Part One: The Audition... it was a good day
OK, it's the end of April of this year and my wife, Kelly and I have just taken on a new singer, Glenn Sakazian for whom we are producing and shopping a record deal under our new production company, Jammin Planet Inc. We've got people in our office till all hours of the night, and we are incredibly busy. Of course this is the time that I get called for the Cher audition - I think it was on a Tuesday. I was scheduled to audition on Friday.
Come Friday, I am parked a few blocks away from the rehearsal studio, listening to the Cher songs for the 200th time! I called Kelly right before the audition because I was nervous. So she tells me to relax and just have fun at the audition because I don't need the gig anyway, and she doesn't want me to go on the road because of all of our endeavors. I think about what she says, and realize that all I have to do is change my goal from getting the gig to having a good time at the audition. Ultimately, it is up to God, the universe, timing, luck and all the other things that we can't control. If the gig is supposed to be mine, it will be. Furthermore, I decide that I am auditioning them and I shouldn't be so self-centered as to worry about how nervous I am! I decide to take her advice and drive to the rehearsal parking lot.
The first people I see are a couple of my drumming buddies who are also auditioning... GULP... these guys are great; oh but so am I, right? Anyway - the goal, the goal - have fun; relax; good time, etc. So it turns out that I am the 8th out of 9 drummers that these poor musicians had to listen to and share energy with on that long day.
So I finally get to go in after listening to both of my friends play outside the rehearsal room - an hour and a half after my scheduled time - of course. Cher is not there, just Paul on keys, Dave on guitar and Sam on bass (who left the gig to do Michael Jackson). These guys have to listen to another drummer - YUCK! Time for some humor guys, so I say just that, "Oh great, another f---ing drummer." So immediately, the tone in the room is a bit lighter. I am actually having fun! So I keep that vision.
We play through the songs that they have now played way too many times, and all seems to be going well. The things I do pay attention at are eye contact, feeling relaxed inside so the music fells relaxed, and paying attention to them in addition to me and my stupid ego. I do make sure that all the tempos are the same as the recordings unless they tell me otherwise. Paul, the Music Director (and now my workout buddy on the road) lets me set some of the tempos, and I check the tempos with my little metronome; I am never embarrassed to use a metronome because the right tempo is very important.
The last part of the audition is the "jam" section. Paul asks me what I want to jam on. My response, "The hell with what I want. What do you guys want to play? "
Another good move, so they can now have whatever fun they have left in them. So Sam starts playing Stanley Clarke, School Days - good choice. It feels good and I really listen to what is going on to do my best to play enough cool stuff while grooving and letting everyone else blow off some steam and make music! More joke cracking, we'll let you knows and goodbyes. So that was it. I did the best I could do to have fun, relax and make them feel comfortable. I felt good about the audition.
Happy ending- I get called by Lindsay, the manager and woken up the next morning to an offer to tour with Cher. The rehearsals start Monday...