I played piano for fifty auditions last night and was particularly inspired by one auditoner. It was her first time auditioning for a play. The sheet music she handed me had only the melody written in oversized note heads with note names emblazoned on each – a beginner piano sheet off the Internet. She sang Disney’s ‘Go the Distance’ from Hercules.
Noticeably nervous, she hesitantly took her place mid-floor, facing the theater and vocal directors. After the initial starting pitch I simplified my playing so I could hear her very quietly speak the lyric – those words her nerve-riddled mind could remember. After several attempts, per suggestion of the theater director, she sat down in a chair. After compassionate encouragement, noting the great courage it takes to do what she was doing, a few tears began.
It was a few moments before she collected herself, thanked us and exited – through the wrong door. Upon re-emerging we directed her toward the true exit. With her back towards us it seemed she was disoriented, not approaching the door. I hopped up to help and when I reached her she murmured, “I want to try again.”
I marveled. As that age I would have been out that door in a shot. We three directors gave each other a silent nod and she joined me at the keyboard and, reading over my shoulder, quietly sang through the song – going the distance.