"Addie, you're on deck."
I nervously stand, waiting outside the door, folder-in-hand, mentally reciting my lyrics over and over, trying to remember the first note. How can I exude confidence when I am physically shaking?
"Go ahead," the stage manager says, motioning for me to open the door.
Through the door a high-ceilinged room holds a small table with two women. To the left a man sits behind a baby grand piano. He motions to me and I walk over and hand him my music. He asks me some questions about my song's tempo. I'm honestly not sure, so I sing it lightly for him to give him an idea. We agree, so I move back into the main part of the room onto the blue "X."
"Hello, my name is Addie Gerlach and I will be singing Take Me or Leave Me from Rent."
The piano begins and I, trying to remember all the things I've been practicing, sing as best I can. Do I make eye contact with the women at the table? How should I have my arms at this part? What if my face conveys the wrong thing?
It's over almost as soon as it began and I stand awkwardly. A little chit-chat from the women, a smile and a nod, and I'm free to go. I'll expect to hear back in a few days if anything will come of this, my first audition.
"Thank you for taking the time to audition. Unfortunately, we weren't able to cast you at this time." Well, crap. It hits me harder than I thought it would, like two days of disappointed crying. The fog of despair lifts and I emerge with a little more clarity than before.
I'm grateful for the chance to try. I got an idea to do something completely out of my comfort zone, and I tried. I didn't succeed, but I tried.
And I think that experience is valuable.