Why You Shouldn't Freak Out At Auditions

I get a Facebook message the other day asking me if I’d like to come to an audition.

Me... audition.

I haven’t done one of those in years.

Not that I’m above all of that by any means. It’s just that for the last few years, work in the music industry has come through word of mouth, not from auditions or interviews. But surprisingly I’m not nervous. I’ve been doing what they’re asking for for years so realistically it shouldn't be a problem, even though this audition could open up some doors to some pretty big stages. Plus the date falls on our day off from our current tour. Perfect.

Until I get there.

I’m in the heart of Mayfair, the most expensive purple spot on the Monopoly board, in a swanky dim lit club where everyone around me is wearing brands I can’t pronounce. I zip my faux leather jacket up to the top to cover my slightly faded white M&S shirt.

There’s another sax player who plays before me and that’s when the nerves start to kick in. He’s a really great player and I’m thinking that at least if he leaves the room when his audition is over, there’s only 3 people left to be embarrassed in front of.

He decides to stay to offer me moral support.

I appreciate this though. I actually want him to get the gig. He’s a cool guy wearing a cool suit - I’d hire him after that performance!

Anyway, I did what I had to do and they smiled afterwards. Good sign. Myself and the other sax player left and had a coffee and geeked out about all things saxophone and music.

Why share this story?

Before I started playing I thought a few things:

I need to practise

Maybe I’m not good enough

I really need to practise

When I got the email a few hours later letting me know that they want to work with me, I thought:

I need to practise

I’m glad I was ready

I hope the other guy got a similar message

I really need to practise

I realised that I felt confident before I heard the other player, but when I did, fear and doubt started to creep in. That email just affirmed to me that you are good enough. You haven’t got this far out of sympathy or charity. You’ve worked hard and the benefits of that are slowly coming.

The same goes for you.

You’ve got this.

Now go and practise.

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illustrations by Charity Russell

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