A funny thing about me is I don’t get nervous before or during auditions; I get nervous after when I’m waiting for the results, when I’m waiting for my fate to be revealed to me. I wrap my fingers tightly around my binder as I tell myself that I won’t make it. Unfortunately, for this audition there is faith. Everyone’s faith in me has turned into a curse. I haven’t thought about not making it, the event doesn’t register with me. That may not seem like a bad thing for most people, until your hopes are so high and then the ladder that got them up there is pulled out from under you and it’s a long fall down.
Finally the list is up. I rush over to search for my name. It’s not there. I hope that my eyes are playing tricks on me and I scan the list again, but my luck doesn’t improve. My stomach falls to the floor and my heart stops. I back away from the list, trying not to register what just happened. I can think about it later, I can deal with it later, but now I have other things to do.
Walking past the happy people who made it, I call my mom, trying to figure out where I’m going to meet her. As soon as she pulls up she asks me if I made it. I shake my head and stare out the window, just wanting to forget. After about a minute I break down crying and can’t stop for the long drive to Oak Park. I pull my self together long enough to walk into my viola lesson. I open my case and discover it’s empty. I lose the little bit of poise that I had mustered and break down crying again. Then my voila teacher tells me one thing, “Fight for everything, but expect nothing.”
That phrase has changed the way that I think about playing ever sense. Now I do the work, but don’t expect anything. I don’t expect to make it or for people to clap or for anything. It makes it so that I perform for myself. I believe that you should fight for everything and expect nothing.