Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Audition Woes and Knits in Action

I have been knitting, really.... but only a little, because my hands feel totally shot.
You see, stupid me decided about a month ago that for the fun and challenge of it, I would try another audition. I figured practicing for this thing would keep me in good playing shape during my current off-season. The last audition I took was 2 years ago, and during that time, I must've gotten hit on the head or something, because I clearly forgot the craziness of it all.

For those of you who have not experienced an orchestral audition, it goes something like this:
A position is announced, and depending on the orchestra, there can be 250+ applicants sending their resumes for that one job. Of those, less than half are invited to a live audition. You are then given a list of excerpts of pieces which you practice to the point of insanity (I've been clocking about 5-6 hours of practice a day).

At some point, it is common to get "burnt out" on playing these same little excerpts over and over, but it's also frustrating because there are some beastly little passages in there that require all your attention and finger acrobatics to land safely. (Imagine knitting in stockinette stitch for miles and miles, and suddenly you have to negotiate an incredibly complicated cable stitch within a few seconds, and you're not allowed to frog it if you mess up.)

I think the worst part of these auditions is that after so many hours of preparation, you have about 5 minutes, behind a screen, to play it all perfectly. Anything can go wrong from nerves making you shake to your instrument acting up; and there's always something. You just have to ignore it and do your best anyway.

Perhaps I will come to my senses and just not take this audition; I have 2 jobs already, and I'm quite happy with them. But more likely, I will take the bull-headed approach and just do it.


Well, the fun thing is that my friends have sent me pictures of their daughters wearing the things I knit for them; it's great seeing knits in action, and reminds me why I enjoy knitting so much:

"A" wearing the BSJ that I modified (longer body and sleeve length, and added hood). She was stopped by a knitter in a NYC subway station who knew this was a BSJ.

"M" wearing the original BSJ. Also stopped in a T-station in Boston by a knitter who recognized Elizabeth Zimmerman's BSJ.

Both "M" and "A"s mothers are not knitters, and so were extremely impressed by these people who could recognize the "brand" or "designer" of the knitwear their kids were wearing from across the station.

"S" wearing a Bolero, booties and posing next to a baby-sized version of this afghan (I'm working on a full size one right now; pics of squares soon)