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Under 1000 Watt Lights

The lights of the stage burn like the Arizona summer sun. It burns the flesh until it cries. Your throat dries. There is nothing like the lights of a stage. My first time on the hard black floor with its green curtains, my eyes burned from the white fluorescents of the lights. The row of seats looked like a sea of crimson with splashes of colorful little fishes all waiting for me to speak. In the back of the sea was the most important fish of them all, my teacher and director Ms. Pamela Delph who would become one of the most influential people of my high school career. I stared into the white lights and crimson sea, the judging eyes of the fish. I wiped my hands on my jeans and repeated the first lines I was supposed to say recite in my head. I looked out into the ocean of seats "Begin when you’re ready" she said, smoothly. Smooth enough that my hands began to perspire and my throat dried. I forced a smile then lay on the floor. Ready for my first audition of the school year.

I pattered and puttered through my semi-memorized lines. My broken voice and shaky hands had told all that were watching that I was nervous. I blinked slower every once and a while to be surrounded by darkness, to take a break from the thousand wattage stage lights. The darkness seemed to distance me from the smell of the burning gels that hovered above me. After I hacked up the last line from my scattered brain, I whispered one last word “scene”. Surprisingly, from the audience came applause as I bowed awkwardly and scurried off the stage. Feeling mousey, I sat back in my seat hunched down and worried; there where so many things I could I have changed. After the last performance from the back came a soft, “callbacks will be up tomorrow”. It echoed through the auditorium: “callbacks tomorrow”. I sunk in my seat a little more afraid.

The next day I hesitated to get to school to check that list that could my name printed on it. I dragged my feet to the student named P.A.C or facility called performing arts center. Outside of the door with small words that spelled theater arts, were all my judgers from the day before. Without the fluorescents and scattered lines, they seemed less menacing. However, above them was an overcast of dark clouds that smelled like rain. I took this as a good omen since I was born on a day just like that. As I wiggled my way through the awkward and intimidating circle. I walked through the theater room that always smelled like chalk and into the hallway. In the hallway on the right hand, side was a small bulletin board and on this board was a piece of 8x11 paper. The word CALLBACKS was in bold black letters. Halfway down the list under all the juniors and seniors who would go on and actually be in the play was my name. The only freshman on the whole list. I smiled to myself softly and proudly.





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