felt really quite good about how I performed, but in the end, no singers of my voice type were forwarded to the regional finals. Its always the same song and dance – there are easily as many sopranos as there are singers in every other voice type combined. Life is difficult, there is not enough work to go around, and about 2% of us will go on to have a career worth speaking of. Up until this year, I thought I was immune to this statistic because of my charm, joy, and youthful energy. After the audition this weekend, I went back to the dorm in the hostel I was staying and heard a little girl on youtube singing ‘Tomorrow’ from Annie, the musical. “The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun… Just thinking about tomorrow, clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow, ’till there’s none…” The song stopped me dead in my tracks and set me to tears. As positive as I usually am about the future, I couldn’t help but think that I would not bet my bottom dollar that the future will bring more success in my singing career.
The year is not over yet, and I have at least one major audition left. On Wednesday, I am getting on a jet plane over to Berlin. I was chosen from hundreds of applicants to be one of few that they want to hear in person for their young artist program, which is a year-long paid contract with the Staatsoper, renewable for up to 3 years. I am really excited, and determined that this will be the audition to tip the scales of my current statistic. All I need is one ‘Contract Accepted’ on my list, and I will be set for at least the next little while. Just one contract offer has the potential to launch me into a new field of professional contacts and public exposure outside of academia.
I suppose this blog post is really a plea to the universe: Throw me a bone, Universe!
It is also a plea to you, dear reader: Send me your best positive thoughts this week – my audition is on Thursday afternoon, Berlin time. Don’t forget, now!