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>The Audition of Life

8 Jan


                                              Auditions in TV-show Glee

Do you think auditions are only held in showbiz? Think again. To quote a very wise man: “All the world is a stage and the men and women are merely players. There are exits and entrances and a man plays many parts.” That’s your daily dose of Shakespeare right there. And how right he is. Let us contemplate this concept for a moment. What events might warrant the label audition? A date, where there is but one judge and a picky one at that. The tiniest error can be rewarded with the real life version of being voted off. Something stuck between your teeth? Your laugh gets scary when you’re nervous? It can all be the last straw. But at least a date is a mutual audition. The power is divided 50/50. That’s not too bad.

Other auditions might let you be judged by several people. There’s round one, two or even three. It’s Working Girl Idol without the catchy theme song. In a way, it resembles a pageant. You’re asked questions and the answers you so nervously and tremulously provide might not be the ones they’re looking for. A job hunt is a merciless process. The job market is a dangerous jungle where evil predators lurk in every corner. Sometimes you mistake a tiger for a squirrel and end up being stomped on and bossed around for weeks on end. And that is assuming you get the job you thought you wanted. The interview itself is mostly a reminder of how many candidates out there are better than you, more experienced than you, prettier than you or more confident than you.

So what’s worse than a job interview? That question inevitably leads us back to where we started; in showbiz. Dancers, actors, singers. They’ve all been there. There’s a room full of people, making notes (or drawing stick figures more like…) and looking important. In films these scenes always contain different kind of ”judges”:

* The nerdy judge with glasses who must’ve accidentally wandered into the audition room since he’s either a math professor or computer wiz.
* The friendly looking female, young, pretty and with a huge smile plastered on her face.
* The grumpy old man looking forward to his retirement or Ibiza holiday.

In films, the audition scene is the conclusion of years of struggle and training. Will he/she make it? In real life, the audition is only the beginning. What happens when a date goes well? Is the relationship any easier? Is it not too a test? And if you get that job, how will you get on with your colleagues? Every relationship is an audition. Sometimes we reach round two and sometimes we don’t even make it to the start button on the stereo, indicating it has begun. Judges are always around. Sometimes they reward us with a raise at work. Other times we get a plate thrown at us like a faulty boomerang. A compliment will help us fit in. And we know how certain behaviour will make us popular. How? Secondary school never ends. The audition for popularity continues.

Picture the cafeteria. All those tables. All those social classes. Geeks, preps, stoners, class clowns, jocks, intellectuals, gangsters, etc. We think that the social class system ends on graduation. But does it? Is the workplace really that different? Just think back to lunch hour. A man walks in and instantly he is beckoned to join several others. Why? Status, reputation. Whatever you prefer to call it. Some people are likable. And those inferior to him would like to surround themselves with such people, hoping it will rub off on them. But what even makes them inferior? In my experience, they mostly lack the sense of humour a truly popular employee needs to maintain his position. They are the preps of the workplace. Talkative, loud, chuckling men who don’t shy away from R-rated humour. And those men/women more reserved and silent who’d rather read than chat…they could be called the adult equivalent of geeks. Shy individuals with a lot on their mind. Not friendless, but not the centre of attention. And to them, that’s just fine.