College was always a subject I was excited to discuss and by the beginning of my senior year, the premise of applying was exhilarating. I had recently decided that I was going to pursue music and that meant my application process included auditioning for the schools I was looking at as well as submitting the typical application for academic acceptance. It was an exciting thing. I would get to show my talent to actual people. Prove my worth so to speak. What I didn’t realize at the time though, was the possibility of mistake. The fact that I only had one chance to make an impression on the people who would decide where I was able to go.
The room was a lot smaller than I expected. It was painfully white and the added brightness must have been making me look more petrified than I was. “Nothing to be worried about” was the first thing said to me by the burly older gentleman sitting at the front of the room. He was accompanied by a larger woman. Bleach blond hair and a generous amount of makeup is really the only was to accurately describe her. Along with the two faculty members there to listen to me, there was a stout Asian woman sitting behind the piano in the corner of the room. Te weirdest thing though was what she was wearing. A pair of pajama pants and a shirt that was neon orange. I could help but question the whole scenario. This was nothing like what I had expected.
Regardless of the absurdity I felt, I proceeded to the front of the room to begin my audition. The first song went by smoothly. I had no problems and was feeling great. I even saw the blond woman smile when I hit the final note. This couldn’t have been going any better. Disaster moves quickly though and before I knew it I was in the middle of the second song and at a loss for the lyrics. It all happened within ten seconds, but the amount of thoughts racing though my head could have filled a hundred page journal. I stopped the song. “I’m sorry” was the only thing out of my mouth for the next minute.
I blew it. My one shot at getting into one of the best vocal music programs in the state and I blew it. Western Michigan was a bust. I headed home and awaited the next weekend for my upcoming trip to Bowling Green, Ohio for my next and last audition. Maybe I wouldn’t be so terrible there. The next week passed and my last audition went by without hiccup. Now it was just time to wait and see if I got into MSU or Bowling Green. I arrived home every day with increasing anticipation. An envelope was in the mail on March 7th. It was from Western. I couldn’t believe it but I had been accepted! How though? I had bombed my audition and there was no way.
Although my passions have led me away from pursuing a music education as well as led me back home to attend OU. The experience auditioning for Western Michigan was one that I could not ignore. When it seemed that ll was lost, I still came out on top. Later the next year I was in a voice lesson with the same man I had auditioned for and I asked him how I was admitted after screwing up so royally. His response was simply “every makes a mistake here or there.” It was a valuable lesson and a moment I won’t soon forget.