When I was invited to audition with the Band I performed a quick Google-stalk of the guys to make sure they weren’t lunatics. As much as you can tell that from the internet, anyway. I’m a girl. A girl who met two strange men through Craigslist. You just can’t be too cautious. So I Google-stalked them and once I found a photo of Bassist with his family I was waaaay more comfortable going over to his house. By myself. My Husband told me to text and tell him when I was about to go in, and then about 10 minutes after I had arrived, and when I was leaving to make sure I was ok and they weren’t crazy serial killers who were gonna chop me up and stuff me in the walls of their basement.
Turned out fine. The Band was just as cautious of me as I was of them, which made me feel even better.
I had been in contact with Guitarist setting up a time to meet and sending music back and forth so he was plenty friendly when I met him. But Bassist didn’t even look me in the eye. When I first arrived I sat down on one of the most uncomfortable couches I’ve ever encountered and just observed. They were recording guitar parts for one of the songs Guitarist had sent me. It just so happened to be the same song that I had come up with a lyric idea for. So when they asked me what I wanted to do, it was easy to say, “Let’s work on that!”
They set me up with headphones and a really intense mic on a huge professional-looking mic stand and told me to “riff” and used other musician terminology that I didn’t know and still don’t feel comfortable using. So I was nervous. I only had a chorus in mind so I hummed (probably off-key) through the verse part and when the chorus arrived I practically whispered the three lines I had come up with. It was all really embarrassing. I could feel my face flushing bright red and I was ready for them to say, “Thanks for dropping by. We’ll be in touch.” And then I’d never hear from them again.
What actually happened was Bassist turned away from the computer screen where he was recording and looked me in the eye for the first time. “Are you sure you’ve never done this before?” he asked. “Because that was really good.”
There’s this thing I suffer from. A trait, if you will. People can compliment me and say nice things about me but I find it hard to believe that what people are saying is actually true. I call it Under-Confidence. I credit Husband for any and all confidence that I currently possess but I was so incredibly lacking in confidence for the majority of my life that I still have a hard time accepting that I’m good at things. Until people tell me enough that I am. Even then, I worry that maybe I’m not really good at whatever it is they say I’m good at, they’re just telling me I’m good at it to get me to do something else. Manipulating me.
Like that guy who thinks a girl is hot; He’ll tell her whatever she wants to hear so she’ll sleep with him. “Sure, baby, you make the best brownies I’v ever tasted,” as he cracks a tooth biting into one. (btw I think “baby” is the laziest pet name for couples, ever. Why would you even want to be compared to helpless little beings who can’t do anything for themselves?)
I’m always wary of peoples motives when they say nice things. Because it’s hard to tell if a person is nice and saying something honest or if a person is dishonest and saying something nice for personal gain. I like the kind of compliment that begins with criticism: “You went flat at every high note but the idea was pretty good,” rather than, “That was an awesome idea!” With the latter, the flat notes would remain and mar the whole recording. It would suck no matter how good the idea was. I like to hear what sucks, no matter how harsh. It makes things better in the end. You would be amazed by how many people don’t like this method of criticism.
Anyway, I digress.
The Band had me sing the same thing about 5 times, telling me I got better with each recording. And then it was time for me to go. I assume they wanted to talk to each other about what to do about me, which is exactly what I would have done if I were them. They followed me out to my car. I said goodbye and got into the car. Then they knocked on my driver’s side window to make sure I knew how to get out of the neighborhood without getting lost. I held up my phone, said I have GPS, and drove off feeling pretty good about how the audition went. But I never trust those instincts because I almost always feel good about interviews for jobs and almost never hear back about them. Maybe I’m bad at interviewing?
In this case, though, good was the right way to feel because they emailed the next day to say I was in the band. Woot!