On Monday I came in to work late because my boss had gifted me a visit to a chiropractor! Awesome!! I don't have anything really painful going on, but the various stresses in life plus sleeping on the floor have got me a little tense and stiff. I really appreciated being able to take some "me" time to help my body loosen up. Thanks Matt!
At work, nothing spectacular happened. Afterward I practiced, then went home to work on some applications. It was extremely windy that night, making it incredibly difficult to sleep.
On Tuesday Matt was not at work, but pretty much everyone else was. I went over a few POS things with Dirk (assistant manager) who will be taking over a lot of my tasks. I mean he's worked here long before my time and already knows how to do most of the stuff! After that the day was very slow with few customers. Maybe because it was still like a wind tunnel outside. After work, Eric had his gig with the big band again, so he hung out and listened as I nervously practiced my excerpts. When it was time for him to go he said goodbye and left...so I was surprised a few minutes later when he came back. I opened the door, thinking he'd forgotten something, and he handed me a pumpkin spice latte! He'd gone to Starbucks for one and they'd made an extra by accident, and he thought I'd like it. Heck yes!!! I've actually never had the Basic White B**** beverage of choice before. It's really good! If drinking it makes me basic, well sign me up ;)
After practicing I went home to cook some fish and listen to Jameson give his classes. For those interested to know, he's currently teaching Songwriting & Development, Genre-Based Production, and Digital Recording Principles. He is very smart, my Jameson.
On Wednesday it was a pretty normal day at work...lots of phone calls, a few customers. I had a blazing headache at the end of the day, and while I tried to practice it didn't go very well, so I decided it would be OK to use that evening to run some errands instead. You can always improve on something with practice, but sometimes it's good to take a step back too. Or maybe that's my problem. There's just so much I've got to do right now.
Thursday was pretty slow. We had a little rush late in the afternoon, but nothing to write home about. I inventoried all of the accessories in the store (except, yeah, I forgot a few things. Sigh) and took in two trombones on consignment. I stayed after work to practice, but only a little bit.
On Friday morning I got to audition for the Kansas City Symphony trombone section. I was "invited" to audition a week or two ago...there isn't a position open, this was just to be listed as a substitute and to be heard by these fantastic players. So of course I said yes, even though it meant missing a few hours of work and whatnot. I drove to the Kauffman Center, found a place to park, and was able to find my way inside where I met Roger (principal trombone). He escorted me to some warm-up rooms, where myself and another gentleman from Arkansas waited to be heard. The KCS had a dress rehearsal that day, and I enjoyed turning up the speakers in my warm-up room to listen as they played. I would have liked to stay for the whole rehearsal, but beggars can't be choosers. Around 10:30 I got to audition first. And that's where things went to garbage, like they tend to do whenever I audition anywhere, for anyone.
I was afraid. I am always afraid. The silence in the room terrifies me so badly that I shake, and you can hear it in my playing. I make weird mistakes that I would never have made while practicing, that a grade schooler knows not to make. I try to tell myself to calm down and just enjoy the music, like I do every day in practice. When I'm alone practicing for hours and hours, and getting up at 6am during rental season because I care and am determined and want to do a good job. But in the end none of that matters at all, because over all of the work, and all of the hope, and all of the expectations, there is this horrible crushing voice inside me that the minute I begin playing, starts screaming and never stops. Fool. Idiot. Amateur. How can you waste these people's time. You are garbage, everyone knows it, everyone can see it. Why do you even bother. See how all of your work was for nothing once again. What an embarrasment. Nod and smile and say thank you, and walk out, and put the trombone away, and get back to work. And oh, hey, have you considered taking drugs next time? You probably should.
Every damn time. I was hoping that by now...and especially after five years of playing in front of thousands of people...I'd have gotten over this at least a little. But I guess not. I'll bet a lot of you are tisking at the pessimistic tone, but you know, after more than a decade of this a person can really get tired of it. I'll keep trying, because there's always a chance. Maybe when I'm fifty, maybe seventy-five, I'll have enough confidence. But in the meantime forgive me if I'm frustrated, and vocalize it. These are the feelings I have in the moment. Usually after a day or so I get over it and move on.
Anyway all of that aside, I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to try. It makes me glad that there are professional musicians out there who are willing to give other musicians a listen, and give them hope that their hard work will pay off. I hope that the gentleman from Arkansas did a great job. He sounded wonderful in the warm-up room.
At work, I worked, then went home and felt disgusted with myself. On Saturday I had the day off. I really needed it. I got to sleep some, and packed a bag for my flight to Florida. I'll be auditioning for The Florida Orchestra on Monday. After Friday's experience I've got no room for expectations about anything, so am just looking forward to seeing Jameson for the first time since March. I'm flying out on Sunday, auditioning Monday, using Tuesday to apply for jobs, and flying back to KC on Wednesday.
For the rest of Saturday I tried to be productive. I took more things to the thrift store, shipped out my bass trombone to Jameson's place, and packed a box to be shipped later in the event that not everything fits in my car. I ate any food that might go bad while I'm gone, took out the trash, and took a little time to just read and find some distraction.
On Sunday I got up early and drove to the airport. My first flight went to Dallas, and the second was to Tampa. From there I got a rental car and drove to Saint Petersburg, and checked in to my super-seedy cheap hotel. As I type this I'm watching Food Network and thinking about how much more enjoyable it will be to watch it with Jameson.
It's a little weird...this is the first time Jameson and I will see each other since March. I feel like we've both been through a lot during that time, not all of which can be conveyed through texts or over time zones. It's been hard, to be honest. But I have to say, I feel like when I see him again, and get to hold him, none of the superficial nonsense swirling around in our lives will matter.