After my usual church gig this morning at Bayside United Methodist Church, it was off to auditions for Ya’el Tap Dance Company, which I had to leave early in order to make rehearsal for Essential Voices USA. Last February I auditioned for the group, which I wrote about here. I’ve been having a blast with these girls, but like all things performance companies in a city of freelancers, people come and go, so it was time to get some new members.
What a difference experience being on the other side of the table. I was terrified during my audition, trying my best to not let it show, as everyone was tapping circles around me. This time I was able to just sit back and watch, or jump in and dance when I wanted to, since I already knew the routines. I think there were about thirty people auditioning and Julie is looking to add three or four more to the group. I couldn’t stay and watch every dance in their small groups, so I couldn’t make any kind of prediction as to who will be in the company at this time tomorrow. There were three guys there, so we’ll probably add at least one more. If it were up to me, I’d stay the only guy –I love the attention–but I don’t think Julie, our founder, wants the group to look like Kevin and The Ladies of Ya’el (though I do think that has a nice ring to it).
It’s always a great learning experience to watch auditions and this one was no different. You can definitely get a good amount of information about a person just by their presence in the room, before they even start to dance. You notice any nervous habits, their confidence level, how friendly and social they are with their competition, and whether or not they’re even enjoying the experience. And I know that comes into play, especially when you have more talented people that you can take. At that point, you step back and look at the big picture, taking into account everything you know, or think you know, from observing.
I’m generally quiet in group auditions, as I’m just focusing on what I need to do, but I’m willing to bet that the people who get in, are the ones who were team players, and enjoying the people around them. While I might be focused on doing well, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I run the risk of appearing shy or antisocial. But if it were me, I’d cast the people who were having a great time with everyone in the room; life’s too short not to have fun.