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

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   I took a good look at myself in the bathroom mirror. My face was covered with stage makeup, the kind that clogs every pore and still feels like it is on your face even after it's been washed several times. My eyes had dark lines of brown eyeliner under them and bright blue shadow brushed across the top of them. My lipstick was bright red and so was my blush. Under all the makeup, I knew my real face was white, just like some T.V. characters when they see a ghost. My fear wasn't from ghosts though, I was scared because of people, lots of them (hundreds!), would all be looking at me in a few minutes. I felt like throwing up, but I didn't have time. The stage manager was calling for me.

I straightened my skirt and ran out of the bathroom and through the door marked QUIET BACKSTAGE! I tip-toed into the wings and ran through my lines one last time. The lights dimmed and, as I sneaked on stage, I started to whisper to myself, "You can do it!" But before I could finish, the stage lights went on and I started to do exactly what I had been doing in rehearsals for the last eight weeks. The only difference was this time it was for real.

Before the show, our director gave the whole cast a speech on how great we were and how, if we did everything just as we had practiced, we would be fine. So that's just what I was doing, until I looked up and caught a glimpse of the massive crowd of people in the audience. I continued the scene, but I couldn't stop thinking about the people sitting out there. I could feel a line of sweat forming on my forehead right where the hairline begins. The sweat rolled down until it reached the top corner of my ear, then it slowly trickled down the side of my face until it reached my chin. Some rolled down my neck and some fell from my face and soaked into my shirt. I couldn't wait to get off stage.

Another actor entered into the blinding lights and I turned to see him. While he was saying his lines, I got a good look at him and noticed that he had sweat dripping from his chin and his hands were trembling a little bit, too. He looked right at me and I could tell he wanted to get off stage just as much as I did. But I knew we were both in the boat together and we had to make everything perfect.

I closed my eyes for a second, remembered what we had rehearsed, and continued with the scene. Everything went right and when we finally got off stage almost everyone gave us the thumbs up sign. I walked back into the bathroom, picked up the red blush and covered up the little trails the sweat drops had made in my makeup. Then I took a deep breath and prepared for my next scene. n


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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