Friday, September 28, 2007


I've got the stars in my eyes - the rockstars. I hit Craigslist with a fury last week, searching through the vocalist ads for a few worth responding to. A couple years back I tried crafting my own ads - rock chick looking for band. It's hard to write the correct ad. Which bands to mention as your influences? How do you position yourself? Etc. Searching the ads is much easier. Usually just from reading them I can get a pretty good idea of whether it's worth replying to or not.

MP3s certainly don't hurt either. I feel like a couple years back when I was last looking almost no one had MP3s or if they did they were in quicktime on their own webpage. Now people just link you to their Myspace page and voila, instant demo. Which puts me at a distinct disadvantage because I don't really have any MP3s to speak of. Just some old, horrible quality recordings of my band from high school/college. It's something that makes me a bit apprehensive. But no one ever won the lottery without buying a ticket, so I swallowed my fear and responded. I heard back from both bands and schmoozed my way into an audition. Halfway there.

I get a little bit spiritual about the whole music gig (the right brain coming through?). So after getting in to auditions I felt like karma was helping me out a bit. But nothing is ever that easy, so it should've been no surprise that work kicked my ass this week. As in, I had very little time to learn the songs for the auditions. So maybe karma wasn't on my side after all. On both audition days I watched what I ate and drank lots of water.

The first audition was Tuesday night in Brooklyn. I took the F train and to an area I didn't know well. I ended up having to ask directions in the kinda seedy neighborhood. The studio itself was really nice. It looked like a warehouse from outside but the entire building was just floor after floor of tiny music studios. Seeing the soundproofing on the wall made me feel right back at home. It's a good thing I jotted the lyrics on a notepad because the band didn't provide.

It was three guys looking for a lead, the ad said male or female. They were all pretty nice and about my age. The guitar player especially was quite good. I think I was one of the last people to go and they seemed a bit tired but in mostly good spirits. They asked me some questions about what I wanted, then I sang along and then I was done. I felt like I did pretty well, though at the end of the second song I missed one repeat of the chorus. Oops.

The second band I was auditioning for was more interesting to me. Their old website featured a bunch of shows, which excited me and their music was very much inline with how I would want my band to sound. I raced home from work to learn my two songs. The first one was originally performed by a female singer and was smack dab in my hot zone. Loved it! The second song, though, was located right in my natural break and was a tough one to nail. I kept going back and forth - one time through I'd hit it, the next time I'd sound like a cat in heat. But it was such a great song! I tried raising the tune an octave but it didn't have the gravely quality I was looking for.

This audition was in the Fashion District. Again, a nondescript building's innards revealed floor after floor after music studios. I wasn't nervous until I arrived. I realized I really wanted in to this band. I found their studio and sat down on the chairs outside. Another studio's musicians were chatting in the hallway, which gave me just enough noise to practice the songs quietly out loud.

The audition before me was still taking place. Like the cleanup hitter in the on-deck circle, I used the opportunity to sing along. The girl who was in there had an amazing voice but she kept throwing in Mariah-like voice throws. Did she not listen to the demos? Very rock. No signs of long vocal solos. Then again, what if they wanted to go in a different direction? One never knows.

The guy with the appointment after me showed up. We didn't speak. I felt weird, like I should say something, but what? 'Hey, you seem cool. I want this though, so too bad for you.' Hmm, on second thought, glad I kept quiet.

Finally the studio door opened and one of the members emerged. He apologized for them running behind and invited me in. There were four of them, all male. All a bit older than I'd originally thought. They were all definitely in their 30s. But I was cool with it. They did provide lyrics which was nice.

I kicked ass on the first song (the one in my hot zone). But during the song it was very hard to hear myself. I would have asked for more voice in my monitor had it been a show. The music was solid and it was obvious they were talented. I got compliments after the song. The guitarist told me to sing closer to the mic on the second tune, which I did. Right before they started, I got a major case of butterflies in the tummy. I also noticed the lyrics they provided for the second song were different than the lyrics they'd provided when they told me I was in for the audition. Weird. I decided to sing off the sheet.

I battled my way through the second song. I still couldn't hear myself very well, but I could feel my voice break on one instance of the chorus. I don't think the band could hear me well either - the bassist was right up against the amps trying to hear me. Ha. About halfway through though I realized I had to relax. So I did, and smiled. After the song we chatted for a few, then they offered me a beer on the way out. I took it and left.

As I was leaving the building, another band outside stopped me and asked me who I was with. I told them I was auditioning and they told me they were looking for a singer. A backup though. I took their number and told them I'd give them a call.

On Thursday night the first band got back to me - no dice. I wasn't really surprised. I didn't feel like I'd nailed that one and I wasn't sure that band was what I wanted anyway. But this morning I was sad to learn the second band was no dice as well. I did want that one. Oh well. I guess I'm not quite that lucky. My voice is a bit out of condition. I need to start singing more to practice. Also this morning I got a follow-up email from the first band's drummer, asking me out on a date! I politely declined. So while my voice needs a bit of reconditioning, I guess the rockstar hotness is still intact.

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