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English: SYTYCD audition photo

Audition season is here!

That’s exciting, right?

Usually that feeling will last until you receive your first rejection.

Prior posts about auditions

In prior blog posts, I have written about choosing an audition program, getting that program together, making a convincing presentation, and the importance of having plans for later.

This is a partial list!

This article is a collection of rejections I’ve received and heard about from other musicians. Many of them are silly! And that’s the point. Don’t take them seriously.

A singer I know uses his rejection letters for bathroom wallpaper.

You are confident about what you do.  When a rejection comes your way, it probably has nothing to do with you personally.

Here are some plausible-sounding rejections:

  • Maybe they have hired your “type” already.
  • Maybe they’re holding open auditions but only have one spot available.
  • Maybe they’re very happy with what you do, but what they’re looking for this time is different.
  • In a concert series, maybe the available date happens to fall between 2 other concerts featuring the same instrument.  Most venues like variety.
  • If you are rejected by a school, maybe it wasn’t right for you anyway.  That happened to me.  Soon after, the perfect situation appeared.
  • Maybe they’re presenting only a certain type of concerts this year (music of a certain composer, children’s concerts, an anniversary of the venue or city, early music, organ recitals, etc.).
  • Maybe they’re so self-absorbed, your performance isn’t exactly the same as theirs!  (Yes, Virginia, it happens.  They only hire clones.)

Whatever.  It’s hard, I know.  But it’s really not worth your time to obsess about the outcome.

Rejections are nothing personal

You can’t, and shouldn’t, change your self merely to fit what you think “they” want.  Changing your game plan “just in case” they want whatever it is you think they want?  Never!  Second-guessing makes you sound tentative.

And now for some silly reasons.  It’s obvious that these were made up.

  • We wanted someone with more experience (when you’ve aced the audition).
  • Your sight-reading was… adequate. I received a rejection recently with that as the first line. Since I’ve been hired on the basis of my sight-reading for jobs where the stakes were much higher, it was clear that someone was making up excuses.
  • Your choice of repertoire was inappropriate. This was part of the same rejection. The repertoire in question was from a list they submitted! Part of the audition required playing something from that list.
  • We didn’t like your outfit. This may be the best line I’ve heard yet! (Someone else’s audition. I wasn’t there.)

What have you experienced when an audition didn’t work out? How did you “deal”?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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