As many of you know, I used to perform musical theater back in the day. I was pretty lucky and worked a lot doing musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, The King and I, West Side Story, Hair and more. Of course, I auditioned like mad for so many other shows. One of my favorite auditions was for a production of Sondheim's Into the Woods. If you're not familiar, it's basically a mash up of fairy tales with music!
The audition was pretty big. It was for...hmmm. I forget. But I think it was for Sacramento Light Opera. A well respected and big time credit. (If it wasn't them, I do remember it being for a pretty big theater). They wanted you to come in and sing a song from the character you thought you were right for. For me, it was the role of Jack. I had sung his big number, "Giants in the Sky", for other auditions in the past. However, and not putting myself down, I wasn't all that confident for this audition. Again, big time. I certainly had some good credits under my name but this was huge. But, I also knew they were doing a couple of shows down the road (namely Jesus Christ Superstar) that I was right for. I often auditioned for shows I wasn't right for knowing they had another show that I might be considered for later. Often worked and I'd get called in by whatever company was putting it on.
With that in mind, I didn't want to sing "Giants in the Sky". Sure, it was Jack's big song and hits that big note at the end. But I wanted them to remember me. I knew the show pretty well and remembered Jack had a small 8 or 9 bar song where he sings good-bye to his cow after selling it for magic beans. This song:
I went into the audition where about 3 or 4 people were at the table (presumably the director and some producres) and said. "Hi. I'm Jimmy Aquino. I'm going to sing for Jack. But instead of Giants in the Sky, I'll sing his Good-bye song". They all collectively laughed and asked me to proceed. I thought to myself, "Oh crap. They think I'm kidding. Well, it was kind of funny so hopefully they'll dig it." After I sung, they paused for a beat and then the director said, "Well...you said you were going to do it. Thanks very much."
Hahaha. I totally blew it. I thought they'd find it funny (they did) but not enough to ask me to sing another song or call me in later down the line for JCS. Oh well, no magic beans for me!
I had fun with it and don't regret it. You got to take risks some times, kids! And on other occasions, risks paid off. Though I have several other bad audition stories where they didn't. Perhaps I'll share them with you in the future. Until then, go climb a beanstalk!