The audition day came fast. I prepared what I could and gave more time to that than I did to physics. I want to get a really good role that helps me stand out, I need to make statement as I’m the odd one of the society, a geek. I had been learning my lines with everyone so they had their hopes up too and now I have to live up to it.
Jen and Brian walk me to the audition, on the way Jen spots Betty driving a white car into the expensive car park that the guys were telling us about on the tour. Of course she can afford the parking fees and of course she drives into university. I ask Jen and Brian to leave halfway so that I could get focused and so that it doesn’t look like I’m being dropped off by my parents. Sheera is at the door of the theatre, she signs us in one by one. The stage is set and the lights are on. There’s a couple of people dotted around the auditorium and a panel of judges sit in the front row. We walk on to the stage in single file and line up. The judges introduce themselves in turn consisting of; the head professor of the School of Acting, a popular theatre director, the script writer and the manager of the costume department. Without saying much more they take their seats and we begin.
My turn to audition was somewhere in the middle. I was a little shaky but I kept telling myself that this is what I want, so I went out and just gave it my best. I got no comments from anyone after my audition, we simply left once our audition was over. One thing I realized in the waiting room is that the more you really want something and the more it means to you, the more nervous it makes you and the more chances you have to mess it up. Whereas when you’re not really bothered about something you tend to just go there with no nerves and get the job done. It’s an ironic part of our nature.
* * *
Later that evening we’re all called back to find out which parts we’ve been cast. I stand next to my new drama friend Jake, he is a nice guy and wants to be an actor but he prefers theatre to film. To be honest drama is one of those classes where you pretty much get to know everyone, up close in just a few days since we’re always sharing stories and sharing space, lifting each other up and forming one body. There’s minimum personal space in acting and performance, everything is just out there and for that you have to be confident with yourself. Most people are pleasant and I am actually popular being the only scientist. But then you always have the odd few who seem to feel more superior than others. We follow Sheera in and stand in a line on the stage opposite the judges.
The head judge begins to speak, “Welcome, now we haven’t had much time to decide on who plays who, but I am sure we have made the right decisions.” She walks from side to side, “First of all, I would like to emphasize just how important this play is, not only is it fun but for some of you this could be an opportunity of a life time! Casting directors will be watching and even a few agents, so make the most of it, represent yourselves and our university. Practice, be on time and attend every rehearsal no matter how big or small your role.”
There is some mumbling however surprisingly Betty is silent, she’s focused and really really wants a good shot at this.
“Now onto the parts...” says the head of the school of acting. “Starting with the leads, the lead female role of Natasha goes to…”
Numbness fills the air around me, silence fills the auditorium. It feels humid as my heart races to find breath. Here we go…
“… Betty Johnson!”
My heart takes a steep drop, Betty’s reaction is composed as she flicks her hair back looking at her besties though you can tell she is relieved and proud. I on the other hand, am disappointed in myself, I really wanted the lead. I thought this was my time God? There’s still a few decent supporting roles left, so I listen for my name carefully. The judges assign the parts and I don’t hear my name. A traffic of thoughts cross my mind; my skin is tanned, my hair is black, I’m short, maybe I’m not pretty enough, she’s tall, pretty, blonde and white…
“And the maid will be played by Kyara Averoni,” the head’s voice reaches my ears.
Maid!? What the heck? God seriously? I stand there in shock. I didn’t even know there’s a maid in the play. Maya laughs out loud while Abbey pinches her to be quiet. Betty smirks making eye contact with me.
“You have a long monologue, so good luck!” The judge says. She reads out the final few roles and then heads off.
I know what that is but I’ve never performed one before. How long is it? A paragraph or two? Is it an emotional one? It must be, they all are! Is it just one monologue? We sit down to get familiar with the play as Sheera hands out the full and finalized scripts. As soon as I get one, I rush through the pages to find my lines, as does everyone else, flipping from beginning to end and back again. About half way through the play I finally find my character – The Maid – and underneath are my lines, which continue on for two whole pages! I take a gulp, this is theatre, not film! I actually have to learn all these lines by heart and there’s no conversation which means there’s no lines to bounce off.
“Woah!” says Jake, who has been cast as The Farmer. “That’s a long monologue!”
“Aww, are you only in it for one scene Kyara?” asks Betty Blondie smirking.
I choose to pretend not to hear her, that way, she’s the one embarrassed because she got blanked. I am a little let down though. I’m in one scene only and there’s sixteen scene’s in this play! The casting directors won’t even remember me, they won’t even notice me!
Sheers joins me and Jake, she announces that she is directing the play and that she didn’t want to tell us before to maintain objectivity.
“That’s a good role Kye, you have lot to remember,” says Sheera.
“Thanks,” I reply.
“Now, try and develop your character, you know what I mean? You’ve got comedy written all over this. Try and make the audience laugh, exaggerate every action and dialogue. I see the maid as an old, flat footed, hunchback, southern, maid. Make her real, like bring that evil but silly cartoon character to life.”
“Yeah! I see that!” I laugh with her as she leaves to help someone else. I can see my character and I feel a lot better about my role after talking to Sheera. God, I’m sure you’ve done what is best. Maybe this is my stand out role and it isn’t exactly a small role, it’s actually huge, I have a whole scene to myself, to stand out. This could work. Whether it is my stand out role or not, I’m going to give it my all. Southern.