It's been a long time since I have auditioned for anything. The reason is simple, I stopped trying because I never got the part. Never. I used to try out for all of the high school productions. Our Town, Bye Bye Birdie, Guys & Dolls, Pippin, you name it. I never once got a speaking role. Out of fairness the Director allowed me in some of the shows, then I would find myself in the back of the chorus, out of sight. In retrospect I understand why the musicals didn't work out for me. I can't dance. At all. Two left feet. At the auditions I would try in earnest to follow the moves of the choreographer, but my limbs would end up in a tangled mess. My voice is also only so-so. I have a limited range and a tendency to get off key. So no, I was never going to make it on Broadway.
But I should have got a speaking part in a play. Just once. I know I wasn't that bad. When I got on stage I would come alive. At least that is what my parents told me and I sort of believed them. Yet time after time, I would walk down the skinny little hallway that lead up to the theater room where the cast list would be posted. My heart a flutter, I thought maybe, just maybe. But no, never. Not once. And I continued to be disappointed, even crushed at times. I wanted the lime light. I wanted to know that I was good at something that I enjoyed, that I had an ounce of talent.
Instead the Director made me Head of House, which was ironic, because I can't think of anything I was less qualified to do. I have never been particularly organized or good with numbers, yet there I was in charge of ticket sales, programs and ushers. I would spend Saturday mornings in the school office fighting with a copy machine as I made hundreds of two sided programs for the play, while the rest of the cast, (the actors) were rehearsing. I still do not know why I agreed to it. I found it boring and stressful, and opening night flowers were never part of the deal.
After high school I gave the whole mess up, and I have not auditioned since.
Until last week. Last Saturday at 37 years old I tried again. I auditioned for Listen To Your Mother, reading an essay I wrote for the occasion. If I get in, I'll read this piece in front of a real live audience. My husband said he was proud of me for trying. My mother said she would fly out to see the show. And now as I wait for the casting list to be posted, I am wondering if this was such a great idea afterall. I know that I am suppose to feel empowered. I did something scary, I tired something new. But instead I feel like I am 15 again, waiting for the inevitable rejection.
I won't get in. I won't. I never get the part.
As a teenager the rejection was crushing. Luckily today, I am a grown up, and while it's going to sting, I know my life will go on. I am going on almost twenty years of living life off stage and doing just fine.
Just please, please, don't ask me to be an usher.