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Truth Of Broadway
I walk into a beige room with crisp wooden panel floors. A piano as black as night is sitting alone in the corner of the room. There is a mirror wall behind me, reflecting the landscaping of 5th avenue and Broadway. It is a bright day, the sun touches everything in its way. The room is very open; it has a ballet bar going across the mirror.
“Hi, I am Matt Streisand.” I say. I grew up in the outskirts of New York City. Every month my grandparents would take me to see a broadway show. I was always intrigued by the way the move on they stage. I’ve known I was born to be on a broadway stage since I was 10. So, by the time is was 18, I moved out, bought a crappy apartment with my best friend Katrina. The only work we could find was working at the gift shop at the Gershwin. It was close to the theater so we didn’t mind as much.
As I walk toward the piano with my sheet music at my left and my headshot in my right. I begin to shake. This audition can either make my dreams happen or break them. I hand the pianist my music and my head shot to the assistant. I stand center. As I look out waiting for my cue, I feel the walls caving in on me. The room is so intimidating knowing that this can define my life. I begin to sing, “Tonight, Tonight.”
I continue to belt the famous song to West Side Story. The role of Tony in the new revival is between me and one other. It’s a battle to the death. The winner, gets the role of a life time. I was born to play it. I can’t help but thinking that he’s going to win. My song finishes. I thank them, and I walk out. Will is outside the room waiting, the other competitor waiting for his chance. I say nothing but give a nod, “Will, your next,” says the assistant. As he walks in, I take his seat and lean my ear up against the cold black door. Damn it! He’s doing Somewhere! Why didn’t I think of that? He sounds good from what I can hear. He’s loud, on key, and tall. I don’t know what to do. So, I rush out into the bustling streets of New York and head down to the subway.
I sit quietly for 10 minutes until I reach my stop. The apartment is one black away. So, I run. Weaving in and out of people, trees, garbage cans, and of course the famed food carts. “ Hey how was it,” Katrina asks.
“Horrible, I got so nervous I can’t even remember what happened. Will’s performance was so whole from what i heard. He will probably get the role.”
“You can’t think like that, the more you do, the more you’re going to stop trying!” Katrina said.
“It’s the truth!”
They wouldn’t! why did I even set up this dream. It’s never going to happen, never, never, NEVER!” I throw the pillow across the room. The pillows soars through the air and transforms into tiny white fragments.. I lay down on my bed and dose off.
The next day my agent calls. “Hello?”
“Yeah, what’s the news?” I ask.
“ Well, the director loved you, and wants you to come back for a test run. She said that You had the feel and voice of Tony, but Will seemed to fit the role. So today at noon they want you both in the Palace Theater, come in dance wear. Rest your voice..”
“Blah Blah, I know the deal. It’s not like I have been through this process before”
I have one hour minutes to get ready. The palace theater is a good 30 minutes via cab. So, I scarf down some scrambled eggs, orange juice, and an apple. Katrina hasn’t even woke up yet. She has to get to work within the next hour. On my way to my room, open her door. “Hey, your not seeping beauty!l You have to get to work!” i scream. She jumps out of bed. I run to my room, Slap on a light gray T-shirt, sweat pants, and throw jazz shoes in to bag and bolt out the door.
The streets are already alive. Automobiles speeding by, dogs yelping, old men screaming at children. Just a typical day in New York City. Taxi’s galore! It’s always funny watching tourist try to get a taxi. They don’t understand that when all the lights are on, it means their unavailable. Since I have lived in New York for about 2 years now, I’ve learned to hail a cab
I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston is playing on the radio. The world is still shocked about the ordeal of her recent death, So, I don’t mind I sit back and try to calm down but I can’t. Just the thought of me playing such an iconic role such as Tony is overwhelming.m Let alone me evening being on a real Broadway stage for 8 shows a week! I could win a Tony award. All these thoughts cloud my brain and i can’ think of anything. The cab rushes to a hard stop. Here I am! I search for my wallet and pull out $35 dollars. “$1.76 is your change.” I nod and run in. Of course I have to pass security, always a hassle. 10 minutes early, yes! I can get a small leg up. We begin to mambo to The Dance at the Gym. We work rigorously for 3 hours. We go through the dance a myriad of times. Finally it’s show time! We both alternate who dances in it. So, I decide to let him go first so I can pick out his weak spots. “5,6,7,8” says the choreographer.
The music starts. Hearts are pounding. I watch as Will goes through the movement. He moves so flawlessly through the Mambo. There it is; he finally stumbles. That little trip can destroy his dreams and help mine. Will is able to ameliorate his performance. He goes back to his stellar dancing.
“Matt let’s go!”
Alright, it’s time to show them that I deserve this. 5,6,7,8! Step, step, pivot, pivot. Dip, jump, twirl, run. Catch her, swing her, begin to tango. 5,6,7,8! All that runs through my mind are the moves. I’m coming up to where Will messed up. Alright Matt, Jump, Spin, cartwheel, Slide her, slide on knees. I did it! Now, I begin to relax. The sweat drips off my body onto the cold wooden floor.
My feet can barely move. The dance was so exhausting; my legs can’t hold my weight. I collapse onto the chair. My IPhone begins to sing, “She… She aint real… She aint gonna be able to love you like I will…” It’s Katrina; I’m too fatigued to do anything. I really could use a fan right now! That thought is all that my brain was able to process. My eyelids are suddenly hit with a heavy burden. They fight to stay open. My vision is fuzzy; then it is pitch black.
20 minutes, I wake. Its 4: 35 pm. I glance down at my phone’s screen. 8 missed calls and 15 new text messages. All from Katrina. Was I asleep for that long! I dazely walk out the doors and on to the street. I decided to take the subway. A sea of people flood down to the subway, street singers are entertaining us, I throw five dollars into his velvet top hat. The sub doesn’t take that long, thank God!