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A Dancer’s Life For Me, Part 5

A Dancer's Life For Me
By Natalie Davids

Here We Go Again

After sweating it out all morning and making it through the dance call, I was thinking about how much I would love a shower when it was announced that if we would like to be seen for the singing audition, there would be a break for everyone to get changed and the singing audition would be held in the other room. What? Singing? TODAY?! I was not prepared to sing today.

The agent told me that the singing audition would be held the following day! I could feel the panic rising in my throat. I looked wildly around the room. Girls started pulling out pretty dresses and heels that they had brought to change into. I freaked. Then I paused and took a breath. Ok, look in your bag and let’s see what you have to work with. I remembered packing my sheet music and backing cd’s into my bag along with my dancing shoes so I wouldn’t forget them the following day. Yep, they’re still there. Good start.

Next, I needed something to wear. All I had were the clothes I had arrived in before I changed into my dancing gear. Jeans and a red singlet top. It certainly wasn’t as glamorous as the other girls, but at least the jeans were tight so they could still see my figure. Now for makeup. Tell me I packed my makeup bag? Yes! I reapplied my makeup with an added splash of red lipstick to match my top and suddenly I was feeling better. Now for the hair. I pulled the hair elastic out of my ponytail and let my hair fall. I brushed out the sweat and somehow managed to fashion it into a half up, half down style that looked semi decent.

Now for the final dilemma – shoes. I looked around the room at the other girls now towering over me in their heels. Somehow I don’t think my Converse trainers are going to cut it. I glanced at my chorus heels. They were plain, tan and scuffed from years of dancing but they were heels. My jeans were boot cut so you could barely see the shoes anyway. I was ready.

Looking in the mirror surrounded by beautiful young women in their carefully selected outfits, I felt like a thorn amongst the roses but it was the best I could do with limited resources, so I held my head high and pretended this was exactly the outfit I had intended to wear.

We made our way into the singing room and we were told to sit on the floor in a semi-circle along the back of the room. Thank goodness I’m wearing jeans. Even though there was an accompanist there we were told to use our backing tracks as opposed to sheet music. That’s a first. Luckily I had both. The Musical Director said we would all take turns to sing in the order of the semicircle. Oh my goodness we’re all going to be watching each other! Of course, I had chosen to sit on the end of the semicircle and of course, the MD decided my end would go first. Gulp! I handed in my CD and walked to the centre of the room.

As requested, I introduced myself and told them I would be singing ‘Roxie’ from the musical Chicago the Musical. I waited for the CD to play. And waited. And waited. The CD wasn’t working. This can’t be happening! The Musical Director asked me if I’d bought a different CD. I had. I handed it over and told them the song I would be singing instead was ‘Stormy Weather’. I held my breath as I waited for the familiar piano intro and there it was! Thank Goodness! I sang through a verse and a chorus before they stopped me, thanked me and I was able to return to my seat and breathe. Did I do ok? Was it a good thing that they stopped me? I didn’t get to the best part of the song though… Despite my doubts, as soon as I sat back down I was glad I had been the first cab off the rank. I could now enjoy watching the others without feeling the nerves of anticipation while I waited for my turn.

The last part of the audition involved doing some group harmony work with the accompanist and acting out a scene from a musical in groups of three. I don’t really remember anything remarkable happening in that last part of the audition or maybe I was just so mentally and physically drained by that stage that I just forgot the rest. All I know is, once it was all said and done, a representative from the production company explained a few more details about the job and that rehearsals would begin in January, in the UK. As it was only November, they said it would be a few weeks before we would hear anything but we would know before Christmas. By the time I walked out of the theatre, muscles aching, I had literally been there all day. I was exhausted.

Imagine my shock one week later when I got an email from the production company informing me that some other opportunities have arisen and they were looking for people that were available to leave in the next few weeks. They wanted to know if I was interested and available. Yes and yes! As it turned out my dancing partner had also made the cut. It looked like we had done something right after all! Four days later I had a formal offer. One day after that I had flight details, and the flight details revealed I was booked on a flight leaving in five days! Here we go again…

Return to A Dancer’s Life For Me, Part 1

 

Also by Natalie Davids:

Dancing By Numbers: Dancer Survival On A Cruise Ship

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