The Passion and The Pain

Yesterday sucked.

Like… FUCKING sucked.

…up there on the top 5 shittiest days of my life…

I had a big callback audition yesterday for the national tour of Mamma Mia.

I was auditioning for the role of Ali, who is one of Sophie’s bridesmaids. I had a side (for non theater people: a portion of the script) and a song to learn. I also brought a pop song that was not from a musical.

I had about 12 days from when I found out I got the callback to prepare… and believe me, I PREPARED.

I read my script numerous times a day and was always listening to every version of the song I could get my hands on.

I bought the movie the day I got the callback.

Then the next day I bought tickets to the broadway show and took notes the entire time on my character.

I figured if I was going to do this… I would do it RIGHT.

Chadd and I worked TIRELESSLY on my lines: how to deliver them, fluctuations in my voice, making sure my facial features were good… EVERYTHING.

I got to the studio, not knowing what to expect and there were about 20 girls who were called back for the roles of Ali, Lisa (the other bridesmaid) and Sophie.

I quickly made friends with some of the girls, who were surprisingly really sweet and down to earth. I remember thinking “I could definitely see myself traveling the country with these girls!”

My mind when back to the cattle call, which was one of several cattle calls that this particular show had. There were somewhere like 400-500 people there. I was number 200 and I was literally there for 8 hours. I thought that there was NO way that out of ALL those people, I would even be considered a contender for this show.

Seriously though… who am I? Some rock and roll singer who went to Berklee and up until she moved to NYC, has done little to no acting. Sure, I’m in an off-broadway show (well… was: we’ll get to that later), but my part is (was) strictly improv and involves(ed) no singing.

So when I looked around at these other girls… I felt pretty damn great that I had made it to the top 20 young women in contention for these parts.

We all warmed up together and then were asked to step outside so each of us could sing a portion of our prepared song, “Honey, Honey.”

This song was in the PERFECT key for me, RIGHT in my range, and was super fun and pop-y. I had been rehearsing non-stop so I felt super confident.

Then I stepped into the room.

I don’t know what the fuck happened. I NEVER get nervous during auditions.

Hell… the best audition I’ve ever had was at The Voice executive callbacks and I was in front of 20 Hollywood producers and a camera!

I not only switched around two of the lyrics (which I covered up really well), BUT then I cracked on a note.


Honestly… if anyone had listened to the audition, I sounded great. But these little hair-splitting details MATTER when you’re up against the top 20 people for the national tour.

I walked out and was worried.

So… when they didn’t call my name to read for the next round… I knew it was my fault.

They cut 7 people… so it wasn’t like I was the ONLY person…. but I felt like I got punched in the stomach.

Most of those girls, if they don’t get their featured parts, will most likely be understudies, swings, or chorus members.

And I fall short again.

And then I got fired from my show. 😦


Again: I’ve stressed this before in my blog, I KNOW I am talented enough for this industry.

I made it to The Voice executive callbacks and was in the top 180 for the season that aired yesterday.

I got a callback out of HUNDREDS of hopefuls for Mamma Mia.

I go to auditions nearly every week where I sing well… yet am sometimes met with a smile and a polite rejection.

I KNOW I can do this.

But I can’t pretend today wasn’t a disappointment.

I feel like today I let myself down. I’m embarrassed.

I’m diminished.

I feel like I am nothing.

Yesterday was like a hard kick to the stomach.

In a lot of ways it’s easier to be rejected when you give a great audition, because at least you can have the piece of mind that you gave EVERYTHING you had. But sometimes when there’s no reason, you’re just left to go over every detail and wonder… “What did I do? Could I have changed their minds?”

Yesterday… I flubbed.

There is no other excuse I can make, other than the fact that I let my nerves get the best of me.

And yesterday I was also let go from my show.

And I’m embarrassed because I feel like there must have been something I could have done. I could have been better, I could have worked harder, but I failed. I let down my cast.

And I continue to be embarrassed every time I have to tell my family members and friends that I ALMOST (but didn’t) land a role or that something didn’t work out.

I’m SO embarrassed that I almost finished this entire blog post and then deleted it because I couldn’t bear to tell my readers that I have failed.

But I owe it to you to be honest… because it wouldn’t be my blog if I wasn’t.

I don’t want this constant failure to be my life story.

I feel like I’ve failed. I feel like I’ve let myself and everyone else down.

I want a happy ending.

I NEED a happy ending.

As much heat as I know I’m going to get for this comment: I feel like a COMPLETE and utter failure.

I never thought this life would be easy. But I also never thought that someone as confident as myself would ever be reduced to this.

Especially since I’m no stranger to pain.

But… if I’ve learned anything from the pain I’ve gone through in the past… it’s that there are always silver linings.

So here are mine for the day.

1. After I got cut, Chadd and I went to lunch and a movie. My boo ALWAYS knows how to make me feel better AND gave me some great career advice. I’m really lucky to have a friend like him. Oh yeah… and this is what we look like when we go out: Image

2. I had a long (tearful) talk with my dad today and when I kept telling him how disappointed in myself I was… he kept telling me how proud of me he is.

3. I was almost on The Voice. How many people can say THAT?!

4. I met some really awesome actresses today and was lucky enough to be considered in their echelon of acting/singing/performing.

5. I got asked on a date this Thursday. 🙂

So yeah… today was awful. But there were also good things about today… maybe not as good as getting a final callback or not getting the news that I’m fired would have been… but I have a good life. I have good friends. I have a great family. I have health. I have life. I have gone through love and great loss… and I’m still standing.

After Ro died… I never thought I would be able to move on… and look at me now. I wonder what she would say if she could be here to see me. My passion for life and music was what kept me going through all this pain that I felt. It motivated me to finish Berklee, get my degree, pursue performing, live my life.

So with that I’ll leave you with with a lyric from one of my favorite artists: Pink

“Cause the passion and the pain are gonna keep us alive someday… They’re gonna keep us alive someday.”

My PASSION keeps me going. My p simply reminds me why I must…

Shannon Rose Allen


2 thoughts on “The Passion and The Pain

  1. You are such an inspiration!!! I remember growing up, dancing in our basements thinking about permorning on a stage when we grew up! So this audition didnt work out, its not the end of the world …. you are pursuing your dreams, learning day by day, and that is KICK ASS!!!!!!!!!!! You were meant for this and your time will come! Keep kicking ass and taking names in NYC! All your hard work and passion will pay off!! Keep your head up!

  2. You’re amazing, Shanny Boo Boo. I’m so sorry that you had those letdowns, today. I wish I could be there to drink a bottle of wine with you, make stupid videos, and talk shit about how much better you are than everyone else. I love you so much, and you are a ROCKSTAR. No one can keep you down for long. Your break is somewhere else… you just have to wait for it! ❤

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