Mind Over Matter

October 21, 2008
By Gina Amico, Woodbury, CT

It happened four years ago, but I remember it like it was just yesterday. I woke up to the ear-splitting sound of my alarm clock and blindly searched for the snooze button. Then a thought dawned upon me: “It’s Saturday morning, what am I doing?” My body was completely drained of energy. I had stayed up most of the night attempting to memorize a monologue for that day’s audition, but had decided that that was still not enough. So there I was. The time was 6:30 AM; all was dark and there was stillness in the air. While straining to open my eyes, still warm and snug in my comfortable bed, I was overcome with a feeling of lethargy. “Maybe I should just skip this one? There’ll be other auditions.” Yet, despite all my deliberation and my bed’s “magnetic pull,” I still managed to rise at that ungodly hour to partake in what would be a life changing event.

I arrived at the Palace Theater shortly after seven. There were dozens of people in line confidently rehearsing their monologues and practicing their songs, and then there was me. I felt “like a fish out of water.” I was completely inexperienced at this whole “acting thing.” I mean, who was I kidding? I never had any vocal training and the only exposure to dance that I had was from a few “How-To” videos. The chances of me getting the part were slim to none. After all, if I didn’t even believe in myself, how could the casting directors believe in me? There were a countless number of things that could go wrong: What if I tripped? What if I forgot the words to the song? What if I made a complete fool of myself? All of these possibilities were flooding my mind, and I easily forgot the reason why I decided to audition in the first place. At one point, I even thought about leaving, until I heard:


It was too late. There was no turning back now. This was it. This was my time to prove myself.

My hands were quivering uncontrollably, my mouth was dry and I suddenly lost all feeling in my legs. Nevertheless, somehow I managed to get control myself and I started to walk onstage. After nearly being blinded by the spotlight, I made it to center stage. I felt dozens of eyes staring at me from the audience. What had I gotten myself into?

“You may begin when you are ready,” said one of the directors.
“Ok,” I though to myself. “It was going to be now or never.”
After I sang the first line, I was overcome with a new confidence. I began to belt out the lyrics as if I were alone in my room listening to my favorite song over the radio. It was a feeling I had never felt before. I did it. Judging by the looks on the casting directors’ faces, I knew that my effort had paid off. Looking back, I now see that I had walked onto the stage as one person and came off with an entirely different outlook on life.

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