I auditioned for Beyonce’s all female band

Monday, June 12th, 2006 by

I auditioned for Beyonce’s all female band yesterday in Burbank. I was stunned that so few people showed up. I think there were only around 75 women auditioning all together. I expected so many more. I thought I’d get there and it would be like American Idol, with lines around the block. Not at all. Very surprising.

I drove to Burbank Sunday night, after having played in church Sunday morning and played the final opera performance (Malcolm X in Oakland, for which I got a great review!) that afternoon, and that’s after having had a tough week playing for the opera every night, playing for graduations and teaching. Once I got home that evening, I still had to compile my resume, head shot, etc., pack a bag, prepare my dogs to stay with my mom, go pick up my cousin, Donte (who served as my guy Friday…thank God for him! It made the trip SO much easier), drop off the dogs and then drive south. Since I was working so much, I had no time to learn the assigned song until I was driving down Hwy 5. I played it over, and over, and over, etc., learning it totally by ear without a keyboard. By the time I got to bed, it was 4am Monday morning.

Thanks to the person who previously occupied my hotel room, the alarm went off at 7am. Ugh! Feeling anxious about my chances to be heard, I threw on some clothes and rushed to the audition site (Center Staging, which was only a 5 minute drive from my hotel). Much to my dismay, there was NO ONE there! So I went back to the hotel to sleep more. I woke up again at 9am and decided to have Donte hold my space in line at Center Staging. I had packed a couple of small lawn chairs and an umbrella so that we could at least be comfortable as we waited. While Donte held my spot in line, I went back to the hotel to get dressed and practice for an hour with the keyboard I’d brought along. Feeling very confident and energetic (despite the lack of sleep), I went to Center Staging at 11:45am.

The people running the auditions, presumably from Beyonce’s camp, started auditioning people around noon. First they called drummers. Then bass players, then guitarists. I thought, surely, keyboard players are next…NOPE! Sax players. Then, finally, around 3:15pm, they called for keyboard players. I swear, it seemed that no more than 6 women came forward. I couldn’t believe it! 2 of them were friends of mine from the Bay Area, great players both. Perhaps there were more keyboard players who came later in the day, but I was totally surprised by the low turnout.

I was the 2nd keyboard player to be auditioned. I decided to present myself in a manner that exemplified what I hope Beyonce is looking for: I looked sexy, but classy, in a really nice bikini top, a mini skirt and heels (I don’t do all that working out for nothing! I HAD to show off the 6-pack!), donned some lovely drop earrings and strutted into the room, confident and beaming with a smile. The music director walked over, shook my hand and introduced himself (I promptly forgot his name, my adrenaline level was so high). The only people in the room were him, a camera man and a tech guy who made sure I could access the sounds I wanted on the Triton keyboard (which I don’t own, and therefore don’t know). So, music director guy sat down with his guitar and asked me to “jam” with him in E using a clav sound. I did just that and felt like I did a great job. After about a while (I have no idea how long, but it felt like a minute) he asked me to solo, and I did. He was a GREAT guitarist, so it was really fun to play with him. Next, he played some chords on his guitar in a ballad style and asked me to play with him and solo over that too. I picked it up immediately (which I hope impressed him) and played a really pretty solo, very delicate and sensual, but with rich, contemporary chord voicings. Next, he asked me to play some jazz in C, but before we could start, the tech guy asked “shouldn’t you have her play the Beyonce song?”, and music director guy said “oh yeah”. He said I’d be playing with the DVD track, starting in the middle of the song. The music came on, and I nailed it! I had the horn line, the string lines, the keyboard parts, all the hits, etc. I was bopping along, doing my little dance moves, having eye contact with the camera and music director guy, really getting into it, and when the music stopped, I wanted to keep going! Music director guy kind of laughed at me and said “you really want to keep going, don’t you?”, and I replied with an enthusiastic “yes”. But, my time was over, so we exchanged thank you’s and I exited the room.

Based on what the other keyboard players told me, he had me play more than they did, but it still seemed SOOOO short! I wish I’d had a chance to play some jazz and really show off my skills, but hopefully I’ll get a chance to do that at the call back.

So far, I haven’t heard anything. It’s been a full day since I auditioned, and I’m eagerly anticipating a phone call. I’m so anxious about it I can barely keep my mind on anything else. I want this job so much! I think I’d be just perfect for it and it’s perfect for me! I love the idea of being glamourous and supporting Beyonce in her band. I can totally envision playing a ballad with her where it’s just me on the piano accompanying and responding to her musically. That’s one of the things I do best! I’ve been an accompanist forever and to be able to accompany someone of her caliber!??? It takes my breath away to just imagine it.

Anyway, beforehand I prayed about it, meditated on it, did my best, felt confident, think I played well and believe I looked the part! I’m waiting on pins & needles. This job is sooooo perfect for me! I KNOW I can do it. I just hope they call tomorrow so I can breathe…

Wish me luck…say a prayer…pull some strings…whatever it takes! I want this job!!! lol

This entry was posted on Monday, June 12th, 2006 at 11:29 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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