Audition Day

Los Angeles Travel Blog

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Wow. Yesterday was certainly interesting.
So at around 4:00 I started to get ready to audition. I curled my hair and put on my costume at the hotel, then we took a taxi to the Glendale Civic Center. I put my makeup on there and made final adjustments to my (finicky) costume, and then headed upstairs. By this time I was feeling a lot less stressed since I wasn't worried so much about time. When we got outside the audition room, I was shocked! There were so many people there! There were about 60 cabaret girls, 15 tribal girls (two of which were Kendra and Janelle from Spokane) and 2 tribal guys. After struggling my way near the front of the "line" I signed in and waited for the doors to open. I got to say hi to Janelle and Kendra, and hung out with Mom for a while.
After a little while they called us all in and talked to us about what to expect; how the audition process was going to go, what they were looking for, etc. Then they sent us all back out again and said they'd call us back in groups of twenty. They called the tribal gals in first, and while we were waiting I got so fidgety. I was feeling so many emotions that it all oddly expressed. Most of the time I just sat there and bounced up and down and talked jibberish at Mom. After a bit I calmed myself down with some stretching, and talked to some of the other girls. Then I realized that I was dehydrated and Mom went to find me some water.
Of course, they called my group in right after she left, so I just took a deep breath, settled into my best bellydancer posture and walked in. I swear, standing in front of Miles and Jillina is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences I've ever been through. They are, literally the two most important people you could ever meet in your career. They can make or break you. I would have been calmer to dance at some event in North Korea with an armed guard pointing guns at me! But, as terrified as I was in some ways, in other ways I was just calm. I kept telling myself "I know I've got this."
So the first thing they had us do was do two point turns to the left diagonally across the room. I was startled at this, because it's like, the ultimate basic of basics. But after watching some of the girls, I understood why. I was shocked that girls who thought they should be at those tryouts, to end up on the best stages in the world, in front of millions of people, alongside the best dancers in the world . . . could possibly mess up a two point turn. I must admit, that is a quick and easy way for them to figure out who they need to watch. When it was my turn, I just planted on my biggest smile, and went for it. When I arrived on the other side, all I could do was take a deep breath and smile again.
After that, they had us line up in two rows. Then Jillina and Sabah showed us a short choreography (12 seconds, as I would later find out), had us switch lines, then switch back. Then we did it with them, switched, did it again, switched, did it again, and switched. So basically each person got to see it once and do it twice. Normally this wouldn't be a problem for me. I can learn choreography instantly. But I just couldn't see! I knew I needed a new glasses prescription, but I didn't know I needed it that bad. Sabah was on my side of the room, so I watched her, and her feet (or shoes, I couldn't tell) just blended into the floor. I gathered everything but the footwork, and that really messed me up. On top of that, once I realized I couldn't see, I got nervous . . . and I think everything just went downhill from there. Honestly, though I did do alright. I got two steps wrong, spun the wrong way once and missed the end once. At the end you spin to the right two and a half times, then stop facing to the left and shimmy. I kept wanting to stop on the right. So grr. Another thing I don't think I did well on was eye contact. I was on the left side of the room, and Jillina and Miles were on the right. So in front of me were Sonia, Issam and Petite Jamilla, whome I was doing the smile/eye contact with. Even so, it was hard to see their eyes in order to really do it right. Looking back on it all I should have been like "Excuse me, but can we move closer? I need a new prescription and I just can't see". But oh well.
So after that was over, Jillina called us all to form a line, and from left to right state our name, where we're from, etc. A lot of girls mumbled, or had very thick accents, so I felt good when I spoke loudly, clearly and very English-ey. After that, Jillina and Miles talked for a minute and called three or four girls to do solos . . . and not me! My heart just dropped to my toes. I was shocked! I knew I could have done better with the choreography, but there were so many other things, and so many signs that I just felt in my heart that I had it. So I grabbed my cd and walked out to Mom. I was trying so hard not to cry, wondering why I didn't get it . . . And I found Mom and just shook my head at her. She told me later I was smiling, a fact I don't remember. I guess I was just trying really, really hard not to cry. She looked confused and was like "what?" but I couldn't say it! Then she noticed that I was crying and understood. I just pointed outside and we walked out and sat under a tree. Once I was away from everyone I let it out a bit. I had my moment. I told Mom what happened, and after I said I just couldn't see the footwork she said maybe they'd let me back in if she explained it. I didn't really expect that, but I said we could try. So I mopped my face up a little bit, took off my eyelashes (which were already half off anyhow), checked my makeup, which remarkably looked fine (gotta love Ben Nye) and walked back in. She got there just in time, as they were calling in the last group. I was so proud of her. She asked the door lady really fast, who said she didn't know, and somehow flagged down Jillina and explained. I was waiting kind of out of sight, trying to regain my composure. Then Mom turned around and motioned for me, and again, I was shocked. For about two seconds, Jillina was God to me. Then, returning to reality, I told my feet to get a move on, and went back in.
It was a lot easier the second time, because I managed to get closer, but I was still on the left! I don't know how I didn't think to weasel my way onto the right, but there you go. At one point I managed to catch Jillina's eye and mouthed "thank you" and she winked. So after all was said and done they called two girls to do solos, and again, not me. This time I just kind of sighed. Again I picked up my cd and went to find Mom. I shrugged at her and said "oh well". We started to leave, and then I decided I was going to wait until she left and ask her what I needed to do. So we headed back and waited outside the room for about an hour. While we were waiting, we had already formulated the plan. My moment of defeat long behind me, I was more determined than ever. We decided to got to Raqs America to try again (June 22nd). We aren't sure how to get the money, but we'll figure it out. In the meantime, I'm going to order Jillina's new choreographey DVDs to learn her style of footwork more, practice as much as I can every day, make myself learn under pressure, and train myself on expression more. So after a while, I saw Jillina and I jumped up, but she was talking with someone. I decided I wasn't going to let this opportunity get away from me, so feeling guilty I followed her a ways. After she noticed me I said I felt bad following her, but could I talk to her for just a minute? She said sure, and I asked her what I should do. She said more ballet, jazz and bellydance, and just try again. So I kind of gathered that I just didn't catch her eye enough. So next time, sorry in advance to my competitors, but I am going to make sure I end up smack dab in front of her.
So after we got back to the hotel I called Dad and Amber and told them about it. I was still rather bummed, and I was very tired and shocked. I didn't quite want to go to sleep yet, so Mom and I headed down to sit in the hot tub for a bit. After we got in, a security guard let everyone know the pool was about to close. Mom said we just got in, and he let us have five minutes. I was so appreciative. The water was so nice, and the jet was hitting the small of my back, where I'm always sore. After we got out we headed up to the room and ordered pizza. After eating and watching some mindless television, we both called it a day and hit the sack.
Right now we're still in the hotel, though we're going to have to check out in a bit. Our flight doesn't leave until 6:30 tonight, so we're going to ask if we can hang out in the pool until we need to leave.
sylviandavid says:
An important day .... and you did well. Sylvia
Posted on: Dec 28, 2008
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