My (First) Audition As A Guitar Player

Or how to have a little bit of fun on a Saturday morning. Now, really, this is a funny story and I honestly don’t know what other meaning can I derive from it, other than well, being funny. But since it’s still a story, and I’m on a writing challenge, iI thought to write about this today.

Here’s what happened.

A little over a month ago, I published my monthly guitar video, with a subpar performance of Sting, Every Breath You Take. It was a fingerstyle rendition on acoustic, with two tracks: the accompaniment and the melody. Because I was sloppy, I missed the alignment of the tracks, and I also performed them in different keys. The end result was suboptimal, to say the least.

To my surprise, though, I got not one, but two supporting comments on that YouTube video. I must have had about 50 followers on my channel at that time, so this was quite surprising. One of the comments was even more baffling, as it came from an account called “Sessions” (or something like that), saying that, despite the difficulties, “I nailed it”. Of course I didn’t nail anything, but well, you know, the Internet and its bots these days… I went on with my life only to discover that the same account posted something similar on my Instagram account (yeah, I posted the video on my Instagram too). This time, the account also direct messaged me, with an invitation to try, surprise-surprise, an audition platform. There was a link in the message (looked ok, nothing suspicious, so I clicked it) and that’s how I discovered this startup that tries to connect aspiring artists with their audience, via online concerts.

All nice and well, so far, but first, I’m not an artist (at that time I was playing the guitar for only 5 months) and I do not want to connect with an audience. I can barely cope with my current audience on all my social media accounts, to be honest. Not that I have a huge audience, don’t get me wrong, but even a few hundreds, or thousands of followers can be a bit overwhelming at times, at least for me, at least during this time of my life.

So, my first reaction was “thanks, but no, thanks” and tried, once again, to go with my life. But there was something that didn’t let me, this time. After staying with that restlessness for a while I realized it was just a bit of curiosity. I simply never ever went to a musical audition, as a guitar player. I did participate to an audition for a commercial, as a tango dancer, but that was different, I had a partner, it was in real life, we danced, not played, etc. Now, all that I had to do was to start my laptop, connect on the Internet, and play. Provided that at the other end of this interaction was a real person, that is, and, to be honest, that was the other part of the curiosity: how this thing works? What’s behind it, what’s the process, what are the concerts like, from where the audience comes?

So, I eventually scheduled an audience in 3 weeks. I got a confirmation email, and a few preparation emails as I was getting closer to the date. It looked more and more like this wasn’t a bot, but a real startup.

And, finally, last Saturday (4 days ago) I actually had the audition.

As it usually happens with these things, I was completely unprepared. It was a cold day in Valencia that day and didn’t have the time to proper warm up, so my fingers were still numb, and my playing even choppier than usual (which is quite choppy on a normal day anyway, believe me, I’m a beginner). But I decided to go on with it and, after I entered the Zoom meeting, I started to introduce myself. The lady at the other end seemed really keen to hear me playing, but I insisted I should tell her what I’m actually doing. After a few minutes, she understood that this is just a hobby for me (or at least for now, it’s at the hobby level) and I’m not actively searching to perform for other people. But she insisted that at least I can try something on the guitar, since I still had 15 more minutes from my time slot.

I did a choppy rendition of the only complete song that I can play decently now, Spanish Romance, which also happens to be one of my all time favorites. She wasn’t impressed, but she didn’t look disappointed either. She told me that their service is for musicians, for artists who are doing this (almost) full time. I repeated that I’m not there yet, and I don’t even know if I want to be there, and she was very understanding. She even recommended me to reschedule the audition at a future date, when I’ll feel more prepared and I’ll have at least a 20 minutes repertoire.

We parted ways as friends.

And that was it. No meaning to extract from it, no lesson to learn, just a fun way to spend a Saturday morning.

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