by: Jillian Greenberg
Standing with my number safety pinned on crooked, and my hair slightly disheveled with sweat dripping down my face, I stand there feeling more naked then I do in my shower. Exposed in every way possible I challenge myself to unfurl, and sacrifice my uncertainty for openness. I imagine my chest exposed, my flesh pealing open my ribs, leaving my heart and organs to fall forward flopping on the floor. All in front of these strangers. I feel my heart panic in nervousness as I prepare to say my name. With mouth open, I immediately feel my chest zip up, my throat close up, and a shield fly in front of my body.
Dance is such a personal art form. You are inviting everyone to view your mind via the movement of your own body. You are using every part of your being to express something to complete strangers. Being in an audition and driving yourself into that vulnerability can be a scary place. It is against our human instinct to live in that place of vulnerability. You are allowing your artistry you imagination to be revealed. It takes an immense amount of courage to do what you do, so for that be proud!
The auditioning process can be a grueling one. I have often been told to view every audition as a performance. To approach it as if you were performing, giving it everything you’ve got. As I grow with more and more experience from these endless auditions, I am finding my best fit is to view it as a master class. I ask questions to get involved with the person teaching so I can fully understand where they are coming from and what is going on in their mind. Every chance I get I am trying on their movement, not only duplicating what they are doing but finding a comfortable place for it in my body.
Of course this doesn’t eliminate my fear, but if I can convince myself that I am just there to learn and grow suddenly the number on my chest doesn’t feel so heavy.