I also tried a new trick a friend of mine told me about. I wore my glasses into the room, and when it was time to sing, I took them off. I'm severely nearsighted, so all I could see were shapes......I'm not sure this was a good thing. It was kind of scary. One on hand, it reigned me in a little bit, so I there was less extraneous movement (mostly because I was afraid if I moved too much I would trip and fall down!), but on the other hand, I may have just looked like someone with unfocused eyes who couldn't see very well because he had taken off his glasses (Bocelli's American cousin, Andy Bocelli?)
Well, dammit, I did have fun. I sang Se vuol ballare and was very pleasantly surprised to have my auditioner ask me for Tarquinius' aria from The Rape of Lucretia. There were a few funny moments, but I totally accomplished my goal. Joy? felt. Fun? had.
I get a call from my agent. No, no he likes your voice. Seriously. It's just that he thinks you have mannerisms that better suit you for buffo rep. Oh, so he doesn't like my voice. No, he does. Clearly he doesn't! Sure he does. Mannerisms!
My ego took a little hit, sure. Hey, we all want to think that we are the best, and that we have no flaws. I spent 4 years in grad school trying to learn how to sing better so I wouldn't limit myself to a career of only singing buffo rep (not that I think it's below me- I LOVE character rep) I know my singing has flaws. I am trying to turn my flaws into my assets. Whatever. At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with me. It's one dude's opinion, and yes, this one dude may not think my voice is appropriate for certain roles I would like to sing. That's his prerogative. I just have to keep doing my thing, trying to improve- not to meet his ideal, but to meet mine. And if people only want to hire me to sing "La cena è pronta!"- well, that's out of my hands.
I'm off to prepare for performance #5 of our little Figaro skit. And I'm gonna own my mannerisms, by god.
ADDENDUM: I just re-read this and realized what a whiny D-bag I sound like. I just needed to blow of some steam. The truth is I really like feedback- good or bad. Knowing how you are perceived, vocally, personally, and in all other ways, is extremely valuable information.
And more importantly, I feel nothing but intense gratitude for the chance to make a living doing what I love to do. Whether it is a year of Figaro, a day of Antonio, a minute of Scientist #5. I'm extremely lucky. And I know it.