Originally blogged May 20, 2012
I think the greatest obstacle to overcome with taking auditions is the expense. You spend years in schools, practicing, gigging, learning, and you know that eventually you just have to start taking auditions. It's complicated because you have to lay out a lot of money and if you don't have cash, or a spouse, it seems like an impossibility. This is why I never auditioned until several years after I finished my fancy conservatory undergrad and even then, I did only 1, and it was only a CD round.
For me, every audition is cross country. Every audition requires a rental car, hotel and flight. Some people question the rental car but with a package deal, they aren't that much - you would almost spend the same on a taxi but with a rental you aren't stuck dealing with local transportation or hotel shuttles. Plus the rental affords the opportunity to stay wherever the cheaper hotel is.
I have been really lucky booking hotels that have been cheap but quite nice. A few have even been quite fancy. This audition trip is an exception. We always book through various travel sites. It's never been an issue to stay in something locally owned because the travel site will typically vette the hotel with customer reviews, or at least they are suppose to.
After my very tiring red eye flight, I checked into the "hotel." Exhausted, I was eager to pull out reeds and then nap. But this hotel was really a community of short term apartments...people were living there...and not America's finest. My "suite" had cigarette holes in the covers, the lightening fixture in the bathroom was broken, mold all over the tub, stains all over the carpet, paint patches everywhere, upholstery stains...and on and on.
It was beyond nasty and I was genuinely concerned about my safety and the rental car. At the same time, I don't want to be a diva. My husband works really hard to provide these trips for me and I don't want to be picky. That being said, something like this can totally throw you off your game mentally. Obsessing about my safety or how gross the bed linens are would have a huge impact on my ability to focus on why I am here.
After sitting there in total mental stupor I called travelocity. More than an hour later, I was able to get approval for a refund and checked in to a Holiday Inn Express.
We spend between $500 - $800 per audition...with a lot of variables.
In 2006 I was in a hotel somewhere between Georgia and NY. I was traveling alone. After taking a shower a strange man came and knocked on my door...and wouldn't leave. He pounded over and over with increasing intensity. I had noticed him when I was emptying my car and felt a very strong impression that there was something wrong. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life. I felt trapped in my room, the front office didn't care, it was a roach motel in a bad part of town. But I learned, especially as a woman traveling alone, safety has to come first. It's great when you can save a buck but not at the cost of your personal safety.
Re: audition prep -
At this point I have taken a long nap but I'm totally disoriented and almost dizzy with fatigue. I will NEVER red eye an audition again! My husband reminded me that any other flight would have been over $1000. So I have come to a conclusion: I will not take auditions that require a red-eye or plane tickets for over $1,000. Lesson learned, should be a fun audition tomorrow.