Friday, March 2, 2012


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.


  1. I am so impressed that you went back in for an audition! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. It's utterly terrifying every time for me, too, but I need to scare myself occasionally. And as your dance partner in Bye Bye Birdie way back when, I think you need to give yourself a little more credit for your dance ability. Either that or you just looked good in comparison to me. :-)

  2. Well, good for you! If you enjoyed it that much, you should give it another go....and maybe a few more....just to see....maybe, just maybe, the limelight is ready for you this time!

  3. I don't have the balls. GOOD FOR YOU!

  4. I think we're living parallel lives, the Director also never gave me a speaking part and I was always in the chorus. I haven't auditioned since high school for stage. Our philly version of Listen to Your Mother does auditions a bit differently, first we had to send in our writing and then if they like our writing, we get to audition live. I'll know on March 6. It would be AWESOME if we were both doing it in different cities!

  5. Oh my god, I know this story. It's my story, too. Except I actually liked being Head of House when it was my turn. Also, my voice isn't even so-so.

    Good luck! You do deserve a speaking part - I hope you get it!

  6. Oooh- I can't wait to hear what happens.... :)

    1. Well, I think I probably can predict the future

  7. That is so BRAVE and AWESOME that you tried out for another part. I had a similar high school experience; I would get parts, but always the really dorky parts like dwarfs and woodland creatures that had a handful of silly lines. I always thought I was better than that. I admire your bravery for trying again!!! :)