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“What do you want?” snottily asked Grace Jenkins, the queen-bee at River-street Middle School. She rolled her eyes as she twirled a tawny curl of hair around one of her fingers.
“Um, I-I’m here to try out for the play,” Ellii Moore answered meekly.
“Hah! Since when can you sing?”
This caused the other bees to giggle. Ellii took a seat in the front row of chairs, Grace and her hive being in the back. More students began to file into the room. Each one increased the fear building in Ellii’s mind. She skimmed through a book; seeing the words but not knowing what they said.
“Alright, my future-stars! We are going to begin auditions,” called Ms. McNally, the director. “Ladies, you first! Up here, in a line, chop chop!”
All the girls who were seated stood up and rushed to the front of the room. Grace took her place smack-dab in the middle of the line; her fellow bees on either side of her. Ellii was the last in line.
“Good, Good! We will start with you!” clapped Ms. McNally. Her finger pointed to the first young lady in line. The girl took the script handed to her and began reading.
“Next!” said Ms. McNally as the girl took a breath. The script was handed to the next girl, and this girl began reading. This continued until all the girls, except Ellii, had read. At last, the script landed in her trembling hands. She took a deep breath and began reading; going into a different world the second she started. Her voice, movements, and facial expressions produced the perfect effect.
“Very nice, Miss- I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name,” sweetly smiled Ms. McNeely. Ellii could feel Grace staring daggers at her.
“Ellii. Ellii Moore,” she answered, staring at her shoes. The director took the script from Ellii and instructed the girls to sit. Then, the few gentlemen that were present repeated the same process the girls had just finished.
“Tomorrow we begin vocal auditions. Grab a piece of sheet music: Learn it, live it, love it!” yelled Ms. McNeely as the bell rang. The students gathered their belongings and began to head to their last class of the day. “Miss Moore, please remain a minute.”
Ellii gasped, “Yes, Ms. McNeely.”
Ms. McNeely sat down at her piano as the last student left.
“You’ve had some experience, hey, Miss Jones.”
“Is it that obvious? When did you figure it out?”
“Samantha Jones, I’d recognize your voice anywhere. Let’s hear you sing a little! The greatest young actress in Broadway history can handle a simple tune?”
“Of course,” Ellii (a.k.a Samantha) opened the music book. Her voice rang out through the room, filling every corner with the beautifully melody from “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Splendid! So, you came up with this Ellii girl because?”
“I wanted schooling. Real schooling, I mean. It’s my year off, so I decided to spend it this way. Being with people my own age is good for me. You understand?”
“Undoubtedly. So, shall you take the lead, or would you like a smaller part?”
“If you think I’m fitted for Belle, I’d love to play her! It’ll be fun to show that Grace how professionals do things.”
“Alright, Miss Samantha. I’d be honored if you’d bring a little publicity to our tiny school. You shall of course tell your real identity?”
Samantha tilted her head to the side, “I don’t know; I guess I will. I’ve kept up my illusion for two months. Playing myself again will be nice. I was tiring of Ellii.”
“Your other teachers know, I assume?”
“Yes; actually most of the staff knows. Tomorrow I’ll return to Stardom!”