"Thank you very much...next," a voice boomed from the back of the almost empty theater; and, just like that, hours of intense physical and mental preparation came to a crashing end as I left the stage. I felt broken into fragments.
That depressingly dark scenario was, of course, only one possible outcome. Most times I was cast, though sometimes not. Regardless of the end result, the process was brutal. With only minutes to make a positive impression, I knew this was IT; and my heart rate soared as I approached the stage.
What a forbidding sight: the line-up of unsmiling judges, all looking like they had just smelled a giant fart, balancing clip boards on laps while uncomfortably parked in folding chairs. Their eyes followed me, judging every step, as my rubbery legs carried me to stage right and I bravely handed my sheet music to the pianist. With a no guts/no glory attitude, I positioned myself front and center wondering what they'd think of me.
Soon enough I would get my answer. The potential good news?... my name would wind up being posted on a casting list. Hopefully a strong resume would've helped me, but in the end it would come down to a quick-fire impression. It doesn't take long for those in the know to decide if they have found the perfect talent for the up-for-grabs part.
If unfortunately, as has happened, the audition wasn't positively received, I would slowly trudge out the back door, tap shoes and music in hand, feeling discouraged. The audition, over.
Well...until the next time.
And that's the way the game is played, and those of us who love performing are willing to subject ourselves to this agony: the audition. It's all worth it to get a foot in that momentous stage door.