So, at about 5:30 Thursday night I was making sweet and sour chicken (which turned out kinda yuck, I think) and the phone rings. It was the personnel manager from our city's big symphony. She said, "Laura! Hi! Symphony! Can you play tonight? We're doing the Nutcracker and the Governor is going to be there." Like a big idiot I say, "Sure", threw on my black clothes and ran out the door.
There is never an opening in this symphony, so I auditioned for on-call a couple of years ago. I got it, but hadn't gotten a call until Thursday. My audition was also the last time that I really played piccolo. My picc had half an inch of dust on it (I'm serious) that I brushed off before tossing in my bag, praying that there wouldn't be many piccolo parts. I have never, ever played the Nutcracker before and I was going to be sight reading it at the performance. I am such an idiot. (And it's all piccolo, as it turns out.)
Anyway, I've played at the theater where they were doing it a million times for musicals. It's over one hundred years old and the orchestra pit is really, really small. They had shoved I don't know how many people in the pit for this show. It was the stupidest thing that I had ever seen, not to mention the most uncomfortable I'd ever been (well, playing anyway). I was practically under the director's stand so I could never see his beats, resulting in me getting lost--a lot. I had a viola scroll in my ear and I can't believe that I didn't lose an eye on her bow. I am not kidding. So there was that, coupled with the sheer intimidation of playing with my teacher from grad school and being so close to the director that he could hear every single mistake which made for an evening of magic for me. And then I did it again last night.
I think, for the most part, I did okay. As it turns out, I was much less nervous the night that I was sight reading than the night that I had actually practiced. I think that was because I was putting more pressure on myself last night. But I realized something about myself, I'm afraid. I'm not back to normal and I'm not able to take the pressure that I used to. I didn't fall apart and I only really screwed up one part last night (which in a two hour show isn't bad, I guess), but I wasn't able to focus very well and I was extremely nervous and wasn't able to shake it like I used to. I don't know. It's frustrating, but I'm not sure how much I can do about it right now. So, that's my Nutcracker story. Not that interesting. I do have something more interesting to talk about (I'm not pregnant, that I know of)--I just need to sit down and write it. We have had some major developments here at the K. house and I'm quickly trying to adjust the best I can to the new changes. Which isn't super easy seeing that I'm completely wacka-doo right now, but I'm doing my best. So...more later.