by Angie Mack Reilly
Last week, I gave myself a dose of my own medicine and COACHED MYSELF through the process of auditioning for a nationally acclaimed show called Listen to Your Mother.
It has been awhile. I think that the last gig I auditioned for was Fiddler on the Roof in 2014. So, it’s been two years. I was the Jewish mother, Golde.
As a long-time vocal and drama coach, I am constantly encouraging my students to “believe in themselves” and audition for “this and that”. I pump my students up with positivity and praise. I attempt to bring so many of them, all ages, into the realm of faith and out of the realm of fear. It’s what I do. I help transform kittens into lions. I help put crowns on people who feel deformed. I mine for precious gems in deep and dark caves. I turn performing ducklings into performing swans.
Most recently, I had a mother sign up her teenage daughter for vocal lessons with me. The hope was that it would help her daughter’s fear of being in front of crowds (which is the number one fear among adults, by the way). I think it was during her daughter’s first week with me that I asked her if she would be an emcee for an upcoming event. She agreed. Did it. And was AMAZING! Yesssss! She conquered her fear!!!
You might question my method.
In my 18 years of coaching others, I have found that anticipated dread is actually worse than the actual act of getting up in front of others and auditioning. When I “throw people up on stage”, so to speak, I eliminate the anticipated dread and do them a FAVOR! Really!
When I heard about the Listen to Your Mother auditions, my initial response was, “I really want to do this!” My next response was, “Oh. You don’t have time to chase such fantasies”. (You see, self-doubting, overanalyzing and overthinking can be our own worst enemies).
After giving myself a million excuses on why I SHOULDN’T audition, I finally coached myself with the following pep talk, “You say that you want to be a writer. Either you ARE or you AREN’T. If you ARE, then you need to move into that position with faith. AUDITION ALREADY!”
And so after that little “pep talk” I decided to audition. It took me four solid, intense, passionate and emotional days of writing and editing to come up with something that I felt good about presenting. Then I got lost and frustrated trying to get to my audition on time. There were a few other setbacks. But, you see, once you make the choice it is easy to plow over all of the obstacles.
And guess what?. I made the cut.
Sometimes in auditions (and in life), we need to quit the negative self-talk and assumptions on everything that will go wrong. And we just need to GO. DO. JUMP. BELIEVE. QUIT MAKING EXCUSES. BE THE VERB. AUDITION.