I have just done my last major practice session before my audition on Wednesday. So much logistical stuff to get through before then, but hopefully this should take my mind off things if nothing else!
I’ve had an incredible weekend – Friday was a gig at a lovely pub just on the edge of town, and was the last one with Frankie and John.
As ever there were a few random things in amongst the jazz and blues numbers, the audience was incredibly appreciative and the harp rather stole the show when Frankie asked me to play Stairway to Heaven! I’d played it at a restaurant the week before and it had gone down a storm. I normally hold back because it’s such a guitar cliche, which is a shame as the harp arrangement by David Ice is brilliant.
I always think of my dad when I play this – having thought he was mostly a Bowie/Beatles/Abba fan all my life, he recently owned up to his Led Zep passion. He helped me at a photo shoot last year and Stairway was one of the pieces I was playing while the photographer did her thing. I am very much a daddy’s girl so thinking of my dad while playing is always quite emotional. I had lots of compliments which has made my heart soar!
Saturday was a wedding – the bride wore a stunning dress (and believe me I have seen plenty in my time!) and the guests were lovely and so appreciative.
Last night was Frankie’s farewell – another pub, and this time I got to take my electric harp out to play! One of my friends from my racing days has built me a stand for it and it did the trick. One of Frankie’s friends took some brilliant pictures which I will put up when I get them. I met some great people and made some fab contacts which bodes well for what happens now Frankie is moving on.
Back to the audition…. I’m playing a Bach-Grandjany Etude (Sarabande from Violin Partita No 1 – just beautiful, and very slow and expressive which is right up my street), La Source (which can be a bit of a harp cliche!), and the Firedance by David Watkins (which my dad hates, and I have to say after years of loving this piece, I am on the verge of seeing what he means!). Plus a famous cadenza from the Nutcracker.
I haven’t prepared as much as I would have liked, but I have done my best in the time available. I hope to relax my hideously tense muscles and go with the flow.
I read this blog post by Deborah Henson-Conant about ‘Glide’ and this has helped me visualise my performance and understand what I enjoy about performing. It’s a great way of describing something that I’ve always found impossible to relate to others (and I’m thrilled she replied to my comment).
I am a big Harry Potter fan and have always loved the description of how he feels when he first chooses his new wand in the first book – the stars shooting out of his hand etc. I try to visualise this when I think about my performance.
Also the scene in Billy Elliott where he is asked in his audition how dancing makes him feel, and he struggles but eventually describes it as being like electricity.
And the fabulous scene in The Red Shoes where Victoria Page meets Boris Lermontov and the following exchange takes place after he is rather sneery:
Lermontov: Why do you want to dance?
Vicky: Why do you want to live?
Lermontov: Well, I don’t know exactly why, but… I must.
Vicky: That’s my answer too.