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Dramatic Beginnings This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Momentarily I glance down at the cold, black, dirty floor and realize what I have gone through to get to this night. I smooth my crisp, white blouse, re-adjust my gray pencil skirt ad straighten my square shaped, black reading glasses. Tearing my eyes off the floor, I look at her with a set jaw and breathe deeply, gulping down the knot in my throat.

The lights flicked on, huge, circular, bright and blinding. From out in the darkness I hear demands being shouted at me, I look at Mrs.Kucksdorf, I come back to reality.

“Shoulders back!”

“Show strength! Power!”

“Louder!”

Feelings: they can fizzle out as fast as they blossom. Ever present fear rooted itself in my body. From afar, the kids on stage looked perfectly calm, but walking closer every sign of fear was there: clammy hands, slight shaking and the rapid breathing. Before walking into that auditorium I had all the confidence in the world, but it was all lost the moment that door opened. Behind the curtain, my own symptoms of fear show clear, I pick at my nails and I start to bite my lip. Folds enveloping my fingers, I pull the soft, burgundy, velvet curtain aside. My shoulders fall back and relax as I start to get acquainted and comfortable with the timid faces around me.

I watch from stage right, with my eyes totally glued to the scene, mesmerized by the boy playing the principal, but all of the sudden the scene breaks when he glances nervously at the directors table as she scrawls notes on his paper. Face red and tears rim his eyes, the scene ends and the boy looks upset knowing he had broken character. The director calls my name and I walk the short expanse to the center stage. Thoughts run through my head: What do I do? What if I break character? What if I screw up the lines? Think, think, think.

My train of thought is interrupted by Mrs.Kucksdorf.

“What grade are you in?” The director asks.

“E-e-eighth” I stutter.

“I am going to have you play the principal on page twelve” she explains, already writing notes on my paper.

I shut my eyes and take a few deep breaths, and I start loud, clear, and strong. Halfway through the page I hear the words I was dreading.

“Alright, that’s enough” She exclaims.

Thoughts return, running through my head at a million miles per hour. Did I screw up? Did I falter? Was I loud enough? Was I good enough? Sitting there silently through the rest of auditions, trying to peek at her table to know what cruel unforgiving things she wrote on my sheet. The possibilities of what she could have written were endless: amateur, shy, horrible and screw up. As auditions drew on, I resort to staring at the massive curtain wondering about what I had done wrong in that mere two minutes. Auditions ended and I was still spacing out when I slung my backpack over a shoulder and sulked out of the auditorium in a mix of emotions.

Waking up I feel something clammy and wet running across my cheeks. I peek open one eye, and see my large chocolate deciding to give my face a slobbery wash. The big brute is sitting there and shedding her deep brown hair all over my crisp, pure white comforter, agitating me even further. Turning over I check the red numbers blinking back at me from my white bedside table, I turn back over and stare at my bubblegum pink walls for a few minutes. The time was six; the sun had not risen yet. Set in a foul mood and the whole family could sense it. When I’m in a bad mood, everyone walks on eggshells because if they even look at me the wrong way I might go off or burst into tears.

Sliding into the seat of our small, old cherry colored contour, my mother looked at me concerned. I stared back at her with a look of death, she didn’t say a word on the way to school, not a peep. All I knew was that I wanted to see MY name typed on a piece of paper that day, though my mom had no idea about that. As she pulled up to the school I received a hug and a kiss that I barely reciprocated. Exiting the car, I slammed the door and trudged toward the metal rimmed glass doors; my hand rests against the cold metal handle for a moment as I collect myself. Walking up the ramp, I know that the list would be hanging there; the fear rooted itself in me again.

Picking at my nails once more, I hesitantly walk up to the heavy, oak door. The dainty handwriting is hard to read; I squint and read the list slowly. Knowing the chances were slim, but still reading on, I stumble over my name, her handwriting suddenly becoming clear as day. Scanning across to the role it matched with: Principal. My day was completed, filled with happiness and finally drama practice. Receiving my first script was one of the best experiences in my life. Little did I know, dramatics will pull me out of a dark place, over a year later. I had sunk into a horrible place early freshman year, had not even tried out for drama and found myself sinking deeper and deeper, further away from my old , bubbly self; further away from where I wanted to be. Finally, after I got really rough, my best friends persuade me to try out for the fall play. I stepped back onto that stage and I completely lost myself in my character. It was late freshman year but I had returned to my old self, rediscovered what I had loved, had made me happy and no one could take that away from me. Even without drama I promised I would never sink back to where I used to be, and I have yet to sink back to my old ways.

Momentarily I glance down at the cold, black, dirty floor and realize what I have gone through to get to this night. I smooth my crisp, white blouse, re-adjust my gray, pencil skirt and straighten my square shaped glasses. Tearing my eyes off the floor, I look at her with a set jaw and breathe deeply and gulp down the knot in my throat. When I look behind her into the empty auditorium, I can see it fill with faces, see my future bright.



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