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Walking out onto the stage, petrified, I hear the director utter in monotone, “Whenever you’re ready.” I figure that I will never be ready, but I decide that I’ve worked too hard to just walk away now. I read off some of the lines that I’ve rehearsed so many times, I practically have them memorized. Then comes the part I have been dreading: singing alone. However, I give it all I have, and, when I’m done, the director announces, “You may go.” My head is spinning as I wander out of the auditorium. Just then, it finally hits me: I have just auditioned for the lead in a musical, and I did fairly well!
When I get back home, I can’t focus on anything. I begin to pace back and forth in my room, mulling over in my mind all the things that I did wrong. I stuttered on a line, I spoke too quickly… This begins to drive me crazy, so I decide to just go to sleep. Mind racing, I do my best to focus on preparing for bed. When I finally lie down and attempt to fall asleep, my mind is still haunted by the audition. I strive to push it out of my mind, and, eventually, I drift into a deep sleep.
Waking up in the morning, my mind is gyrating. My whole morning is a blur; before I know it, I am inside the school. My hands are shaking as my friend and I trudge over to the casting list. Frightened to see the list, I slowly twist to look at the casting list. “Ren McCormack – Ruben Hanohano”
My hope spirals downward as all the things that I did wrong come crashing back to me. I think of how I could have done better, and I wonder what Ruben did that I didn’t do. People celebrating around me snaps me back to reality. I read on to see the character that I received. “Chuck Cranston – Jonathan Keller.” I feel relief rush over me as I realize that I don’t have to portray myself as the bully.
“Willard Hewitt – Nathan Bartos.” I never would have thought of myself as the comic relief in the play, but I decide that it could be fun to play someone so different from myself. Still disappointed, I walk into the musical director’s office and ask what I can do better for the next year’s audition. She tells me that Ruben had a more pop-sounding voice, which is what they were looking for in the actor playing Ren, and that he is a better dancer than I am. She also gives me common acting reminders: be louder, be calm, and be confident. I thank her and walk out of her office, then spot a friend who runs up give me a hug. I tell her I’m all right and that I am kind of excited to play the country role of Willard.
I have a great experience through all the rehearsals and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Ruben, who got the part I wanted, is hilarious and becomes a good friend.
Being in the play shaped me and will stay with me for a long time. First, I came to understand that although things may not go the way that we planned, most of the time they come out okay anyway. Furthermore, I realized that hard work is important and will help you to succeed; however, it may not always make you achieve the desired result. I became a better person because of the production of “Footloose” and had a great experience along the way.
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