Friday, March 03, 2006

Degrees above baseline: 50 billion

I have my opera chorus evaluation tomorrow. This will be the fifth time in four years I've had to audition for a chorus position, only this time it's to determine if I'm good enough to be kept on as a Regular. The union requires that the house makes you do a "were we smoking our shoes when we hired you" audition to prove that they weren't after your first year of Regular contracts.

My #1 chorus audition was during the open call in 2002, #2 was the callback of doom at which I didn't get to pick my aria (a move that outraged every other singer within 500 miles), #3 was for the Associate position at which the General Director told me I had a beautiful voice and I actually skipped out of the room like Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road, something I haven't done since I was six, and #5 was my audition for the Regular position, which I thought sucked but still managed to win by the grace of God and the fact that I have a foghorn of a voice that could take the place of any two other singers volumewise.

The difference between those auditions and this one is that I'm choosing for my first aria one that has been the cause of more emergent phobias than anything that I supposedly have a knack for has the right to cause. This aria terrifies me. I love it and hate it, I can sing it great or, if I get too nervous, turn it into an object lession about the perils of taking asthma medication before singing. Because I've been so nervous all week, my reflux has been terrible, so my cords feel gummy and unresponsive, exactly what I want when singing an aria that has more notes per measure than downtown Portland has liberals per block. Also, now that I'm a Regular, there is a possibility of being cast in small (comprimario) solo roles on the mainstage, so I want to prove that I have some semblance of musicality and wouldn't resemble a plank of cured hardwood in a fluffy dress on stage.

My cognitive-behavioral therapist from years back told me that those who suffer from anxiety disorder as I do have a hyper-sensitive nervous system, and that, while most people's general anxiety levels (in terms of the fight or flight response) hover at about 15%, mine flails about at around 80-90%. Yeah, I'd say that's about right.

Now excuse me while I go throw up.

1 comment:

ible said...

I beg to differ about the nervousness. My anxiety factor before a horse show can top 100%.