.we need to separate what we do from who we are.
Applying for a job is always an effort, regardless which business it is. We all get more or less nervous. Cause the goal is that the employer will be convinced that exactly you will be the perfect one for the job. Mostly you apply for a job around the area where you live or at least in the same country so you might not have to travel so far. And mostly it`s an interview with the employer. And hopefully you can stay at your new job for a while so you don`t have to repete the procedure to often. In my business this is usually never the case. Well, of course you can live close by or in the same country. But the market isn`t that big so we often apply for work all around the world. And it`s never only about an interview.
.lets say you apply for a job in another country…
I don`t even want to think about how much time and money we spend on applying for new jobs. That includes the preparation for the audition itself. With studying lyrics and music, learning about the job (not only what job or show it is, but also the whole story, the charachter, the songs and scenes, who wrote and composed it, who is the director, musical supervisor, choreographer and so on). Sometimes you even study a whole new language! This is mostly time consuming things. And then you sometimes take vocal classes, acting coaching or dance lessons to prepare yourself. Thats both time and money. Then you often need to take vacation (if you`re lucky to already have a job;) You buy flights and book hotels. Transfer to and from the airport and of course food. (Sometimes even certain clothes for the audition). If you have an agent or if you`re lucky, you get a fixed appointment. So you know for sure “That`s my time”. Many times you have to stand in line for the “open calls”. If you`re not a “equity member” when you audition in the States, you will be in another line. A line AFTER the open call line.
.which means that you can have 100 other girls before you.
Even with an appointment it`s not always sure that you will get to sing at that specific time. It`s more normal that it`s late and you`ll have to wait. And remember that for any type of job interview you will be nervous. For this type you will probably be more nervous. You will sing, act and dance alone infront of a full table of probably very important people. They will judge you by how you walk into the room, how your personality seems, what “type” you are, how you`re dressed and how you look, how prepared you are (if you know the material you got and if you brought the right sheetmusic and papers), how you sing (it usually only takes a few words for the jury to tell wether you can sing or not), how you act and tell the story and how you move and dance.
.no reason to be nervous, or?.
But also remember that the employer and creators want nothing more than for you to be exactly what they need. They are looking for the perfect person for the job, the sooner the better. And that`s a very good thing to keep in mind. Sometimes we are what they’re searching for, sometimes we`re not. Sometimes we are brilliant and amazing and the jury seems SO happy and you don`t get it anyway. You weren`t the right “type” or maybe someone else was even better. And sometimes we fuck up, we are tired, sick, not prepared or just having a really bad day. But regardless – after each audition we should give ourselves some credit!! Cause not every person would do what we do, when we apply for jobs. I did a workshop in April at my old Musical High School in Sweden for the students there. And I got the question “How do you not take it personal when you get a No?” An extremely important question. If you can handle that – you can handle the business. There`s no secret to it. But the most important thing in life in general and especially in this business is that you have to seperate what you do from who you are. Me, Heidi will come to the audition. But it’s the Artist Heidi that will be judged, not me as a person.
So when I get a “No”, it’s not gonna make me upset and feel bad about myself. I might feel disappointed because maybe I really wanted the job, I can feel “maybe I could’ve done it differently”. But I’m sure that regardless here as well – you did your absolute best with what you could in that moment. Cause that’s what we performers do.
.the show must go on.
I once did an audition after being sick with bronchitis and laryngitis. I wasn’t allowed to talk in a week because my vocal chords were swollen. And the day after I started talking I had to do an audition. And of course I probably shouldn’t have done it and said “No thank you, I’ve recently been really sick and wont be able to show my full capacity at the moment”. But it was for an interesting job and I wanted to give it a shot, so I did my best. It wasn’t enough – but I was okey with that. I did my best under the circumstances I was in. And I think that’s the best way of looking at it. The second thing I can say is …
.everything happens for a reason.
This is my life philosophy. I didn’t get that job that I really wanted but then it wasn’t meant to be. Something better is waiting around the corner. Or I was suppose to experience something else in my life at that time. I believe that this life vision will take you very far. You keep see the good things in every situation. This also helped me go through some of my unfortunate life traumas.
Ending this blog post by going to an audition myself. Lets see if this is meant to be or not. I’m sure it will be great either way. Keep the positive spirit and spread love. Especially on a dark day like today. My thoughts are there for “Orlando”. I still hope America will wake up one day.
©pictures by my lovely friend and photographer : Markus Helmer Gustafsson