By Julia Indigo/@juliaindigo
Yesterday I caught an 8:30 am flight, beginning my trek to another City for The Piccolo Audition™, which happened today. (Yeah, I’d said in a previous post that it was on the 25th, but I was confused. It was today.) Before I boarded my first flight I learned that the rewards program had booked my lodgings through Priceline, which had shoved me off to a remote property – yet another 30-40 minutes from the symphony hall, making the trek there over an hour each way. That wasn’t resolved until much later in the day, after much stressing and obsessing. In the end, it didn’t matter.
I arrived at DFW for my connecting flight, and found out that that it was cancelled. It seems that AA had forgotten to schedule a crew for the flight. No pilot, co-pilot, or cabin crew!
There were 4 subsequent flights to The City, but all of them were overbooked, the second by eleven people! I hung out for the first two as standby before giving up. My checked bag made it, all by itself, ending up in a crowded room with other people’s checked bags. I hope they didn’t have a baggage orgy! Oh, the humanity! Think of the BSTDs!
After booking me on the first flight out the next morning, the airline put me up in a marginal hotel for the night. I didn’t sleep. Well, I probably did sleep, but it was of the ‘wake up, look at the clock, OMG it’s only been 2 hours, PANIC: lather, rinse, repeat’ kind. Up at 4:40 to catch the 5:30 shuttle back to DFW, 7 am flight arrives in The City at marginally before 9am.
I took the shuttle to the hall and had 1 hour to put myself in order, warm up, and review the excerpts before I played. The hall was AMAZING… but I knew I wouldn’t pass to the next round before I finished playing. Sure enough… I didn’t. I played for about 5 – 7 minutes. That may not seem to you like much time to judge someone’s ability, but trust me, it doesn’t take nearly that long when you’re on the other side of the screen (as I was just last month). In some cases just 10 seconds tells you all you need to know to dismiss the person from consideration. This orchestra demonstrated common courtesy by allowing every candidate to play all six excerpts. That is appreciated, especially when people come from all over the country on their own dime to audition.
Afterward, a colleague who lives here picked me up. We went to lunch and had a great time reminiscing about people we’d worked with. Tonight I’m in the hotel where the front desk guy moved heaven and earth for me to be able to stay here. Tomorrow will be sightseeing with my friend, and then Tues morning back home, HOPEFULLY AA will remember to schedule crews for both my flights. My plan is to take the car in for servicing that night, then drive a couple hours to spend some quality time with the Parental Units™ the next day. You might remember that they had cancer and heart procedures just a month ago. I wanted to go see them sooner, but the audition intervened.
I’m very glad that I took this audition. The reverb in the hall revealed some deficiencies in my playing, and I’m enthusiastic about correcting them. I haven’t been interested in practicing in literally years, so this is definitely a welcome development. I also learned that I can perform quite well in spite of harrowing circumstances.
However, I would not be telling the whole story if I didn’t admit that I’m unhappy with the outcome. You never go to this kind of effort for the hell of it. I wish that I was still in the running for the position. I like this place, and it would have been a step up for me, both musically and financially. I’d also like to leave Texas – too bloody hot, not to mention redneck. If I didn’t have other fish to fry I’d probably be quite upset, but as it is I still have a gig, a business, and two books in the oven… and the next round of Row80 starting in one week, even if it may be in the low 100s F by then.