Taking the Risk: Why It Matters

What does taking a risk mean? It means stepping out of your comfort zone, and at times doing new things even if it terrifies you. One of the greatest risks I have ever taken was auditioning for my high school's fall play. Not only am I a person who has no performance experience, but I also stutter.

The thought of performing in front of a large auditorium full of people terrified me. The reason I decided to audition was because I wanted to try something new and get involved in my school's theater program. On the day of the auditions, there was also a special acting workshop meant to warm us up. I walked into to the auditorium, and set my backpack down. I looked around and saw about twenty people, calmly getting ready. Soon we began special acting exercises such as the "Machine" where one person begins a motion and a sound, and others add on. Then we split into partners to rehearse parts from the play. I was incredibly anxious. After I delivered some of the lines my thespian line partner said "Oh and I noticed you were stuttering. Was that for dramatic effect or do you really stutter?" I was speechless.

When it came time to audition, I was feeling apprehensive. I was put into a group of five and paired up with a person for a scene out of the play. I stood on a piece of faux parquet floor, left from the latest play, surrounded by the pitch black walls of the drama performance center. Across from me the director and two of his assistants sat in metal chairs like a jury about to deliver its final verdict. Needless to say I was really worried about making a good impression on the director. In the scene I played the role of a male painter disguised as a woman, because he had faked his own death in order to gain millions. The comedic effect of the scene was enhanced by the fact that my scene partner was playing an evil picture dealer bent on marrying me (the woman). We said our lines and, amazingly, I didn't stutter. Nevertheless it was awkward pretending to try and seduce a guy. Then the director had us switch roles and I played the evil picture dealer. We went through it several times, and finally the audition was over. I was so relieved, not to mention embarrassed. I left the audition thinking 'Well that was a flop, but hey it was a good experience, and I can always do crew'.

The next Monday I got a call. I had made the play. I was cast as the King of France. I was ecstatic. It was a lot fun doing the play, and it did really well. It was clear to me: My stuttering couldn't prevent me from doing the things I wanted to do, and that taking risks (even if they embarrass you) is well worth the time and effort.





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