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Faith, Anxiety and Auditioning for Adele

Adele in 2021 smiling to camera

Photo: Adele in 2021 by Condé Nast (through Vogue Taiwan)

So, if you've heard of me, you might know that I've worked with some amazing platinum-selling artists, including Adele. I've written about singing with Adele before, and you can read that blog post here. Now I'd like to give you some BTS that I've never spoken about before.

The fact that I even auditioned for Adele is significant because I had a career where auditions were quite rare. The UK music scene is very different from that of the States, where auditions are common. But I was used to being referred and recommended for work. I had never done well in auditions before, as my nerves would take over.

Let's rewind a second to talk about how I got invited to audition in the first place. This wasn't a casting call that was advertised in the newspaper or online. Instead, I was invited, and it was amazing to me how Divine providence created a series of events that all worked for my good.

I got the invitation to audition for Adele in the car park of Krispy Kreme at 11pm one night. Yes, you heard me correctly. On one of my late night cravings for doughnuts, I took myself to the drive thru of Krispy Kreme and there I was receiving a phone call at around 11pm at night.

I don't remember who the person was (God bless them), but they said they had put me forward to audition for Adele and I thanked them profusely. I was told the date and time of the audition, and I prepared for it, though I didn't know what to expect. When I went into the audition room, there was Adele's other backing singer and two members of Adele's management team.

A short while, Adele walked into the room."Oh, hi babe! So lovely to see you!" Adele said as soon as she saw me. She threw her arms around me with the enthusiasm of somebody who knew me, and I was delighted and a little taken aback all at once. "This is so strange but in the greatest way," I thought.

The audition proceeded, and it was really informal. I remember sitting down to sing; I didn't need to perform at a microphone, or even sing by myself. I sang with Adele and the other backing singer, and our voices fit together like hands in a glove. It was something beautiful. I'll be honest and say that I believed, as soon as she hugged me in the way that she did, that I had gotten the job. Even though I believed that the job was mine, you can never be too sure. The audition finished, and we all went our separate ways. And, as you know, I got the gig.

The question was, how did Adele know me? The answer was that I had been doing background vocals for another artist who went to the BRIT School with Adele. I had been touring for a year with this artist, so when Adele saw me in her audition, I was already familiar to her. She treated me like she knew me.

My previous work, which had no connection to Adele, was an invisible stepping stone to working with her in a way I could never have predicted. Going from feeling anxious to audition to feeling like a shoo-in was also something I could never have predicted!

So, let's break down the antidote to anxiety in a more practical way.

  • Number one, You don't need to know everything. Faith is about having foresight. Sometimes, you will be given opportunities that you didn't plan for, couldn't foresee, or didn't know about. The point is that you can prepare by doing your best with the opportunities you have now.

  • Anxiety will tell you that you're underprepared or don't have enough of a plan to get started. Don't listen! Start with the first step and give it your all!

  • Number two, you can thwart anxiety by giving yourself a mental picture of your future that is so certain and so real that it gives you a sense of joy and buoyancy in order to do the things that you're doing every day, even if they seem mundane. I had always wanted to work with an amazing artist such as Adele. Never in a million years would I have predicted that this gig would come to me in such an amazing way!

  • Make this picture of your future, your goals, so vivid and so real that you can't tell the difference between real life and this vision in your head. Doing this will give you the inspiration as to what actions to take to make this vision real.

This audition process taught me this: I know for a fact that the antidote to anxiety is faith and certainty.

Give this episode of The Freedom Series a ❤️ and share it to spread the word about how to be free from anxiety.

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