Being Julie Andrews

or, trying to be normal.

Tuesday I had choir rehearsal at 6:30, so I just went straight from work.

My leg was so spastic it was getting painful to sit up, so I laid down on one of the benches that are scattered around the room, held my music in the air over my head, and tried to follow along. Let me tell you, it’s really tough to sing lying on your back. After a while I tried lying on my stomach, then on my side. None of these turn out to be optimal singing postures, unfortunately. (How do opera singers do it? They have to sing beautifully in all kinds of weird positions.)

I have to digress here to talk about auditions.

My choir director is very weird about auditioning for solo parts. I suspect it’s because he doesn’t like turning people down. When there’s a solo available, a lot of the time he just picks someone to do it, which is fine. Sometimes he’ll ask for auditions, which is also fine, except that he has a tendency to schedule the audition, then not do it, which is irritating if you’ve prepared (which I do, if I’m going to audition). Then once you have auditioned (frequently in front of the whole choir), he often doesn’t let you know if you got the part or not – you find you didn’t when somebody else sings it in the concert.

We’re working on a medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein tunes (not our usual thing at all) and there are lots of little solo bits. Hardly anyone has auditioned. For weeks he’s been asking people to audition. I looked at the parts, thought it might be nice to be Julie Andrews singing the Do-Re-Me song, but decided not to audition because I didn’t want to be jerked around.

So we start practicing the medley, and I thought, “Tonight he is going to put people on the spot”. Sure enough – which is why I am sitting there at 8:30 in agony from hip to ankle, singing by myself, “Let’s start at the very beginning…”

I feel better this morning. Do I get to be Julie Andrews? Who knows? Probably not.


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