Stage Presence

~ "All the world's a stage…" William Shakespeare

So, as it goes every year, the school holds auditions for the spring musical. The thing looks stupid (it's about ducks) and dumb (see previous parenthesis) and there is no way you're auditioning. So you don't sign up or anything and no one bothers you much. Besides, work and school are more important anyway. Problem solved.

But then, after learning that all your friends are doing it, you start to become interested. But then you remember what it's about. Nope, still stupid. They'll have fun without you.

But the next day, you learn the song in musical theatre because the new teacher, who is oh so young, enthusiastic, and quite adorable, thinks it is a good idea if the class sings it for a solo practice. Well, now you know the song, and you still have time to sign up…oh, what the hell. It wouldn't hurt to your friend finds a spot for you in her group, and signs you up still somewhat reluctant.

It doesn't matter anyway. You'll just drop out of you don't make anything important.

So auditions roll around and everyone's crazy nervous and you are surprised to find that you are too. You audition with a group of friends, all fantastic as well. And really, you think the audition was fine. You don't expect anything; you've never gotten anything before. So the callback you get for a substantial speaking role shocks you as you look up the list later that night.

And suddenly, this stupid play becomes important somewhere in the subconscious part of your mind. You stress about the callback and print the scene sheets to write novels of notes on it. You panic as you try to make things work with the director so that you can still go to work on time and audition. And as you go into the room with three other people, you think you will walk out of there with the part in the palm of your hand.

The rest of the day, you don't even think about the callback. Work is too stressful and the day has already been sort of hellish. You relax on the couch for hours, not even bothering to check the strands of prolonged agony plastered all over Facebook.

So, the overwhelming senses of defeat and failure come as a low blow as you stare at the cast list. The part's not yours; it's someone else's, stolen from your hopeful hands. So, you swallow the lump of disappointment in your throat and congratulate everyone on their parts. You say they'll be great, all smiles and exclamation points while really you're just dying a little each time you say it. Your best friend gets the lead; your other best friend gets a solo. Hell, even the chick who sits next to you in Stats who'd never done a show in her life gets the female lead. It just drives the dejection further home.

Part of you truly and sincerely means the praise, but part of you just wants to curl into a ball and not see any of these people again.

And really, you're not that surprised. You've never gotten a part before, never in a musical, so why think you could now? You're not an actress; hell, you've known that for forever. You've never been able to connect and become your characters; at the end of a scene you were still yourself, reading lines from a paper. You know you're an average singer; you'll never be great, never performance material. And you've been okay with that. So why are you so hurt now?

You guess you just thought that maybe, because it was your senior year, your final show, that you'd finally get something fucking worthwhile.

But no, you're just the only senior in the chorus.

So you say you're going to quit, that the whole thing doesn't matter. After all, that was the plan. No part, no show. You probably won't even go see it when it's out. It's just a dumb musical. At least that's what you tell yourself now.

You'll just suck it up and pretend it doesn't matter, like usual.