Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Major League Baseball try-out

I woke up about 1/2 hour later than planned this morning. Not good, as I wanted the extra time to wake up my voice and work out the morning crud. Ah well, no help for it; I picked up NA, my voice teacher, as planned and we went down and got in line with the other national anthem hopefuls. I immediately spotted 2 people I knew, and others arrived later. (The final tally of people I knew - 10.) It was chilly and the breeze was occasionally quite brrrrisk, but as we kept reminding each other, it could have been worse - it wasn't raining, sleeting or snowing, after all.

Eventually they opened the gates and let us in, leading us to a check-in table, where they checked our names off their list, then instructed us to take a seat. As we waited, someone asked about rest rooms; when our guide told us which ones "might" be open, you saw several people making a beeline in that direction to relieve cold, nervous bladders. Once they got everyone checked in, they shepherded us over to another section of seats behind and slightly left of home plate. (Great seats! One of the hopefuls who had once gotten to sit there said they were quite pricey and included a pre-game buffet and all your concessions, delivered.) They told us we'd be singing over the stadium sound system, warned us not to listen to the delay, wished us luck and got down to business.

We sat & shivered as we waited. We were out of the wind, but it had clouded up so no sunshine to relieve the chill so we kept repeating that "it could be worse" mantra. There was someone with one of those huge TV-type cameras whom I first noticed when he got within only a foot or so of one of the singers. He managed to keep singing (very nicely) without batting an eyelash; good for him. The cameraman then started filming the next batch of people to be heard, then moved into the seats. When he got to our section, he chided us that "This is supposed to be fun!" which got us chuckling if not laughing. When I waved to the camera, he said "Those gloves will make it for you!" so I waved some more. I'll have to wear Mom's leopard-print gloves the next time I have an outdoor audition! :D

NA went just ahead of me. She's a coloratura soprano and a seasoned pro so she did quite nicely. I sang in a slightly lower key than we'd rehearsed - my voice always sits lower in the morning - but it felt pretty good. I was able to hear myself well enough that the delay didn't bother me, my tempo felt good, and best of all - I managed to get through the whole thing without clearing my throat, let alone coughing (which I hadn't managed when I ran thru the anthem several times before leaving the house).

When we finished, they directed us to the visitor's dug-out - very cool! I'm sorry I didn't think to grab my camera; I would've loved a picture of me in an actual, official MLB dug-out! Someone then escorted us around the 3rd-base side of the field, through an employees-only area under the outfield seats past their little electric carts and the Control Room and outside.

NA and I had nice chats with several of our fellow hopefuls and I ended up sending a list of area theater links to two of them, who were new in town. I think I may have recruited one person (lovely baritone voice) to audition for the Mikado production I'm going for, and one of the new-in-town people is an architect who does small projects and work on older homes - the Chief will want to learn more about him!

It was cold enough that my toes went quite numb, and we got down there around 9 but didn't actually sing until 11 or later, but it was fun chatting with the others and getting to see a major-league stadium from the field. I just wish they'd said something about how soon we can expect to hear, and whether they'll contact us only if they want to use us. A couple of friends got pictures for me which they promised to send and which I'll try to remember to post.

Now that I've got this one behind me, time to start learning Burial at Thebes lines and prepping for next week's audition for The Mikado...

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