Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Searching for Explosives

The alarm clock goes off at six A.M. but you are already half awake because today is audition day! Must get to the airport 5 hours early. There's no time to warm up or practice because you've got a very important date and you can't be late! Unfortunately your sky high confidence is fast evaporating as all this traveling is not the way to prepare to play your best. All that careful rehearsing and mock auditioning now seems of no avail, but you are hoping that something will happen to make it pay off when it counts.

Endless lines of travelers are doing a good job of soaking up all that extra time you allowed. It will be a close call getting to the gate. Nobody is in a hurry but you, while everything else is in slow motion.

At last it is your turn to advance past security. But wait, you are summoned to step out of line to receive a special puffing from that explosives detector, or whatever it is. Oh well, heroes can take it, as you sing John Williams' solo to yourself.

"Please stand still, sir." And then a gigantic puff of high powered air shoots at you as your shirt blouses out, your pants fill up with the gusts of air, and your hair shoots straight up. "Wait, we need to do it one more time, sir." Another enormous puff happens as though you have now been officially zapped and energized with special powers and abilities. They wave you through as no explosives were found. Or where there?

Many hours later you arrive at the hall with case, bulging gig bags, a half dozen mutes, pouches of mouthpieces, and your heaviest suitcase. Your arm aches, your head aches, and your lip is stiff because you haven't warmed up. Then you run into all the people you hoped would never be there. Why did you even come? Everyone else plays better than you. And besides, they were all runners-up in the Cleveland audition. What a waste. Why bother! Go back to Kansas!

Nevertheless, you unpack, have a brief but very surprisingly good warm up, and soon find that you are next. You pray that you won't hear that word again. Walking on stage and springing open your quad case, you proceed to play the audition of your life! Every excerpt is like brushed gold, just like the recordings. Your tone is awesome, attacks secure, and your softs and louds are all there. It's nail-it city with nary a crack, air note, or blip!

Then you hear a stirring from behind the curtain. "Yes! Bravo!" followed by vigorous applause from the whole audition committee! "Harry, we are finished for the day. Please bring this contestant down to meet the maestro. Sir, that was some wonderful playing. That's just what we are looking for. When can you be available? How much money will . . . . "

As you try to conceal your excitement and open your empty date book, you suddenly hear your jangling alarm clock jolting you back to reality. What? Oh no! It's six A.M. and time to get up and get to the airport. Today is your audition day. Hope you get searched for explosives!


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