'Now! Now!' cried the Queen. 'Faster! Faster!' And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly, 'You may rest a little now.'Alice looked round her in great surprise. 'Why, I do believe we've been under this tree the whole time! Everything's just as it was!''Of course it is,' said the Queen, 'what would you have it?''Well, in OUR country,' said Alice, still panting a little, 'you'd generally get to somewhere else—if you ran very fast for a long time, as we've been doing.''A slow sort of country!' said the Queen. 'Now, HERE, you see, it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!'
For the last couple of years, I've been doing a lot of running, and it's easy to feel like I haven't gotten much of anywhere. Audition season is often like this, but the past year felt particularly demoralizing. Coming off the high of my first 5K and singing the most musically difficult role of my life (oh, Turn of the Screw, you gorgeous sadist), I spent a couple of weeks in New York City, got new headshots, recorded new pre-screening audios, and reformatted my CV. I was on this.
And then the invitations for a live audition just . . . didn't come from most places I applied to. The few auditions I did get didn't lead to gigs. And, as a singer, someone whose instrument is literally a part of her body, it was easy to internalize this rejection as a reflection on my worth as a person and/or artist, rather than just an indication that maybe the roles that were available weren't a close fit for my voice or personality. This impulse to beat myself down was a rookie mistake, and I'm not proud of it. So, my first truly miserable audition season in the books, I'm preparing for the start of a new round this fall.
That's the thing with a lot of life--unless you were born with an insane level of talent, plus a great work ethic and understanding of your field, PLUS some stunning family connections, you're going to get rejected a lot, and it's going to suck, and you're going to have to either keep trying or find something else to do. Audition season is absolutely the Red Queen's Race. For three to five months at a time, we sprint from room to room to room across Los Angeles or Manhattan or wherever, and we get a breathless four-to-eight minutes to prove that we are the answer to whatever question the casting director is asking himself at the moment. Some of those rooms are too small or too hot or have terrible acoustics, but we do it because the only way to even have a chance at progressing to the status of Queen (or, like, convincing somebody to pay us for singing high notes, amirite?) is to keep moving. The second we stop, we may as well be moving backwards.
All of this is to say, it's been a really long time and I missed writing for the two or three of you who actually read this shit (hi, Mom!). Here's a reaction gif to illustrate how I feel about being back:
So. Now that that long-winded and heavy-handed metaphor is out of the way, here's some stuff that happened over the last, like, two years:
- My hair was short, and then long, and then short again. It grows fast, so we're pretty much back to status quo now. Yes, I know you give a shit about this, and you're welcome for the update.
- I visited New York, like, five times, and Los Angeles three or four. I have developed a grudging appreciation for both of these places (and a very enthusiastic appreciation for my amazing friends who live there), but it's cheaper to live in Chicago, so I'm gonna stay here a while.
- Last summer, I spent a month in Hawaii and somehow came back paler than when I had left the Mainland. This may be due to the fact that I even wear a cardigan to the beach.
- After my beloved Camry was destroyed in a car accident right before Christmas 2012, I bought a Toyota Corolla, whose name is Napoleon, who is now paid for in full. I feel good about this.
- I saw the following shows during various audition trips to New York City: Matilda (twice!), Pippin (circus-y!), Cabaret (Alan Cumming!), On the Town (?!?!?!!!!), and A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (patter songs!). There's still a list of things I'd like to see despite being THE POOREST, but discount ticket vendors are the actual best thing ever.
- In September 2014, I left the mostly-full-time job I had held for nearly 3 years and decided to see if I could support myself on substitute teaching and tutoring alone which is mostly working so far? Ten months later, I have just taken on a fourth part-time job, still live and die by Google Calendar, and am no longer suffering from at-least-weekly migraines.
- And finally, this jerk still lives in my apartment. We play fetch, and sometimes she gets to come on road-trips.