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  • Casey Granofsky

Audition Challenge Week 3


So, this was a week... I had an audition for another local orchestra, which was a great way to run through a couple excerpts in a more informal audition setting. I figured this could be a way to get out some of the jitters and perform 2 or 3 of the excerpts that I'm pretty sure were going to show up on the first round list for the Toronto Symphony audition. I was definitely not well versed enough in my visualization routine and things just kind of...crumbled. For whatever reason, in this totally laid back, informal audition setting in the back room of a piano store, I had trouble playing my most comfortable excerpts.

Interestingly, it was during a performance of the same piece that I experienced my first panic attack a couple years ago. I almost never have a problem with the Mendelssohn Scherzo - it's one of those pieces I feel I can play just after rolling out of bed. If I get the shakes, however, it's all over. The conductor actually had me play it a few times in a row, the last time he suggested I play without the music. Admittedly, it was a lot better that time. Still rough compared to how I know I can do it, but the breathing was more solid. My second choice, because I'm a genius and didn't anticipate breath control issues, was Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.

I'll spare you the gory details of that performance because it's depressing and a little embarrassing, but the end result was positive. The conductor still really liked me enough that I got the gig, so that's something. Best possible result to a lousy audition, but considering I was the only instrumentalist in a sea of singers, maybe the fact that I wasn't playing some depressing Adagio was enough...

Aaanyway, skip ahead a few days and I'm recording this week's video, the second mock audition with visualization. I'm not worried about being nervous in my own home, and even the threat of the camera doesn't phase me. Now all I'm concerned with is trying to recreate those nervous symptoms so I can practice dealing with them! Kind of a conundrum, really.

What I chose to focus on for this week's video was reimagining the feeling of being in the huge empty hall. Chairs and stands are stacked off to one side, a carpet is taped to the floor, and there's a big, ugly screen set up across the stage. To my left, empty seats. To my right, the back of the stage and choir loft. Directly in front of me, my own music and a chair with the orchestra's music on it, open to the excerpt I need to play. I was able to maintain a more clear picture this week, which was great, but I'm still not totally able to hear how I play each excerpt in my head without somewhat modeling it after a recording.

Next week I've got a mini mock, then the final mock audition. Then it's the big day! Yippee!


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