Starring Role

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I was nervous. My stomach was way more than upset. I was sweating and jittery and just plain scared out of my mind. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this. I looked at my teacher, but she smiled and encouraged me on stage.

I was in one of the fifth grade play. It wasn’t like a big school production or anything. It was a few parents and the younger grades coming to see us do two short skits about Jackie Robinson and Harriet Tubman for black history month. It was at the most forty-five minutes, in our small cafeteria at the end of the day.

Originally, I was in the Jackie Robinson play, having a small role as a townsperson or something. It was a couple lines, thrown in the second scene of the play. I was happy with my role. Normally, I hate speaking in front of anyone, but this was a required since we were being graded on it.

I was also an assistant stage director for the Jackie Robinson play. I basically made sure everyone was on stage on time. So while I didn’t have a major role in either of the plays, I still contributed in some ways.

The day of the plays pretty much everyone was excited, especially those with the main roles. Personally, I could’ve cared less. I was too busy reading one of the books I got from the library.

During lunch, one of the fifth grade teachers came over and pulled me aside. “I have a big favor to ask you,” she said. “If you can’t do it, it’s okay, but I really think you’re capable of doing this. Sasha*, who’s supposed to play Harriet Tubman, is out today, and I was wondering if you can fill in for her. I know you don’t know the lines, but we’ll give you a script and you could read off it.”

At first, I was going to say no. I mean, I had no experience as an actor, and I was petrified of being in front of an audience. Then I saw the look on my teacher’s face. She was stressed out and she had this pleading look to her. I couldn’t say no, and ruin the play. So I decided to save the day and say yes. “Thank you,” she said. “You’re going to be great.” She gave my shoulder a squeeze and walked off.

So here I was script in hand, in front of the kids in school and my peers’ parents including the Sasha’s mom. I stared out into the crowd. All eyes were on me, and my male lead. The teacher told gave us the cue. As I said my lines, I realized this wasn’t so hard, and that I actually liked the attention.

The play went smoothly, with me only stumbling on my lines once or twice. After the play, everyone applauded me, and said they were proud that I took on the big responsibility and that I handled it so well. I had never been so happy and popular in my life.

I learned how much I loved the stage then. I also learned how you should always take chances because you never know what might come out of it. I took a chance and came out with a dream: to become an actress, the dream I still have to this day.
*name was changed





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