Mom drove me to the McCallum around 8:30, since the email I got from them said to be there fifteen minutes early. My audition was at nine. I was wearing a white scoopneck blouse, a navy pencil skirt, and these new heels I got a few weeks ago. (I'm just saying... I put thought into this. I had to look like a gorgeous prodigy composer, whether I really am or not.)
When we arrived, I went in the back door of the theatre, signed in, and went to the green room. (Luckily, I had a performance there in December with my choir, so I was already familiar) The Varsity Dance Team from my high school was there, and had just tried out, and so I said hi to the girls I knew. Also, the kid who won last year (who's about a year younger than me, I think) and his two sisters were all there.
I felt kind of embarrassed that I didn' t know anyone really well. Plus, all these people had at least some experience with Open Call, so I was a bit inept in comparison. The audition before mine was the guy and his sisters; they played a very cool trio all together on the piano, even though I only heard a little of it when someone opened the door. I stayed in the green room and talked to one of the girls from the dance team and pretty soon, I was alone in the Green Room. I was the last one to audition.
When a lady came in and told me I was next, I walked through the stage door and out to center stage, trying to keep good posture and look confident, and said,
"Good evening; my name is Emily Brown. I am seventeen years old; I'm from Rancho Mirage, and I will be performing a piece I composed called, 'June Impression.'"
Then I walked over to the piano, sat down and took a deep breath, placing my fingers on the keys.
Then I took another breath, and began to play.
The first thought I had was how beautiful the tone of the piano was. It was a Steinway, and while the keys appeared somewhat worn, the piano was spectacularly in tune, with a clear, smooth tone unlike any piano I have ever played before. I kept my shoulders back and concentrated on dynamics, remembering to keep certain bits stacatto.
Somewhere near the middle, and slowest part of the piece I felt somewhat nervous and started shaking a little. The muscles of my calf were spastically quivering while I held down the sustain pedal. I plunged myself in the music, and finished the piece with some small mistakes.
When I was done, I lifted my fingers from the keys gently, (which my piano teachers have been trying to teach me to do as long as I can remember) and stood up. The judges applauded politely. I said, "Thank you," though maybe not audibly enough, bowed, and began to walk off stage.
"Emily," said one of twenty or thirty judges. This one was a guy, about fifty, to my right.
"Are you classically trained?"
"Yes, I am," I replied.
"Who are some of your favorite composers?"
"Mmm...Chopin, Debussy...I have a favorite piece by Grieg," I trailed.
"Yes," he said. "That piece reminded me so much of Debussy."
I smiled again, said "Thank you," bowed, while they applauded again, and walked off stage.
On the way out, the guy in charge of sound said goodbye to me; so did some other people. I went back to the Green Room and got my bag. Another guy said goodbye and asked if I got my tape and then laughed when he realized I obviously didn't have a tape. Coming to the back door, I said goodbye to the guy at the front desk, and then pushed my way into the cold air outside.
And then- it was as if there was not enough air in the world. I literally started gasping for breath, shaking all over and crying. All I could think about was how much I wanted this, to get in to the show and perform my piece for everyone who would listen. I kept this up, until I got to the car. Then I took another breath, smiled, and got in to tell Mom how it went.
Hopefully I made it, guys. Everyone cross your fingers!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!
By the way, I want a piano just like this one:
It's got an interesting story behind it, too. Click on the picture for a link! :)