Now that Mahler has finally concluded and the trip to Okayama is behind me, I look at several days of practice before heading to San Diego to take an audition there. There is a lot of work to be done.
When I took AP Chemistry in high school, my teacher had an interesting approach: from the very first test of the year, he gave us an entire AP test to complete. This meant that most of the material on that first test was something we had never seen or heard of before. His grading was very liberal and understanding of the impossibility he handed us, but I think the idea was to expose us to the test numerous times and to prime us to what was needed.
I think auditions are similar. One has to practice taking them in order to know what one needs to know. I've taken a few, but am very young in my auditioning career and learn something more with every round of preparation. It's an exciting process to undertake, but always daunting as is anything in which one has far more room to grow. And always the element of mystery, the uncontrollable factors.
It's not just about winning, although that is the name of the game. It's about finding ultimate control and honing the ideal for which that control is needed to express. Searching further for the motivation of a composer and finding an ability in oneself to convey that; and neither has an end. We think that once we achieve this unachievable thing we will be rewarded with a job and a badge and have a feeling of completion. But there is always more. Chasing after it.
It was fun to have my week filled with agendas. To take a trip somewhere and enjoy nice food and hospitality. And now the next week will be my own doing. More excerpts to learn, more learning to do.