Friday, October 12, 2012

Something to be Proud of: My Monologue of Death

Hi guys, obviously it's been quite a while since I have posted anything.  In my defense, my schedule currently allows me about 4 hours of free time during which I tend to try to eat meals, do homework and usually collapse a bit because I'm super tired.  Whining about my overachieving tendencies aside, I wouldn't change any of it for the world.  I'm way more organized when I am busy anyway.  The thing that has been consuming most of my time lately is also the thing I want to write about here.  It is something that I am really proud of.

I am a part of our fall play!

[Insert gasps of shocks and amazement here]

I still cannot believe that I managed to get up the courage to even try out.  Because, see, if you haven't guessed this already, the idea of speaking, acting and generally being pretty crazy in front of people terrifies me.  I'm the kind of person who will wander the same building in numerous circles because I am afraid to talk to the person behind the help desk.  Generally, that's not exactly the quality looked for in an actor.

But, for some reason, I decided to audition.  And by decided to audition, I mean someone asked me if I was going to audition and I went back and forth between the answers "yeah, I think I will try" and "hell no!"  repeatedly up until I was actually in the audition room.  Then I still wanted to bolt, but it would have been rude at that point.

To audition, we had to have a one minute monologue memorized.  This was the first issue for me.  I had obviously had no experience with monologues.  I didn't know how to pick one, how to deliver one.  I looked through a bunch online and some in the library and I just couldn't find one that I could relate to.  I just felt like I would look silly trying to do any of them.  That almost caused me to not audition.  Eventually,  I decided to audition with the introduction to one of my favorite books: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Now, if you have never read it, you should know that the introduction is from the perspective of death.  Death tells the story of carrying away the souls of the dead.  It's written beautifully and it's sort of funny and creepy at the same time.  Now out of everything I looked at, I have no idea why death was the character I could relate to. Maybe it was just the comfort of doing something I was familiar with (the book, not death).  And, I'm not going to lie, part of it was the shock value.

See, the people who knew me were probably expecting some cute little monologue about love or happiness or something.  So, part of me wanted the amusement that would come when I said the line, "Here's a small fact: You are going to die,"  I figured this monologue was probably the one that I could do because I enjoyed it enough that maybe I wouldn't notice everyone watching me.

So, I made up my mind to audition, kind of.  I'm not going to lie, as I ran through my monologue for the final time in my room I was in complete panic.  "I can't do this Jess!"  I said to my roommate, full panic mode starting.  Luckily, instead of smacking me for changing my mind for the millionth time like I deserved, she sat me down and gave me the most inspirational speech, that we both ended up laughing hysterically through.

Eventually, it was time to audition.  I was terrified, but I had made up my mind to do this.  I didn't even know if I wanted a part.  Mostly, I just knew that I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something I was scared of.

Eventually, I got up on stage, dressed might I add as the girly death that probably ever existed, and delivered my monologue.  And it actually went well.  See, I told myself beforehand, "You have one thing going that others don't.  No one is expecting you to be death.  So you might as well have fun with it."  And it was fun.  It was entertaining to be creepy, and I think I actually did a pretty good job.  I got into the play at least.

Fast-forward, and opening night is in a week.  The thought is still terrifying.  And I definitely do not deny that this whole acting thing still terrifies me.  There were times that I considered quitting because I was so intimidated by the other, more experienced actors.  But, now I'm a little bit excited.  I think it will be fun.  And I know that when this is over, I will be able to be proud.  Because I did something that even I didn't expect that I could do.

I'll still probably panic come this Friday.


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