I am really frightened.
Tomorrow is my performance jury that will determine whether I will be allowed into the performance stream at school. I have had two years to think about tomorrow and yet it didn't occur to shit my pants until right...now.
In reality (which hardly seems relevant at the moment), I have no real reason to be frightened. I've done a crap load of performing this year: competitions, presentations, recitals, Manitoba Opera. This, however, seems so much greater than all of those. One half hour tomorrow could alter my path for the rest of my life, and I realize that that may sound a tad melodramatic, but in fact, it's really rather for-better-or-worse true. If I succeed, I will continue down the path that I've always seen for myself since starting two years ago, but if I fail, I honestly don't know how I'll react or (in the bigger picture) what I will even do for the next year of my life. Maybe I'll go to Paris.
This is about more than just an audition though. I see that. This is about the fact that I have never failed at anything that is truly important to me in my life. While it's true that I had a moderately privledged upbringing that may have started the wheels into motion, I know that there are a lot of things that I have worked at, whether that means long term or last minute, that have helped me get here. And I really would rather not have that come to a crashing halt tomorrow.
Last night was the opening of L'elisir d'amore, the Manitoba Opera's latest production, in which I am in the chorus. In the very first scene, we peasants are intently watching the female lead as she recounts the tale of Tristan and Isolda. The singer is Nikki Einfeld and she is young and talented and everything I'd like to be in 6 years. I was standing there and suddenly I was overcome with emotion that Oh my god! I get to do...this! I get to stand here and be paid (albeit menially at this level) to do what I want the most in the world to do. I am so lucky to be in this moment. And then the W: Women's Television cameras stopped rolling. Just kidding. But in all honesty, it was quite moving.
So here I am, a brief 15 hours away, being 99% prepared and this 1 mother*$^ing % is driving me absolutely mad. It's a word or two in my Papageno aria. It's an entrance in my Elijah piece. It's things that only myself and my fellow singers could - and should - possibly care about. But boy do we care about it.
My stomach is fluttering. To put that into perspective, consider this: my stomach didn't flutter as I was getting ready for my name to be called at Tudor Bowl. My stomach didn't flutter when I found out my grandmother had a stroke two years ago. And my stomach certainly didn't flutter last year when I was about to do this exact same thing but without the pressure of a beheld future on the line. My stomach only flutters like this at one time, and for those that know me well, this says something: my stomach only flutters when I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am about to be in love. The love could last for a day or it can last until I die, but I always know when I get "the shakes". Maybe I haven't been able to admit before that this is who I've become; in this moment, I can define myself beyond anything else as a performer and the idea of not being allowed to pursue it kills me.
Wish me luck.