dementors seen in muggle world ( ! )
it is 1540 greenwich mean time on 07.01.10, meaning audition day is over. lots of commotion during the day including panel member switches, last minute singers, train breaking down everywhere thanks to the cold spell, then car mishaps and all sorts of little unexpected mishaps. the original plan of heading to crosby beach after the audition did not materialize as sunset begins at 1600 and we would have not made it on time. and the auditions were both rather subpar and i am very sure unless i could find an employment of some sorts, i am on a short loan in europe and will be heading back to north america by springtime.
why such a negativity, monkey? well, it's not a negativity. it's really an objective point of view. i totally got sacked in my audition. i prepped as much as i would like to (not as much as i could have, true) and set off early enough to deal with the logistics etc. kindly mr. salamander was being a big help during the whole process. including being my transport/sonata partner/moral support. neighbours lending great big hand by granting access to a piano and hilarious hitler cat company. supports from friends and mentors poured in steady stream. and with year of banff so fresh in my mind, i was perhaps being so naive to think the audition would be alright.
there are many great reasons why an audition does not go well. i can blame the instrument (which was really bright and loud. i thought it sound louder than a jet engine- sharp edged, biting through my ears literally), the confusion of the school (they wanted to delay, reschedule, told to wait, then wanted to proceed as planned with a new member on the panel who has no idea who i am), but not as a blame however of an observation, i think it was me.
there is no one to blame. there is no blame. i cant possibly imagine that everything i do go well? that would be delusional. so some bad things after years of great rolls. okay. and going back is not exactly a dead end perspective. it's not like i will be hanged to death. and i do come from a nice place and i still have loads of friends. i have not lost anything, as i have not gained anything as of yet today.
the difficulty was the coldness of the panel. my panel consisted of two dementors from harry potter world. sucking the life out of the day. business. literally. i walked into the room and felt a great wall of- solid concrete. i would have preferred to play to a screen i think. at least across the screen one has no idea what is going on- but with the two college profs with lots of papers and pens, scribbling endlessly and staring with god-knows-what expression. all i felt is that it is rather soul sucking expression of a sort. indifference or perhaps intimidation. not a drop of humanity. with that feeling of magnification and criticism, i just shrunk, like a candy wrapper in fire. to nothing. seriously, a screened room wouldve been better.
i dont exactly know where my mind was. my brains was. i knew where my heart was- it ran out the door and said: i dont want to be here. i am not going to be. this is hostile. then one physically solidify- rigid, rigor mortis. i couldnt play anything with any sorts of fluidity. spitting out chunks of things, like water tortured prisoner, choking and vomiting water mixed with sweat and blood. eyes dilated into empty void. it was no longer an intimidation but a post-death.
then came questions: what do you want to improve? what did you think of your playing today?
i know better than to be completely honest. but at rigor mortis, i suppose one does not have ones head together yes? i blurped:
that's a naive or very complex question. i am not sure what direction of answer you were looking for, but what i would like to develop is the ability to be what i am under any given circumstance. wishing to play better does not mean much to me. one can always acquire skills if there is ability and will, efforts, guidance and time. but what good would that be if it can only manifest under certain circumstances? for one year program, it would be impossible for me to state truthfully- as i believe acquisition of skills is not something you could do for me. you cannot make me a better player. what you could do is provide me a place, a context and a guidance so that i could become what i could become: my own self.
you dont expect that you could make me better in a year purely by your presence in my life?
ooh wrong answer monkey. and the rest of smaller questions were about the same. and since i totally burned the first question, i decided to lift the self-imposed censorship: who care really. they have all the correct answers in the book and they have more than enough people who will skillfully pick the right answers. and i bet they played better as well.
let it go.
an audition room is also a spaceship journey, if short. everything about is artificial. this particular one being really stiff and formal, business boardroom-like. no room for a humanity. i understand it's an audition. not just for me, but for many who are applying. all have their reasons, none better than others, just different. and perhaps this is not the place i need to be. may be i have grown too big to sit on the little chairs and behave well. i have been un-schooled. the year of nurturing and care, the kind of care that lets ivy vines to grow up, down, sideways, wherever it could grab and prosper, covering a building with a nice layer of green life. it is too late to become a nicely manicured bonsai tree.
i cannot help but to think of banff, as of anti-audition experience. even with the unknowns, it has always been open and friendly. human. well, many may argue that such humanity is not a necessity for music. well, it may not be. even concentration camps and gulag had their musical moments, true. but this cold icy business conduct, i dont really care if it is necessary. music does not need to be a business. and if it is, let me go be a business monkey. at least i will be earning some income or something.
'okay, thanks for coming in, we'll be in touch.'
the second audition was not much different. so i am safe to assume that i totally bombed it. making the cut is not good enough for me, i needed the support from the school- financial scholarships. with subpar playing and unfit interview questions, i think i am well back on the road to return to north america. but that isnt so bad i suppose. there are no things lost as i have not gained anything yet. counting the chickens that have not hatched yet, that's a fool's delusion. i do not need to be more foolish than i already am.
supposedly people cannot help but to tell me: wait and see, you never know. well, surely i will wait because i cannot stop the progression of time even if i would like to. and then slowly think about alternative routes. who knows, if i could find an employment (it did snow 3 days straight here in england and froze all trains and roads right? anything is possible) then may be europe still may be an option. but yyz is not a bad place. wherever i am in the world, it's a fine place.
i just have to remember my wealth, the pitiful amount of wealth from the objective point of view, is still all mine. because they are intangible. some will be selected for next fall semester. i am not going to be one of them, i believe. but i still can be rich, if i dont strip the meanings from my own life.
thanks to all (special shout goes to mr. salamander) and a greeting from semi-crushed monkey on wintry british afternoon.