12.17.2009

Non/Conformist

I am somewhat of a nonconformist.  At the same time I am a rule-abiding traditionalist, believing rules are in place to provide structure, consistency, regularity and safety.  This past Sunday, my good friend (and fabulous tenor) Julius gave me a kick in the pants.

"What I want to know is why you aren't auditioning more.  For singing, I mean." he stated directly.

I reminded him of the various negative experiences and comments I've received from a variety of voice auditions, indicating that I find acting auditions to be much more open-minded and less judgmental affairs.

"It shouldn't matter what I wear or what I do in these auditions," I protested.  "I'm there to sing and they should only be considering my singing.  I'll wear whatever they tell me to wear when they hire me!"  I think adhering to the well-known but unpublished parameters of classical music auditions (e.g., wearing a dress or skirt when singing "female roles"; wearing a skirt or dress when auditioning because I am female; donning trousers for "pants roles"; no props) is limiting to the art form and detrimental to the potential of the auditioning talent.  So, I try to bend those rules.  The acting and character development is as important to me as the singing and I hate standing there as though I'm giving a recital.  I have a friend who is a marvelous soprano and I often liken the size of her voice to that of a Mack truck.  She doesn't audition for things because she is larger and finding a skirt or dress that fits well is quite a challenge.  She wears pants all the time.  There are many opera companies who are missing out on a tremendous talent as a result.

"If they want a skirt, wear a skirt!" Julius continued.  "Not playing by the rules gives them just cause to say they don't like you even if your singing is wonderful."  It is unfortunately true that panelists adjudicating vocal auditions are apt to dislike talent for any minuscule reason, especially if they don't know the talent, and I had to begrudgingly admit that Julius had a point.

"At least tell me you'll consider it." he added.

I am.

4 comments:

Andy said...

Even more important than the fact that you have a friend who is willing to be open and honest with you is the fact that you are publicly considering his advice against your non-conformity.

Good for you.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, get over yourself already!

Alecia said...

Thanks Anonymous! I'm working on it. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
If you're that bothered by Alecia's most ingenious and talented writings of her commitment to succeed in this business, why do you continue to read and mock? Move on!
Sincerely,
A friend of one of the most genuinely good people I've ever met