The motivation behind Audition Oracle
The motivation behind Audition Oracle
How did Audition Oracle begin?
It is hard to believe that Audition Oracle has now been running for almost three years. When I first started this venture my outlook was bleak. I was heavily in the grip of whooping cough, which proved to do exactly what it said on the tin, make you cough and whoop for 100 days. As a result I had to axe engagements from my diary left, right and centre, not knowing if I would be left with a voice at the end of it. I started to panic even more than usual about how to make ends meet if I were to maintain a career in the world of opera.
Several years ago the idea came to me to start Audition Oracle but a similar successful service already existed in K-AA. When the news came that this was closing, I knew that the time was right to establish a service of my own. However, I didn’t even have enough money in the bank to register a web domain, let alone cover my mortgage. A very special singer-friend had been nagging me to do this for a while (you know who you are!). She took me out for dinner and offered to lend me the money to get started. Although blown away by her offer I thought the best way forward was for her to pay for her first year’s subscription in advance. Her faith in me was inspiring and I immediately went home to start building a basic WordPress website. I then posted this website on Facebook and Twitter, sat back and waited, and chewed my nails. A lot!
Having come into opera via other areas of the performing arts, I had to be creative and think outside the box to find out about work. Without realising it, I had developed a reputation for knowing about auditions before the panel knew they were happening! It turned out this was a very valuable skill. People began signing up at a rate that far exceeded my hopes. Even so the last three years have been a learning curve, and a very enjoyable one.
Far left with the extra chorus girls back stage during The Force of Destiny at ENO and far right as Carmen at the Minack, Cornwall 2015
Why does AO interest me?
Audition Oracle has been a revelation to me on many levels. For one thing, I have always enjoyed helping friends make connections that lead to successful auditions and contracts. Developing a tool that enabled singers to find their own work has been very exciting and motivates me on a daily basis. The business and contacts list have been growing steadily and I have been able to invest in the help of a small team of freelance specialists, my 'AO Elves', to assist with language barriers and lead resourcing.
Audition Oracle's current website launched over a year ago and was the first website of its kind dedicated to Opera singers. AuditionOracle.com not only provides singers with a work and auditions board where they can search for opportunities, it also offers them a professional online multi-media resume enabling them to display their CVs, images, audio and video clips to the numerous companies and employers that use the site. Many singers have been approached directly via the website inviting them to audition or offering them work. Beyond the 450+ visible singer profiles, there are many more private ones. Not all agents like their singers to appear on other websites so these singers can opt to stay anonymous but still stay in the loop via the work & auditions board and email updates. Companies can reach all registered singers whether their profiles are displayed or not by posting their own opportunities direct www.auditionoracle.com/auditions
There are of course many, many more plans afoot for Audition Oracle and its long-term development. More anon!
Thank you for reading,
Director and founder of Audition Oracle