MY NYU TISCH AUDITION
At 4:52 pm I’m standing in my kitchen, waiting for the beep of the microwave to tell me my water is done heating up. I open my yogi tea and read a promising little phrase: Where there is love, there is no question. The great thing about words from yogi is that they are nearly always applicable, if you want them to be. Today I take this to mean not to worry about my audition. I love what I do enough that there should be no question. I must believe in my love for the arts – that my talent and hard work will take me where I need to go.
Much earlier today, I awoke, anxious: 1:00 am. I tossed and turned until my alarm rang around five, got myself ready, and was driven, with my mother, to the train station by my dad. Now, during that car ride, I expected to rethink the hundred-thousand thoughts I’ve thought about this day. Tisch isn’t going to like me. Tisch will love me. What if I forget the words? Surely Divine Intervention will make sure I don’t. What if my monologues don’t come across as genuine? Maybe I should go over them again. What if, what if. Mostly, what if I fail? Does that mean that all of these years of preparation have been for nothing…? Some of those thoughts were juvenile; some prodded me to question my identity. In hind-site, they were really too much…I mean, it’s just college… right?
Even though I’d thought all of those thoughts before, I didn’t think them in the car. I just asked my dad to turn off the radio, and proceeded to sing the audition songs in my head.
We arrived in front of Madison Square Garden around seven thirty and took the subway to get to West 4th street. From there my mom and I walked to the Tisch building. We were half an hour early, so we went to the McD’s across the street to buy some hot water for my tea and to get some breakfast oatmeal. There was a little pep in my step when I opened my morning Yogi: I am beautiful. I am bountiful. I am blissful. Sitting in the waiting room, though, was a little unnerving. Teenagers can be loud. It was probably the nerves. I did my best to be pleasant and quiet. I didn’t want to lose my focus.
I did, however, get to make a rather fortunate observation. I was the only Hispanic girl in the room – or at least Hispanic looking. All around me, the girls looked the same, and so did the boys. Looks have nothing to do with personality, talent, or professionalism, but the fact that I was a naturally tan, fresh face gave me an extra jolt of confidence. Hopefully, I would stand out.
It was a Musical Theater morning, and about thirty two of us were broken up into groups of four. My group featured two other girls from New Jersey and a young lady from the south – two experienced dancers and one on edge, like me. I didn’t talk to them much, but on my honor, I was as pleasant and non-threatening as could be. That never stops undermining comments, but it sure cools their effect.
All of the faculty made us feel really comfortable, unless it was just me and my generally happy disposition. All it took was for the man with the agenda to start talking for all of my nerves to fall away and for my inner joy to sprawl itself all over my face. Not to brag or anything, but I’ve got a really honest, infectious smile, and I really believe that it is my best physical feature. It is my ultimate ‘be comfortable around me’ magic spell, and has yet to fail me, probably because it’s so natural I can’t control when it appears. It connected me to a lot of adults today, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I feel like whatever my talents and credits were, they all felt drawn to me as a person – and that, my friends, is very good indeed.
The dance audition was held by a ballet and jazz teacher and two sophomore Musical Theater students. We danced to part of Beyonce’s ‘Love On Top’. The teacher could have sworn he knew me from somewhere (there goes that disposition of mine, makin’ connections) but I was sure we hadn’t. Anyhow, I told him I liked his spirit, to which he laughed and said, “Good answer!” The steps were basic, and the overall dancing portion was fun, but I sufficiently lacked some coordination. That’s okay though, because he said that’s the whole point of going to school – to learn!! As long as we had fun. Which I did. So there. *Pats self on back semi-convincingly*.
This was awesome. The lady, who we will call ‘Jill’ was super approachable and very professional. She had my list of works already, so she just told me to go ahead in the order that I submitted them. I picked a point above her in the very large white room, imagined Creon sentencing me to a happy, ignorant life, and dove right into ‘Antigone’. For ‘Sherri Lee’ I picked a point beside Jill, and commenced trying to calm an insane friend. Afterwards she asked me a couple of questions, like how I worked on the pieces, and what were some notes I was given. Then I sat down and she asked me a bit more about myself, like what I would do if I didn’t do theater, and what kind of theater I liked best. I felt very happy about the interview because it allowed me to share with Jill other things I care about, like being civically engaged.
I love to sing. Lalala. LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I was happy that Mr. SingMan made me change my positions and actions, and even tested my range. I was glad that he seemed to take an interest in me, as opposed to have me sing, say thank you, and watch me leave. It was a super comfortable situation – just Mr.SingMan, a friend of his who was not there for all of the vocal auditions but came in after lunch to see him , and a very jolly accompanist. I hit a high C and a low E, and felt like a total opera singer, though my contrasting pieces showed off my comfort zone: ALTOLAND. My advice here is to do your best to incorporate the notes given to you in your performance, and HAVE FUN!
So right now, I feel pretty darn good. I’ve got about seven more auditions to go, but I am very happy with my first, overall. I’ve realized that I just need to CALM DOWN and take everything as it comes, prepared. Even if NYU says no, I know that the place I am meant to be will say YES. I did my best and had fun, and that is all that matters.
-Ariana M Taveras