Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"For my next selection..."

If you've ever tried out for something, be it the school musical, or the basketball team, or even a job interview, you know that the process of auditioning can make even the strongest person break out into a cold sweat.

So why do we do it? What would convince an otherwise confident person to literally want to throw themselves at the mercy of another person or committee?

What I came up with is this: What they're offering appeals to us. We want to be a part of it. We want to belong to a group, who has similar interests or talents, who is pursuing the same things we want or are.

But in order to get there, we have to "survive" and often, endure, the audition process. defines "audition" as such:

  1. a trial hearing given to a singer, actor, or other performer to test suitability for employment, professional training or competition, etc.
  2. To evaluate (a person) in a trial performance.
  3. perform in order to get a role
Growing up I went to my share of auditions. Some went very well, and happily, I was chosen, and some not so well, where they "chose to go another direction". But I think it's this choosing that can get really sticky.

Whenever an audition is introduced into the mix, it is inevitable that what comes next is the "us & them" philosophy. It can't be avoided. Those that get selected are "the chosen", and everyone else, by not being selected, are being sent the message, however subtly, that they didn't make the grade, or they weren't what the interviewer was looking for at the time.

This can make for a very difficult situation, especially if those groups are then expected to work together, and get along. Try as you might, there will always be this underlying tension: "Do they think they're better than us because they were chosen?" "Are we better because we were chosen?"

Add to that, the audition is usually for something arts-related, which means we've landed smack in the middle of "heart/soul" territory (see my previous post about music, and how much it's a part of our lives).

So where does that leave us? Can there be harmony where discord and maybe even resentment want to reign? Can people put aside their disappointments and/or rejections for the greater good? Can hearts win over hurts?

I'd love to know what you think?



Melinda said...

Awww. So you didn't get the part in Hairspray that you were auditioning for? JK! ;o)

That is such a painful position that EVERYONE can relate to at some point (or many points): being the one not chosen. I am sure that all of your readers have a list of experiences that pop into mind under that heading.

I think it is possible, to be resilient and positive afterwards. Especially if there is honest mutual respect and affirmation shown by all persons involved (choosers, the selected, and the not selected). This allows for RELATIONAL inclusion, if not inclusion in the actual team/part/group being auditioned for.

Ideally this also negates cliquishness.

Lin Shijun said...

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