It may seem like an odd time of year* but I auditioned for a pantomime recently. Now I’ve only seen about three pantomimes in my entire life so I was entirely out of my depth in every way but I was persuaded to give it a go anyway.
When we got to the theatre I felt a moment of panic at the sight of three microphones at the front of the stage but they were quickly cleared away and we got on with the process of reading through several scenes. As usual once I set foot on stage I felt much more comfortable and enjoyed myself greatly.
Still I knew that some singing was going to be required eventually and I was incredibly nervous about it. Finally the microphones were moved back on stage and I was one of the first three asked to get up and sing. We were given printed lyrics and I thanked my lucky stars as the song was “Any Dream Will Do” which was the first song I ever sang with my singing teacher!
Without warm up or even a listen but thankfully with a recording to sing along to the three of us had to launch into it together. Looking at the paper in my hand and trying to ignore the room full of people I concentrated on singing confidently aware that I’d actually sound better that way. I even eventually found enough mental space to look up and smile while singing.
Then we had to sing it again, this time one of us singing a verse at a time. I concentrated on which verse I had to sing and launched into it when my turn came. Bizarrely because my voice was amplified I had the sensation of singing along with myself. I could hear what I was singing and yet it didn’t sound like my voice at all, so amazingly didn’t freak me out.
Thankfully I sat down at the end to listen to the next group of three
However we were not yet done. In the same groups we had to get up again and sing another song, this time Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”, a song I’d never heard (heck, I haven’t even heard of Christina Perri!). Somehow I managed to sort of sing along to this and when it came to the solos (this time one line at a time) I decide that I might as well go for the ‘making the song my own’ approach and sing the words in whatever tune seemed to fit and not worry if it wasn’t exactly like the original. To be fair we were helped by the fact that several of our audience did know the song and therefore sang along with some of it too.
Now I’m not expecting to get a part and frankly right now that bothers me not at all. Mostly I’m just thrilled that I managed to stand up and sing in front of people without it going too badly wrong and also perhaps more amazingly, I actually enjoyed it a little bit.
It’s so unlike me that I’m left wondering did I really do that?
*Although it’s always panto season in our house