Hell of a Wednesday

I woke up with a terrible migraine, head throbbing, eyes throbbing, every sound slicing through my brain like a noisy brain slicer.  I hadn’t gotten enough sleep, as usual, but I had to get up and head to New York for an audition.  I took my migraine medicine, hopped in the shower, and got my things together.

I left late, as usual, and headed towards Albany and the almost 3 hour train ride, realizing about 20 minutes into the trip that I had forgotten my book.  The drive was fine, but I got to the station only 10 minutes before the train left, so I raced from the parking lot as fast one can in heeled leather boots, and managed to jump on with a minute or two to spare.  My headache was coming back at this point, and since I had forgotten my book, I just decided to sleep.

I also spent some time looking at my music for the audition, as I was going to be presenting a piece I hadn’t sung (or looked at) in almost a year, and it was a little rusty.  I got off the train at Penn Station and took the subway up to my audition, except I had arrived 4 hours early.  I thought it would give me time to relax, warm up, wind down, or something, but I was clearly not thinking.  I had nowhere to go to do any of those things, so I spent about 2 hours in a crowded Starbucks being jostled by angry New Yorkers.

I made my way to the audition, arriving about 90 minutes early, hoping to run my rusty piece with the pianist, which I did, and it went pretty well.  Then I sat in a hot, dry hallway with no ventilation for over an hour, basically condemning my voice to sound like it had been lost in a desert for some time.

I started with that piece that I had just rehearsed, and it went okay, but I’ve done it better.  By the time they asked for my second piece, all I wanted was some water, but I soldiered on.  I could feel the tickle in my throat any time I tried to sing quietly, so I overcompensated by singing too loudly (at least it felt too loud to me), and walked out of the audition feeling like I had wasted everyone’s time and kicking myself all the way back to the train station.

Of course I didn’t have too much time to wallow, because I had also made the brilliant move of scheduling my return train only 45 minutes after my audition, so it was a brisk trot to Amtrak, where I did make my train, luckily, and another long train ride back to Albany, where I would still have another 3 hour drive home.  I would be lucky to get there by 12:30 am.

But I didn’t get home by 12:30, because when I arrived back at my car, one of the tires was completely flat.  It had not been flat when I left it in the morning, but it was dead now, so I had to change a tire in the dark in a sketchy parking lot wearing my nice suit.  It was going okay until I grabbed for one of the lugnuts to finish unscrewing it from the tire and sliced my thumb open.  Of course I had nothing with me that would help to either clean off my greasy thumb, or to stop the bleeding.  Not even a napkin.

I did manage to get the spare donut onto the car, but they are only supposed to last 50 miles or so, and you can’t go over 50 mph on them.  Well, I drove 170 miles on that donut, all the way home at 45 miles per hour.  I arrived some time after 2 am, knowing that at 6:30 or so, I would be jumped on by one or two children.

This is what it is like to be an opera singer.  And I’m probably going to do it all over again next week, and the week after that.  But I will probably buy a new tire first.

Posted in Auditions, Opera, Singing.


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