The first time I did a competition inside List Hall this year, I was super nervous. (For those of you who don't know, List Hall is an auditorium inside the Met.)
Walking into the Met to get to List Hall is a thrilling experience, as you often do so by going backstage to get to the hall. You are immediately struck by the grand scale of the Met, the awe of being there, and the feeling of "Holey moley! I'm at the Met!" While it's all absolutely thrilling, I believe it is safe to say that going to List Hall to audition is not the most relaxing experience one could have! Even though I've done a few competitions there by now, that feeling of awe, mixed with nerves, never goes away.
While I was preparing myself for the audition, I ran across this quote:
I believe this was one of those moments of the right advice coming at the right time. It is so easy in a circumstance like this to get in the mindset of "Holy crap! This is a really important audition! I'd better get every little minuscule thing right! (*Cue the scary music!*). Taking this advice to heart helped relieve that to a large degree.
Of course, doing the best I can at what I do is important to me--I love what I do, and I absolutely believe it is worth it to do what I can (in my own small way) to keep bringing the unique vulnerability that only be expressed through opera.
However, it's times like these in which it's great to be reminded that it's what I do. It isn't who I am. Even if something were to go terribly wrong in the audition, for whatever reason, the world would keep on turning, I would still be able to keep on singing the next day, and the day after that. Also, I would be able to count on the support of my loved ones to be there for me, in my best and worst moments. (THAT is the most important thing of all!)
(P.S. The audition went well!)