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Behind the musical: part 1
I stared at the flattening iron that morning, like my eyes were burning it instead of it burning my hair. I was a nervous wreck and I was cursing myself that I didn’t bother to straighten my hair the night before. Then I wouldn’t have had to wake up at 4 a.m. just to straighten my huge Shirley Temple like hair. You may be wondering why I’m so nervous, well I’ll tell you; it’s the auditions for Beauty and the Beast. I know it doesn’t sound like anything but it is. See I want to be on Broadway and I’m trying to start now for every opportunity to test how good I am. That starts today with my audition for Belle. I know I’d have it in the bag if I didn’t have one extremely big obstacle; Julia. She’s done more shows than I have and she’s in 8th grade while I’m only in 7th. Everyone thinks she’s going to get it, not only because she’s in 8th grade, but also because she is popular. I have to admit she is pretty dang talented, she’s got that big voice and is one of the most theatrical people I’ve ever met. Now to be fair I’m quite amazing, sorry if I’m not being that modest. Pretty much the definition of me is a diva. I’ve also been a competitive dancer since I was 7, done shows here and there (where I pretty much always get the lead), and have been singing since I could talk. Now Julia and I, we used to be really good friends and as soon as we found out we were doing Beauty and the Beast she said she wanted Belle. I was a little worried about that because I didn’t want to ruin our friendship. So I talked to her about it, she seemed pretty sincere at the time, but then we got the scripts and it started to get serious. We were gossiping about each other and being pretty nasty. She’s the first person I’ve ever met that I was worried about. Just as talented and confident as I am. I picked up the straightener and flattened out my hair. My eyes looked good today, blue as always I’ve never been able to describe what color blue but I will always know; they are my daddy’s. My dad died when I was ten from leukemia, I know I know it’s sad but I’m 12 now and it’s ok. After I finished, I pulled back the front and pinned it in the back. It looked like a good hairstyle. I was as close to looking like Belle as I could with my hair like this considering I’m a blonde. I pulled out my black eyeliner and drew a thin line on my waterline. I also clumped some mascara on the top lashes and foundation for the rest of my very pale face. I couldn’t eat that morning; I was so worried about getting beat and humiliated. So I pulled out an apple, I munched on this in the dreaded silence. Oh I just realized I never told you my name; it’s Regan.
I arrived at school that morning and some people stared, I don’t often wear my hair straight. I walked up to Erin and Ronnie they were usually the only ones there that I talk to in the morning before we were supposed to go into school.
“Hi guys! I’m so ready for today.” I stated with a smirk even though inside I felt like puking.
“Regan you hair!” exclaimed Ronnie.
“What are you all excited for?” she questioned.
“Well today is the auditions for Beauty and the Beast, so since I don’t have brown hair I wanted to look as much like Belle as I could.”
“Well you look very Bell-ish.” Said Ronnie tugging at the golden parts of my hair.
“Aren’t you scared that Julia is going to beat you?” said Erin
“No! She’s easy to beat.” Yah, that was a lie.
“Well don’t you think that maybe she should get it because she’s an 8th grader?” said Ronnie.
“It doesn’t matter what grade your in, what matters is if you’re the best for the part.” I said, looking serious now.
They both gave me questioning looks and I sighed. No one really understands me, or the way I see things. Its like I can see the world in a different way. I honestly can’t wait to go to New York; it’s a place I can be understood.
I walked into school and through the jr. high hallway. I go to a Catholic school and our jr. high consists of one hallway, I know right, pretty cruddy. Some people stared over at me, no surprise. One my hair looked different and today was the epic battle between Julia and I. The auditions are at recess but I’m still nervous.
“Regan!” I turned around just as my friend Rosie ran up to me with Jennie.
“So are you nervous?”
“About auditions? Hell no! She doesn’t stand a chance.”
“But everyone is saying she’s going to get it.” said Jennie
“I don’t really care, I’m still better than her.” A smirk slid across of my face. I was starting to feel more confident.
Rosie’s eyes went large as she stared at something behind me. I turned around and just as that nervous feeling went it came back. The smirk was still on my face. I could not afford to look shocked and scared as I stared into the face of Julia.
“Regan, there are other people auditioning for Belle and I think you’re being really rude saying all this stuff.” Her look was serious and I couldn’t help but laugh a little at this stupidity. She’s been doing the exact same thing. Bagging on me and saying she’s going to get it. Don’t I have a right to also? She scowled as I snickered.
“Julia, it’s called confidence.”
“That’s not confidence it’s ignorance.”
“Really?” I said with a large grin on my face. I walked away leaving Julia with her arms crossed and Jennie and Rosie in aw.
My classes past by very slowly as I couldn’t concentrate at all. I was in my science class staring at the clock absent-mindedly until it read 12:00. The bell rung and I gulped, now was the time. I put away my books in my locker very slowly and got my afternoon things. I looked across the hall as the other class came to get their books. I stared until finally my boyfriend, John, walked out. I smiled and just forgot about everything for a moment. He saw me too and smiled wide, he stopped for a moment and it was all-perfect. Until, of course, some guys walked out and ran into him. I snapped back to reality and went back to getting my stuff. I walked over to him and asked, “Do you think you could come watch my audition?” I said sweetly.
He grinned, “Of course.”
I walked back to my class to set my stuff down, Cara hurried out of the room. Obviously to see Julia, I sighed; no one thinks I should get it really. There is that very few amount, but that’s about it. I walked out of the room and was almost rammed into by Emily, an 8th grader. She believes that I can get it.
“Oh my God, Regan!” she screamed as we walked up through the commons to the music room. Emily was going for Babette; the feather duster.
“I’m so nervous.” She said with a worried look. She was more the artsy type, and basically ran the entire scenery and costume section.
“You should be too!” she added rather quickly. I smiled, here’s the one person I can honestly say will be supportive. So I will tell her how I feel.
“I am! But I don’t want anyone to know that.” I said the last part very quiet, as the commons were very echoing. She nodded, and gave me a sad look.
“I think you deserve this.” She smiled and I did too as we walked up the ramp into the music room.
The scene was peaceful; people were sitting on the chairs that were on risers. Obviously here to support people or sitting waiting to audition. The 5 judges were up the highest and instantly I was irritated. There was Mrs. Kowalski, Mrs. Kaman, Mrs. Fitch, Mrs. Ross, and Mr. C. I can understand Mrs. Kowalski and Mrs. Kaman; they’re the art and dance instructors. Really though, the other three are our guidance councilor, principal, and vice-principal. They don’t know anything. My music teacher, Mrs. Lindquist (who we call Susan), was up at the very front by the piano sorting through audition papers. All was quiet except for the whispers of groups in the back. I looked and saw John, I smiled, but I needed to focus right now. There were 2 rooms on the other side of the room, a closet and Susan’s office. The office door was wide open, but the closet door was closed and I realized now there were voices coming from inside. I looked at Emily but she was pre-occupied looking for any place we can go and practice. She smiled as she looked over at the small corner that was like a miniature hallway. If you walked far enough in you couldn’t be seen. She pulled me over, but I was curios and wanted desperately to see what was going on.
“So can we run lines?” She insisted, but I wasn’t paying attention. Julia was in that closet; I had to go look now.
“Hey, I gotta go do something but I’m sure someone else can help you.” I smiled and walked away. I hadn’t noticed but they were making an awful lot of noise. I pressed my ear to the door; it’s a good thing no one was watching me, that would’ve looked very strange. I Listened closely, Julia was definitely in there but more too. I heard Cara, no surprise, but was that Nolan? I looked up for a moment, he wasn’t in sight. But there was more too! Mia? Yes her too, I heard Ally also. No shock to any of this, but where was Jim?
“You can’t go in there.” I whipped my head around and looked at a very irritated looking Jim.
“Well, why aren’t you.”
“I don’t know, they won’t let me.”
“Sorry.” I said shrugging and turning around
“She’s gonna get it. You know that right.” He stated it more than asked. Well you really can’t hide anything from Jim. I sighed and turned back around to look at him. His face expressionless, his arms crossed.
“Yah…” my voice trailed off and I looked down. He nodded and all of a sudden there was a loud voice behind me. I looked back and then quickly jumped out of the way as the large door swung open. Julia ran out followed by Cara, Mia, Nolan, and Ally. I know what everyone is going for, everyone’s been deciding and has already predicted what everyone will get. Cara will get Mrs. Pots, Nolan will get the Beast(although he is the only boy in Musical Theatre, Jim and Johnny are in choir only), Ally will get Chip, and Julia will get Belle. It’s really sad but what can you do?
“Ok everyone time to get started!” piped Susan cheerfully. My stomach did a huge unexpected belly flop and I bent over clutching it. Julia smirked and I glared.
Ok so the odds are against you, doesn’t mean you still can’t get this role.
I told myself this in my head trying my hardest to feel better. It didn’t work. I went up to the third riser and sat myself in a chair next to John. He was eating his lunch and gave me a smile. I returned it but I don’t think anything, not even him, could get this horrible feeling out of my stomach.
“So today we are going to start with the Belle’s.” my stomach did another pitiful twist and I swallowed hard so as not to gasp. I got up and strode up toward the front with a smirk on. Totally opposite of what I am feeling.
Confidence. That’s what you need. Show everyone that even if your going to lose, you will do it strong.
Somehow this managed to calm me down and I started feeling confident. I scanned down the line of people trying out. Corey, Brianna, Me, and Julia. Ok so it wasn’t super bad I’ll be ok.
“So, you’re going to sing the song Belle, which as you know, is the opening song.” said Susan.
Ok so it seemed pretty good, that song was easy for me.
“On the chorus parts everyone will sing, now who wants to go first?”
“I will.” I said with a smirk.
“Ok, do you need a script?” she asked.
“No I got this.” I added, I had imagined where I was going to move during the song so I wasn’t just standing there. The song started and now I’m singing. Wow, I’m singing pretty well actually although it’s pretty creepy having everyone watching my every move and waiting to see what I would mess up. I finished very strong and didn’t make any mistakes as I could tell. They clapped, some didn’t, some glared and I was pleased.
“You were amazing.” Said John as I sat down. I guess, maybe, I was.
Julia vowed to go last so I sat through Corey and Brianna, waiting to see her. When it was her turn I sat on the edge of my seat. I knew she’d be good but how good? She started off great, her voice soaring and it was nearing the end of the song when it happened. She messed up, her voice cracked. Everyone looked shocked even me, her face turned bright red and she tried to keep going but now she was forgetting the words! I could not believe this was actually happening. As soon as the song was over everyone clapped really loudly for her.
That’s not fair.
I thought, sure she messed up we all do. But if I had no one would’ve clapped loud. Julia cried and everyone either gave her a pitiful look or gave me a glare. Ok what did I do wrong? I was good and she wasn’t? I don’t think I have any control over it.
“Well good job to all of our Belle’s!” said Susan but I still felt sick. I guess it’s because Julia was staring right at me, and she wouldn’t stop.
I came home from dance that night and I tried hard to forget the earlier events. My mom was home now reading a magazine on the couch. She looked up as she heard me and smiled.
“Hi honey, how was it?” she said
“Oh I did great! But Julia…not so much.” I said, my voice trailing off.
“Oh, what happened?”
“Well, first her voice cracked, then she forgot the words.” I could tell she was trying not to smile. She doesn’t like Julia.
“Oh isn’t that sad.” Her voice had a note of pleasure to it. We sat in awkward silence until the phone rang. I raised an eyebrow, it was 11:00. Who’s calling this late? I got up to answer the phone and picked it up.
“Hi, this is Susan Lindquist may I please speak to Regan?” I froze, what was she going to say to me. Did I get it? Did I not get it?
“This is she.” I said trying to sound like I wasn’t about to pass out.
“Oh! Hello Regan, I just wanted to call and tell you that you have a callback tomorrow. You and Julia will be going for the part of Belle, you will be singing Home. Please come to the music room at recess. That is all, have a goodnight and best of luck to you!” she hung up. I slowly put down the phone and slowly sat back down.
“Who was that?” said my mom
“Susan.” Her eyes widened and she sat on the edge of her seat.
“I have a callback.” The words rolled off my tongue and I stared at the floor. I need to get this; I can’t deal with her getting it because everyone wants her to.
My classes couldn’t have possibly gone by any slower, but they did. I found myself mindlessly walking to get my books then crossing to the commons to the music room. The room was almost deserted and just as quiet. There were the whispers of the few people who showed up but that was all. Again I heard the commotion from the little closet and the door flew open. Julia stormed out, she looked a little flustered. I stood in the doorway, as she looked up and saw me her nervous eyes turned hateful. She glared then walked and sat down. I walked up to sit by Emily and felt my stomach doing many flip-flops but I wasn’t effected. There weren’t any judges today besides Susan, it felt nice.
“So today our two contestants for Belle are here for their callback; Julia and Regan.” Said Susan.
A few people stared at me with deep glares. I honestly don’t care right now. I just want to get through this hell and be done.
“Now who would like to go first.” Immediately Julia stood up and walked to the front. That’s ok, I wanted to go last. The song turned on, she was amazing. I noticed the bags under her eyes; I bet she stayed up practicing. The one thing I noticed was she is a great singer and actress but I think she focused more on the singing. The song is sad, so there should be emotion right? I couldn’t see that. There was power in her voice of course but this wasn’t how the song should make you feel. I frowned; I’d expect her to be better. She finished with a dazzling smile and a smirk. She sat down and I stood up and crossed toward the front. I felt I knew what to do. Sing her sadness, sing from my heart. The song started and I felt good, I portrayed the emotion. Julia’s smirk slid off her face and everyone else’s too. I was doing amazing, I felt like no one could stop me. The song ended and I felt good. Everyone was speechless including Susan. She smiled at me and I returned it. Maybe this will work.
Later at the end of the day Julia ran through the hall like a mad man to the music room. I sprinted behind her. The commons were dark and the panels blocking others from the music room were open. She hopped onto the stage and hurried off to Susan who was sitting like she was awaiting our arrival. I jumped up and sat down next to her. The others in musical theatre were huddled at the hall door to the jr. high, anticipating the outcome.
“Good your both here. I have come up with the results, but I want you both to know it was the hardest decision I’ve had to make for a lead. Your both extraordinary and talented girls. But at the callback I saw exactly what I needed to see. Which is why I’m giving the role of Belle to Regan.” My heart leapt so high, the smile on Julia’s face had slipped away and now she was crying.
“Julia wait.” I said, but it was to late she was gone and ran crying to the rest of Musical Theatre class. I got up and turned to walk away but before I did I turned around and said, “Thank you.” to Susan, she nodded and I walked away. I walked through the hall and was given glowering looks from the jr. high. I had a worried look on my face. I guess I hadn’t thought of the outcome of me getting it. Nolan walked up to me.
“Congrats.” He said expressionless.
“Thanks.” I said with a smile, I was about to walk away when he said.
“You should give the part to Julia.”
“Why? I was the one that got it.”
“But it’s her 8th grade year.”
“Well I’m sorry, but I got the part not her.” I walked away before he could say anything else. I went through all that trouble just to get it, why should I just give it up? I walked in the commons and sat down on the wall. I just wanted to be alone and have no one say this kind of stuff to me. It was quiet until I heard tiny sobs. Julia was smashed between one of the folding lunch tables as she quietly cried. She didn’t notice me there and for a moment I sat there watching her. The hallway door opened and a few 8th grade girls walked out. They crossed the hall not noticing me over to Julia. They coaxed her out of the table and walked her back. I stood up trying to escape before they noticed me but they did.
“You’re a horrible person.” Said one of them, then they were gone. I sat back down and started to worry. Something was starting and I knew for sure, this will not end well.
End of part 1