Our excitement for the day

Guess what my husband just did, like ten minutes ago?  He auditioned for the LA Philharmonic.

Jason in the Green Room, waiting to hear.  He’s assuming he didn’t advance, because they excused him after hearing three excerpts (instead of maybe five).  It was a screened audition on the stage of the Disney Concert Hall, where neither of us have been.

He was the FIRST to audition, out of everybody!

I don’t have any bloggy, thinky thoughts about this.  We are just exchanging phone calls, excited.  I’m home with two kids and a play date, so all of you get to be my friend right now.  :)    (If you don’t care, just pretend, it’ll be good enough for me.)

One thing he did say is “There is no substitute for what I just did.”

Lastly, I’ll be glad to have my husband back (from practicing).

11 thoughts on “Our excitement for the day

  1. Sharolyn

    You mean a duplex? $$ (j/k)

    Jason did not advance. There were 8 people in his group, and none of them advanced. He said there is consolation in that! You can email and they will send you the notes you took during the audition! He said it was incredibly efficient, as the LA Phil people communicated via headphones and a proctor was ready to usher to the stage the next candidate as soon as the one previous was done. (This is unlike other auditions he has taken.) I’ll let him tell more stories, if it is of interest to anyone. I love anything “behind-the-scenes”!

    I am very proud of him.

  2. Sharolyn

    By the way, I think the “Sharolyn’s husband” thing (his choice of words) got started because when we were making wedding plans 10 years ago, my mom had a binder to keep us organized. On it there was and oval space for a title. Since “Jason and Sharolyn’s wedding” did not fit, she just typed “Sharolyn’s wedding”.

    I think he realized at that point that his job was to smile and nod.

    Months later, when I asked him to write thank-you notes to the members of his family, they began, “Dear Aunt Jennie, Thank you for coming to Sharolyn’s wedding…”

  3. Sharolyn's Husband

    The LA Phil is the largest audition I have ever taken. Before I go on, I should quote from the letter that I received letting me know that I was being invited to the audition. “We will have sufficient time to hear all interested applicants.” In other words, my qualifications to play for the job were a pulse and a stamp to send them my resume.

    I showed up to the hall a little early and looked for a bite to eat. There is NOTHING to eat that is reasonably priced in a reasonable walk in that area of LA. Nothing.

    The LA Phil did a great job of caring for all of the candidates. Normally one is placed in a giant room where you warm up along side 10 to 30 other bass trombone players. It’s a lot like warming up next to 30 chain saws. It quickly dissolves into a pissing match involving The Ride of the Valkries and a great deal of volume. It was unbelievable to have a room all alone for my entire time warming up at the hall. I even fell asleep for a minute in my private warm up room. I was candidate #1. (As in, the 1st out of the more than 100 candidates, sadly, not as in sounded the best and was offered the job.)

    I was led onto the stage and was announced as, candidate #1. The audition was held on stage in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was pretty cool to play on that stage. Halfway up in the seats was a screen so that the audition panel cannot see the candidates. They even lay strips of carpet on the stage floor so that they cannot tell by the sound of your shoes if you are a dude or a chick. I played and tried not to be in awe of what it sounded like in the hall. It did sound pretty. I played through 3 of the 5 tunes they wanted to hear in the first round when the proctor for the audition told me that I was done. (Not a good sign.) They used headset radios to communicate between the proctor next to me and the committee behind the screen and those facilitating the process backstage. It was very classy, because instead of shouting, “Thanks, NEXT!” from far away, the proctor leans into his head set and smiles and says, “That was awful, why did you waste our time?!” No, he says, “Thanks, they have heard enough.”

    They were so efficient that they heard 8 candidates in the first hour and then, when the 8 of us were gathered in the green room of WDCH, they crushed our spirits simultaneously. I was on my way home with a stop in Bakersfield on the way to see family.

    That is the story. Some of the positives that came out of it for me personally are that

    1. I am a better player now than I was 3 months ago. I need extrinsic motivation like an audition to keep me practicing. This audition was a great source of fire for me musically.
    2. I am glad that I took at least one major audition in my life. I now don’t have to wonder what its like to be there and try.
    3. My dad and my wife each said that they were proud of me before I even left for LA. That was pretty cool.
    4. I will always have this story to tell. In a couple of years, I will change it to how Esa-Pekka Salonen couldn’t find a bite to eat that was less than $50 and we just laughed and laughed and I actually won the audition but chose to decline because I didn’t realize that the traffic in LA is terrible.

  4. michael lee

    Very cool stuff, Jason.

    [quote comment="140753"]I will always have this story to tell. In a couple of years, I will change it to how Esa-Pekka Salonen couldn’t find a bite to eat that was less than $50 and we just laughed and laughed and I actually won the audition but chose to decline because I didn’t realize that the traffic in LA is terrible.[/quote]

    This is already the version I’ve started to tell to friends and colleagues when they see your name listed on my professional credits (Remember that time I came over and we had pizza, and I helped you get the xbox hooked up to your TV? I listed that as “Engineering”. Hope that’s cool …).

  5. Chad

    Its amazing to me how intimidating situations where you know for certain that you’ve just placed yourself head to head (or in collaboration with) with some of the best people in the industry.

    It forces you to avoid any false pretense. I can swing heat in a church setting with minimal effort, but when you’re in the room with people who’ve worked with the very best and brightest… well… it’s daunting.

    I had a session last Sat with a female producer / writer who’s far and away the heaviest industry hitter I’ve ever worked with. Her credit list reads like the Billboard 100. Mike and Corey… remember that song we did last May with Katharine McPhee? Yeah… she wrote that.

    She’s not interested in my feelings. She’s not interested in my kids. She does not care where I live, or how long I’ve been married. What she does care about is can I get the vocal done in the time alloted for the session. (yes, is the answer, and with a half hour to spare, suckas!)

    I think I did earn a point when I left, as I noticed that her precious miniature chihuahua had escaped and was taking a leak in the alley adjacent to the studio. I think the cared more about that then the fact that I had just chest voiced and quad-stacked a lead vocal that was voiced higher then humans can hear.

    All that to say…

    I don’t know if I’d want to live at the very tippy top of The Game. It seems like it takes something from you. I met another set of writers / producers on this same project, who’ve also had some pretty significant successes is both the CCM and secular music worlds, but their countenance was totally different. We did the session in about 20 minutes, and then they just spent about a half hour chatting with me. Turns out we shared all kinds of common history (worship leading) and knew a lot of the same people. (Corey… they’re in Brea. You need to know these guys! http://www.reddecibelproductions.com )

    So… sorry to hijack this thread. You just got me thinking about the pressures up there. I don’t know if it’s for me or not. I’d almost rather linger as a successful indie person for the duration of my career, who sometimes gets to play with the big boys (or girls…)

  6. corey

    I’ve actually heard of those guys through nic rodriguez. He told me that he’s played on sessions with these guys (most recently to our conversation was the jeremy camp stuff). Is there a cool way I can stalk these guys and not lose street cred? Wait- before that- is there a way I can get some street cred?

  7. Cerise

    Very cool, Jason. We’re all proud of you (and impressed, for my part). Screens and headsets and such…

    This is nice – a survey of all y’all in The Biz and everything. Up here I’m auditioning for total…well, let’s say that I don’t regret NOT having the chance to work with any of them and I’ve learned not to get audition opportunities from Craigslist. Ever. At least in Seattle – you’ll find yourself the new lead singer of the Velcrowes (4 middle-aged men playing in their basement 45 minutes north of The City) and asked to learn 39 classic rock songs in 3 weeks to play the drummer’s sister’s holiday party for free. The biggest audition I’ve had here is for the Seattle Symphony Chorale and I was proud to get into it, though I quit after a season.

    Maybe I should hop around to all the open mic nights. [shudder]

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