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Audition This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The distance to the center of the stage seemed like miles as I walked up the stairs and crossed to the front. I could hear each footstep echo through the theatre.

Once I got to center stage, I took a moment to look around. The director and the choreographer were seated halfway back, with papers in hand. The director was writing something down. I wondered if he was writing about the previous person, or me. What would he be writing about me? I hadn't done anything yet. But what if he thought I was too tall, or my hair was wrong, or he didn't like my clothes? I told myself I was being stupid and I had no reason to be so paranoid, but I still wondered.

I looked down at the front rows where other people were looking over their sheet music, or looking at me. I hated that. I get nervous enough just being on stage by myself. Fifty people who probably had more talent than I did staring at me didn't help.

I glanced down at the musical director seated at the piano, looking over my sheet music. I was momentarily relieved that she knew me and had heard me sing. At least if I was terrible now, she'd know I can do better and I might actually have a shot at chorus. I stared at the Exit sign over the door beyond all the rows of seats. I tried to clear my head of all the fears and "what ifs" and all those really strange things dancing around my head like Kermit the Frog playing an unplugged version of "Wild Thing" on the ukulele. I took a deep breath and stated my name, my age, and the title of my piece.

I turned and smiled weakly at the musical director, who began to play my introduction. For a split second I couldn't even remember what song I was supposed to sing, but through some wondrous miracle I found my first note and everything went fine.

I expected a "Thank you" after my first verse, but it didn't come. I continued on, slightly nervous because that high note I'd been having some trouble with was coming up.

I got to it, and I hit it. It was about half the volume of any other note, but I did hit it.

That infamous "Thank you" came soon after that, mid-verse, and I was relieved. Even though usually the longer they let you sing, the more they like you, one and a half verses was good enough for me. I made my way back across the stage and down the stairs. This time the distance seemed a lot shorter. I dropped into a chair near several of my friends who whispered the typical "You were great" comments. I thought to myself that they'd be saying the same thing no matter how I did. I mean, that's what friends are for.

I watched the next person walking those miles to center stage, listening to those intolerably loud footsteps that no one else can hear. I could tell he was trying not to look as nervous as he felt. I smiled. My turn for being nervous was over for now. At least until they made me dance, until callbacks, until the cast was announced, until performance, and until my next audition. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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