Nobody is saying that a $10k Fodera is necessary, but when a Fender P bass can be had for under $800 - go ahead, don’t show up with one. It’s like not dressing up for a job interview. Sure, you may have skills but your first impression is that you’re a contrarian. Why make it difficult for yourself? If you’re going for the audition, you’re interested in the position. Yes. You need good gear. It doesn’t have to be super high end, but it needs to look the part, sound good and be reliable. Stack the deck in your favor.