My tutor said.
"Don’t think too much."
As in, when I hesitate and worry too much to do the next step, I can give up the worry and go ahead.
So I straight away make myself be courageous, walked into the orchestra rehearsal, and asked the conductor for an audition. It would be on the next day in the afternoon.
The real thing was scarier than I thought. I was the first being called for the audition.
I had problems with my current mouthpiece- it gives me good tone but it exhausts my endurance and I couldn’t reach high notes. I borrowed another easier mouthpiece at the very last minute before entering the audition room.
There were three panels, all professional conductors who meant business.
I played a very short etude as advised by my tutor, rather than playing a few lines of my Hummel (which would sound impressive and I’ve already played it for a thousand times). I stumbled with the running notes in the etude as I rushed the tempo out of being nervous.
The etude was from a book my coach lend to me just a day before. Suddenly one of the panels went close to me, he flipped to a random page, and I was asked to sight read. An A major with only 3 sharps- at normal conditions would be like a walk, but at that particular moment, I just screw it up like a 7 year old boy trying to catwalk with an oversized pair of stilettos.
As the panel stood next to me and assisted by giving me the tempo, the other two were at their table, looking at each other, whispering. I was helpless. And hopeless.
After it’s all done, I said thanks, meekly saying that I was nervous. As if that’s going to help anything.
It was humiliating.
A lot of things went through my head.
I made a fool out of myself and all these years I talk like I know music but in reality I suck big time.
What was I thinking? There is a row of very good trumpet players younger than me who could play concertos and here I am pretending that I am going to be a world class orchestra player, barging into a very high standard orchestra audition.
All the effort, practicing and the cost of getting resources like books and lessons are just a waste of time. I should just stay being a computer technician and finish all my money for a trip to Bangkok or buy some nice clothes. At least life would feel easier.
I should just put off the remaining flame of hope for good and not be too ambitious. After all it’s just crap to think that we can get what we want.
Yes, all the thoughts were killing me.
I became weak, cynical, and stopped.
After I returned home from the audition,
I skipped the nice warm afternoon for a good swim.
I even lost appetite to eat dinner.
I am lucky to have friends who reminded me that it’s just a screw up as a result of no preparation. Experience teaches you the hard yet effective way, provided that you want to learn the lesson out of it.
Now I have been given a preview of how it might feel when I take music exams, and future auditions for more serious performances.
This is life, and life is not easy.
Keep on runaway from it and I’ll be forever miserable,
Deal and learn and I will gain at each moment.
I won’t kill my own virtue.
I am a trumpeter. Move on, trumpet player.