It’s been ten weeks since I came here and started auditioning. The first wave was a dense bulk of over twenty auditions I had done within six weeks. The more I auditioned the better I got; I learned how to wait patiently for my turn in the singing auditions, and how to stand out in a crowd in the dancing auditions. I stylized my C.V to make it look more like the ones I was seeing around me. And most importantly, I learned to decouple between doing a good job in an audition and being rejected at the end of it; it wasn’t about whether I’m good or not, but rather was I what they’re looking for.
Before coming to New York, I remember pondering about my identity as a performer, and how I’d like to present myself – as a dancer, an actor-dancer-singer, or maybe just a performer. These thoughts became ever relevant as I learned that every musical theater production in this city holds two kinds of auditions – ‘singers who dance’, and ‘dancers who sing’. I found that the vocal materials I had prepared before coming here were not impressive enough for a ‘singers who dance’ audition.
Nonetheless, as a dancer I noticed I had a few advantages. My buff-petite size and my movement style both made me stand out in the ‘dancers who sing’ calls. It was that realization that made me focus on those kinds of auditions from that point on. After creating an impression as a bad-ass dancer, the selection of audition songs I had ready were perfect to give the impression that not only can I dance really well, but I am also a pretty good singer.
The next wave of auditions was a whole new concept, induced by my moving out of my family’s gracious hospitality in Long Island, and into a two month sublet in Inwood Park, the northernmost part of the island Manhattan. Here, among the green of the trees and the turquoise of the waters, my life came to a satisfying deceleration. I was now only attending auditions for Musicals I was interested in, rather than just any audition happening in the city. This wave included the Cats audition, and an audition for a talent agency.
The Cats audition was a demonstration of the ferocity of Broadway auditions, featuring the best dancers I’ve been up against so far. This was a well anticipated fierceness, as many dancers who can sing, act and tumble (such as myself) find this Musical desirable. I did my best, but didn’t pass the first stage. Being aware of decoupling performance anxiety and audition rejection, I only imagined this was a perfect example of the show’s crew having a cornucopia of talents to choose from, compelling them to take the performers’ former experience as a factor – a competition I stood no chance in.
The Agency’s audition was a whole other ferocity. This Agency specializes in commercial gigs; from advertisements to award ceremonies and music videos, and was looking for hip-hop/jazz dancers; not my home-base but definitely something I’m up for. This well paying potential representation attracted many dancers, most of whom never show up to the musical theater auditions I’ve been attending. For the first time in my life, and hopefully the last, I completely blacked out during the audition. As I looked at the other group members I couldn’t even tell what they were doing. I was completely blacking out my movement memory. Luckily, this was quite an experimental audition for me, so I didn’t have my hopes up too high. Nevertheless, the shock and helplessness I encountered are something I will never forget.
It’s been ten weeks since I came here and started auditioning. Passion has an endless gush that keep refueling the unremitting attempts to jump over the walls of the fortress. I wish there was an oracle who could tell me whether my endeavors shall bear fruit, but in my journey to Broadway I have only the light of faith to point out my path, and my dancing feet to tread it.