Audition? Never Again!

(Photo Credit)

In retrospect, I do not know what possessed me to do this. Maybe it was the memories of my band days. Or the joy of seeing others performing onstage, and I wondered… could I be that person?

So, despite many less-than-encouraging comments from some mates, I signed up. For an audition, I mean. And yes, a singing audition.

For those of you who had the misfortune to sing KTV with me… I can imagine you gasping in shock, or rolling your eyes, or just “tsk!” at this. Now come to think of it, I would have done the same too if I was in your shoes!

So for this audition, I was told to prepare a song to sing, and if the song is a popular one, perhaps the music director can accompany me on the piano.

Now… friends will know me that when I listen to songs, I listen to the tunes, not the lyrics. So imagine the hard time I had trying to find a suitable piece to sing at an audition. No, Frank Sinatra won’t make the cut – that’s for the confine of a KTV room, not in an audition studio full of strangers.

Perhaps boosted by my recent obsession with High School Musical, I choose the song “When There Was Me and You” sung by Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella in the movie) from High School Musical 1.

It couldn’t be a worst choice of a song.

The tune goes up and down, the rhythm is choppy, and I had hard time enunciating the lyrics. Plus, it was sung by a female.

What the hell was I thinking?

By the time I realised my mistake, it was the night before the audition, and it was too late to change my selection. So I bought the piano score online, and prayed for the best.

The audition appointment was at 3 p.m., and I arrived at the studio on the dot… only to see a full-mirrored room, with a piano at a corner, and at least 10 other person in the room. Immediately I shuddered at the thought of singing in front of these people.

Oh, the terrifying thought of being judged!

I was the second person to be auditioned, so I had the “fortune” to see how the first person auditioned. The music director was friendly, went through some of the different parts, and then it was over… and too soon it was my turn.

Fuck, I was thinking, I couldn’t do this, I really couldn’t… but I had to… I am already here. I cannot disappoint people.

So I took a deep breathe and went up to the music director. He was friendly, asked me a few questions about my music background, and asked if I have a song in mind. I was tempted to say no and ask to sing something like Baa Baa Black Sheep instead (no one can go wrong with a nursery rhyme!), but the fact that I was carrying a black clear folder was a giveaway.

So he tested my range by playing series of notes on the piano, and I lalala-ed my way following him. I thought I did okay… I mean, after so many years in bands, you get the knack of catching pitches easily. As he continued up and down the piano, playing increasingly weird series of notes, I realised the whole room was silent.

By then I was so nervous that my ass was wet with sweat. OMG. OMFG.

Then the music director turned to me, and asked me to clap along with him. I guess he was trying to test my sense of rhythm. I am not the best percussionist in the world – rhythm is never my strong suit – but I tried my best.

And soon it is time to sing. He called on the pianist so that he can sit behind me and listen. I swear to you at that moment I really, really wanted to back out!

“Please sing above the piano, as it can get very loud”. Right, I thought, let’s see how loud my whimpers can get.

Soon the familiar intro bar was played (I practised that song at least a hundred times!), and I took a deep breathe and sang. At first I was really, really nervous, and my shaky voice was drowned out by the piano. But as my brain start to whirl and the lyrics came to my lips, I thought… fuck it. This is the only time I can sing, and I might jolly well just do it!

So I sang louder. Much louder.

Not in a good way. I went flat a lot of times (ouch!) and at some parts I lost track of the lyrics. I fumbled, and the score dropped from the piano towards the end of the song, and we stopped.

“It’s okay, I have heard enough.”

There was a smattering of polite claps. Not the standing ovation I was looking for (hah!)

I collected my scores and thanked the pianist. The director gave me a polite smile and told me that I will hear from them again soon.

Someone else asked me if that song was from High School Musical. I smiled and said yes. No one was talking to me – perhaps they were already looking forward to the third audition – and I went out of the room in record time.

By the time I get to the staircase, my face was burning hot. Oh my, the humiliation!!!!

Looking back, I really thought I should have known better than to try. But with the audition behind me, I can truly say “been there, done that”. Well… you can always have the first try at everything.

Don’t you?

Onto a related note, I heard from the grapevine that, against all odds… I passed. Yes, yours truly is now (unofficially) part of Singapore Men’s Chorus. So this will be my first time to sing with a proper choir.

Perhaps if any of their members read this entry, they might just want to reconsider and retract their decision. LOL.

Now, please excuse me while I go and sing in joy…. in private, of course!

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