A Guitar Player is (Re)born
By Sam Perwin
Almost two years ago on the eve of 2015, I wrote a New Year's post about some resolutions. The first one was to add to the special skills portion of my resume by learning to play the guitar. I was pretty gung-ho. I bought a guitar, found an awesome teacher, and was taking lessons weekly for the first two months of the year. Then, as I wrote in my 35th Birthday post, some major life stuff got in the way. My Mom's battle with cancer and her subsequent death consumed most of the rest of that year. 2016 was about getting married and all the joy and mishigas that goes a long with that. Obviously, guitar lessons and practice sessions fell a bit by the wayside.
But, as I also wrote in that 35th Birthday post, I'm doubling down on making my artistic dreams come true. In a wonderful way, the universe (not to mention my representation) has really risen to the occasion. My team has realized a few awesome opportunities for me recently. On the performing side, without giving away too many details, I've had some pretty major audition appointments recently, and while they haven't yet yielded a job, those are the rooms I want to be in. I've got another one this week - and, as luck (?) would have it, I have to play the guitar. At an audition. In front of people.
My first response was panic - I called my agent and she suggested I "practice until my fingers bleed." I texted my guitar teacher, who came over for a lesson and gave me a totally manageable song appropriate to the show. This was infinitely better than my first choice song: Edelweiss, a.k.a. the only song I felt comfortable playing in front of people. But here's the real joy about learning something new: you remind yourself that you can, in fact, learn anything with the right guidance, attitude, and enough time devoted to practicing. I'm also reminded of the wisdom of my awesome guitar teacher, who reminded me that I'm not going to "fool" anyone into thinking I'm a professional guitarist. If that's what their looking for, then I won't get the job - it's that simple. But I'm right for the part in other ways, and if I can sing and play well enough to seem at least competent, that might be all they need. I have no idea how important guitar skills are for this role.
Another adage I'm reminding myself of as I go in to this audition is "If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done." Well, I've never played guitar at an audition before. Here's hoping that gets me this job.