Love me, damn it.

I stand on the stage,

Smiling, pleasantly, I hope, blinking in the spotlight and trying not to look like I know how much is resting on the success of this audition

Because that could be construed as nervousness, which could be interpreted as discomfort on the stage, which is equivalent to a sure reason to cast someone else

I cannot let you see just how much I need you to love me

The accompanist begins to play

Love me, damn it.

Why not love me, damn you- if I didn't love this I would not be standing here now

Can't you see how I love this, hear the passion in my voice, see how much I'm willing to endure for my art, see my soul bared—

Oh, you're not listening.

You're looking at my resume.

Why are you looking at my resume?

That's not me. That's paper and a glossy print painted with two-dimensional words that mean nothing.

I am here before you right now, the real thing.

And I am not my resume.

I mean something more, something deeper than what I say.

I mean to get this part.

You can't stop me, damn it.

You can't deny me, if you would only

Listen.

A tempo change I did not plan.

Why can't I control this, change the metronome of my life to a pace I can manage,

But why should I be able to when I can't even

Change your mind?

You're judging me, goddammit, I know you're judging again.

I see that look in your eyes.

I am a heavy cynic

I am a graceless Juliet

I am not right for the part

I am not the doe-eyed girl you pre-casted

When you decided to direct this damn play in the first place

But listen to me, damn you.

And you will forget her lovely face and see a real one lighting up the marquis

Mine.

An awkward bow and a painful exit.

"Thank you," I say, and we both know I'm still performing

After all, what the hell do I have to thank you for?

Other than another heartbreak, another rejection from a man who does not even know (nor care) who he is telling not to call him, of course

Because we both know you won't call me

That would require you to listen.

Why must it matter what you think of me, why must I care?

You do not know how I tried, how I deserve this

For you cannot even begin to see the bruises and blisters hidden beneath the tap shoes.

Why can't you love me, goddammit?

But why can't you listen to me, notice me like you should?

You wouldn't be sorry

Why can't you even look at me,

If only to glimpse the huge mistake you are making.

Next!

You should have loved me, damn it.