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Acting has always been one of my passions. Upon entering high school, I was excited to continue the acting I came to love in middle school. Unfortunately, I quickly hit a roadblock.As a freshman, I auditioned for the first play of the year, but I didn’t get a part. I was disappointed, but I understood, knowing that it was unlikely for a freshman to be cast. I auditioned for the second play, but again didn’t make the cut. The third play of the year was a musical, Cabaret. I felt confident, considering I had been cast in a lead role in all three middle school musicals. At the tryouts, I was one of the few freshmen to remain behind for solo auditions. I was determined to be more than “Ensemble #12.” When the cast list was posted, I went straight to the board… only to read that I had been cast as a sailor. An insignificant, non-speaking “Nazi Sailor.” I was disappointed, but I wasn’t discouraged. Actually, going through the rehearsal process and being part of the show as it came together solidified my love of the stage and made me eager to remain a part of Vistamar Theatre.In my sophomore year, I auditioned for the fall and winter plays but again wasn’t cast. My confidence dropped, and despite being enrolled in a drama class and helping with other aspects of the productions, I stopped feeling like a real part of the theatre community. I thought I had built a good relationship with the theatre director, but maybe he just didn’t like me. Maybe I wasn’t a good actor! All these thoughts filled my head, but thankfully, just like freshman year, when the third and last play of the year rolled around, I got a part! Sure, it was a tiny part, with only three or four lines, but it was a part– a speaking role, and once again I felt like I belonged in Vistamar Theatre. This high continued as junior year started off strong. I auditioned for and received a lead role in the first play of the year, Accomplice, a complex murder-mystery with only four characters no less! The confidence I gained from my first major role was astounding. Suddenly I felt like I had made it. People looked up to me– a theatre guy– a title I still aspire to. In the second play of the year, I was only cast as an extra. I still loved being part of the process, but was determined to get another big role that year to solidify my presence in the program. The third play of the year was the popular musical Grease. I tried out for the lead role, Danny Zuko, because who wouldn’t want to play Danny? The callback sheet was posted the following day, and my heart sank when my name wasn’t listed under the Danny callbacks. Then, I noticed my name under the Kenickie callbacks. I was disheartened, but I gladly auditioned again anyway. The next day, the cast list was posted. I examined it, focusing on the roles of Kenickie or (maybe the director had had a change of heart!) Danny. My name wasn’t beside either role, but I was on the list, cast as Sonny LaTierri, the smooth-talking ladies man of the Greasers. At first I was discouraged, but as the rehearsal process progressed, I grew to love my role. When the show ended, I knew I would miss it. My confidence, already high after Grease, surged when I applied for and was granted a spot on the Theatre Banquet Committee, a group of only five students that helps to head the school’s Theatre department.Heading into senior year with this new leadership position, I can look back and know that it took patience and determination to endure failures on my way– an important lesson I can apply throughout my life.
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