It was a hectic week. Rehearsals everyday, two shows one day and another the next. Being a freshman welcomed into this newfound world of high school theatre, this sounded amazing. We had a week to prepare for our last play of the year and my mind was set on the role that would express my capabilities and allow me to shine and display my urge to perform. To come to think of it now, this situation was much more over exaggerated in my 14-year-old mind, but for all I knew, my audition would be the pivotal moment of my life long line of accomplishments.
There I was, after sparing hours of memorizing and practicing this one-minute monologue, I took one step into the audition room where immediately I felt the heavy stares of five student directors and my theatre teacher as they waited for something good to happen after having seen more than twenty aspiring Thespians audition for their “moment to shine.”
Game time. Life or death. If you do not ace this, there will be no where to go. Heavy thoughts for a 14-year-old, but ultimately, this felt important. I slated, performed, heard laughter, saw smiles, and took one step out and knew everything would come into place. Everything would add up to this moment. Now, it all came down to the cast lists.
I could replay the morning when that fresh casting list was posted. There were lights that gleamed a pathway directly to the wall where that white piece of paper hung so gracefully. Last play of the year, I thought, great audition meant great role. Raising my head up to carefully see the sheet I slowly read, “Cathy Bui….the perverted man on the subway who enjoys touching butts of surrounding passengers.”
Constantly rewinding my audition, I tried to solve the reason I, for one, play a man, and also why I play a character who, after “squeezing a passenger’s butt” says his one and only line, “Oh, sorry.” But, eventually I went straight to rehearsal and tried to see the good in this odd and interesting man I was soon to become.
The script and the director’s extra add-ons for the man transformed this weird persona into someone even weirder and creepier. Adding on to his love for butts, he enjoys “reaching from his fanny pack for his bottle of hair and pair of scissors, searching for more to add on to his collection.” But as bizarre as everything was, I came to the conclusion that I might as well go all in and not hold back.
The applause and response to my character was overwhelming and not to mention entirely unexpected. With my poorly-worn wig, baggy pants, ripped polo shirt, stylish fanny pack, and tennis shoes that really expressed the inner 40-year-old dad in all of us, there I was on stage accepting an applause louder than our main actor, Eric Geddis, himself.
Things don’t always go to plan. Maybe that is for the better. Sometimes, we believe we know what is best for ourselves, but life has its way of being one step ahead of us–steps that may seem horrible and undeserving in hindsight but with a positive attitude and mindset, it can transform those “horrible” beginnings to successful outcomes.
Or maybe fanny packs are the way to go in all hard hitting times in our lives. It’s hard to tell.