An American Singer on her way to Germany
Susan is just about to leave for Germany! We will be hearing from Susan periodically as she goes on her very first audition tour there, starting in Berlin. If you missed Part One of her story, view it here. Right now, she is dealing with ALL the various logistical questions before you leave for a long trip. (Trust us, there’s a lot of logistical questions…) Soon, she will be dealing with all the “what if” questions that come with any audition process. Only this time, these “what if’s” include working in a foreign country.
Check in with us every week for Susan’s update on her journey!
We have our fingers crossed for you Susan! We’re proud of you! Thank you so much for sharing your story:
"Every person I've spoken to this week about my upcoming trip to Germany tells me how excited they are for me. My coach, my teacher, my friends, my boyfriend, my boss - I'm surrounded pretty constantly by sweet, supportive people who love me. I'm not excited yet. This is a thing I've talked about doing for years and now I am finally really doing it. I should be excited, but it mostly feels surreal. I'm sure I will be excited once I get on the plane or maybe once I land, but right now I'm just a ball of nerves. I have this infinite, multiplying to-do list. Every time I check something off, I think of three new things to add.
There are a thousand odds and ends. Do I have enough pairs of nylons? Should I take some melatonin to help re-set my clock and ward off jet lag? Did you know they make melatonin in gummy form now? How many pairs of shoes should I bring? How does one pack for nearly three months in one suitcase? Am I going to need a gown at any point? How will I do laundry? Will I be lonely living in a foreign country for that long? How much will I miss my boyfriend - like the normal amount or a debilitating amount? What will it be like to just be a singer without any day job for this period of time? I'm bringing clean copies of my audition arias, but will I need a copy of this aria, or this aria, or this one? How about scores? Will those fit in my suitcase? How many copies of my resumé is enough? Will I regret not having Chinese food one more time before I go? What am I not thinking of?
My mind is racing all the time and it is making me uncharacteristically absentminded. I lost my keys this week. It's been four days. I have no idea where they are.
Right now, there is an open suitcase on my floor with sheet music, five audition dresses, and nothing else in it. It's chaos.
I've emailed nearly every agent in the Germany section of the www.operabase.com website with my materials. The first time I got a response, even though it was a no, I felt so good and encouraged and excited. That agent will never know what a kindness they did for me. I wrote to them in German, they replied to me in German and didn't say any variety of, 'Your German is terrible and I don't understand you,' and that felt like such a total win. I was walking on air all day long. I effectively and professionally communicated in German. It made me feel really capable. I felt like, yes, I can do this. I'm putting myself out there! I'm making moves! I'm in the world!
Now, though, the novelty has worn off a little. I'm getting a lot of, “Thank you for your interest, but we have enough coloraturas already.” So that feels not great. Nothing to be done about it, though. For better or for worse, I am what I am. I love the coloratura repertoire so much, I wouldn't be something else, even if I could be. And nobody has said, 'We do not want to hear you because you are wildly unqualified and horrible and we hate you,' so there's that to be grateful for always. My fingers are crossed that the people who haven't replied yet are just reviewing my materials and an invitation to audition is forthcoming.
Once I get to Germany, my first audition will be the NYIOPs, so that will be a very real trial by fire. The NYIOPs, for those of you who don't know, is a gathering of a bunch of decision makers into a room. Then, the singers sing for all of them at once. They are expensive to do – the fee is 290 Euros, but you do get to sing for a lot of important people at once, so I'm thinking of it as an investment in myself. All I need is one person to take a chance on me. The Berlin NYIOPs that I'm participating in consists of all agents and agencies. So I'm going to walk into a room and sing for twelve agents just a few days after arriving in Germany. Here's hoping to sweet baby Jesus that I'm in good voice that day and at least mostly over my jetlag. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I'm also accepting all denominations of prayer."
If you are a singer who is planning on auditioning in Germany, please let us know! We’d love to hear about your experience! Every audition experience is different - especially every audition experience abroad. Although this is Susan’s story, we know each of you has a story of your own. Who knows, maybe we could feature you on the GVAI Blog! Until then, please share Susan’s story. She’s on an incredible adventure!
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