Auditioning for the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop! – Part 5 (Should I Do A Meta Song Like I Did In My Packet?)

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Picking up from yesterday –

As I mentioned, in my original packet, my ballad was a song begging for an audition.

That’s kinda fun and sort of set me apart (I suppose/hope). But then, should I do that song at the audition? After all, most of the people on the panel won’t know it existed. If it is a fun and different song, it will practically no longer exist for me if I don’t present it.

But, is it super weird to beg for an audition once you’re already in an audition? Maybe. What if they’re like, “We get it. You took a risk. It paid off, ‘cause we gave you the audition. But now what do you have to show us?”

I do have a follow-up song about going to the audition that I think is kind of fun.

But songs have to build and end in a different place than they began. And in order to build this song to the level of intensity or desperation I’d need in a musical, it worried one of my friends that I may come off as too desperate – as someone who needs the workshop too much or might become unhinged if she doesn’t get it…

As it stood in the rough draft, it read like this:

Set-up: Aurora is in her hotel room, prepping for her BMI audition.

[Song: “I Can’t Breathe”]

ANNA
I CAN’T BREATHE. YES I CAN BREATHE,
OBVIOUSLY ‘CAUSE I’M TALKING
I CAN’T MOVE. YES I CAN MOVE,
OBVIOUSLY, ‘CAUSE I’M WALKING.

THEY’LL LIKE YOU. NO, THEY’LL LOVE YOU
OBVIOUSLY ‘CAUSE YOU’RE HERE NOW.
HEART BEAT’S FAST. YES, IT IS FAST.
OBVIOUSLY COULD USE BEER NOW.
(I’m kidding. I don’t even drink beer!)

FOR 6 YEARS, I HAVE APPLIED
WANNA BELIEVE I’M ARTISTIC.
GOT MY CHANCE. HERE IS MY CHANCE.
MAYBE THIS IS REALISTIC.

PICKED MY SONGS. RE-PICKED MY SONGS
MAYBE A HUNDRED AND THREE TIMES
THROW ONE OUT. THROW THAT ONE OUT.
BMI DOESN’T WANT NEAR RHYMES.

SHOW THEM DESIRE WITHOUT DESPERATION.
SHOW THEM YOUR PASSION, BUT NOT A FIXATION.
SHOW THEM RESPECT, BUT DON’T SHOW ADULATION.
SHOW PERSEVERANCE WITHOUT PERSPIRATION.

I CAN’T BREATHE, YES I CAN BREATHE.
JUST WANNA MAKE SHOWS THAT MATTER
I MAKE SHOWS – BAD TRASHY SHOWS*
WHERE I WATCH PEOPLE’S LIVES SHATTER

MY BIG FEAR, MY BIGGEST FEAR
IS THAT MY LIFE DOESN’T ALTER
GET SENT HOME, I CAN’T GO HOME
COME ON AURORA, DON’T FALTER.

*Note on that – we’ll get to this later in my discussion with B about the song. But that was supposed to be a line talking about my day jobs in reality television – not that I write bad musicals. But it may not come across so clear in a first listen in a song to someone who doesn’t know me.

Also, it’s not super fair to my jobs. While it is possibly true that I may have worked on some shows that could be described as trashy-ish (even though that would be a rude thing to say), I’ve also worked on some totally different shows that would not be classified that way… but come on, it’s musical theater. Let me have some artistic license. I’m trying to amp up the drama here!

Anyway, back to the main concern – the ending (saying “I can’t go home”).

Now, I could change it to be different. Sure, I might come off as more “normal,” but am I building the dramatic tension enough? If you’re gonna do something cutesy and/or risky or whatever, you still have to make sure the technical elements and storytelling are there. Or else you’ve made a special choice for nothing.

And we’ll pick up here tomorrow.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?