Mom always used to call me a drama queen. So when we moved to a new school Freshman year, I decided to make it all official. I mean, after all those lectures and eye rolls, maybe mom was wrong -- we didn't need less drama in our house. We needed more!
So I signed up for drama club.
The only problem was... I couldn't sing. Or dance. Or act. Or get up on stage and do anything in front of a group larger than, say, one. But my new BFFs were joining the club and trying out for the school musical, and I didn't want to be left behind. So I signed up. And everything was awesome --we read plays and talked about them and even got to miss school for trips to Toronto to see The Phantom of the Opera and A Chorus Line. Those were my first big shows, and I loved every minute of it -- sitting in the dark with my new friends, waiting for the curtain to go up, the music to start. The actors moved across the stage like we'd just interrupted a real story, unfolding right before us. It was magical.
I love drama club!
*Insert VH1 voiceover*
Things turned bad for the band. Rather, for me.
Audition time for the school musical. I kind of forgot about that part. We all had to show up early in the morning on a Saturday along with all the other kids who weren't in drama club but still wanted to audition. In groups of three, we were called up to the front and told to sing a few lines from the musical along with the chorus teacher, who was playing piano. I don't even remember the musical -- just the line from the song:
Ya gotta have heart!
All you really need is heart!
When the odds are saying you'll never win
That's when the grin should start...
Even with two others by my side, I... well, ladies and gentlemen, ever hear of the word CHOKE? It was invented on that special day. The chorus teacher kept stopping and starting over to give me pointers, the last one being, "Okay that's enough, thank you."
Next we had to stand in a line of five and copy a few dance moves from another drama teacher. Well he was this big bear of a guy, and even he made the steps look like cake. He was a prima ballerina compared to me. I tried to follow along, but I couldn't get the steps right, and I kept going the wrong way and knocking into the other students. I'm surprised I didn't hurt anyone.
By the end of the mortification I mean audition, I practically ran out of there, desperate to get home and drown my sorrows in a pint of ice cream. But the fun wasn't over yet! The following Monday, the cast list was posted on the board in the hallway for all to see. Of course they list the ten leads or whatever, the soloists, the characters with just a few lines. And then, like, EVERYONE else for the chorus -- that mass group that kind of stands in the background singing off key but it doesn't matter because there are enough decent singers to carry the rest, and that way, everyone gets a chance.
Everyone but me. That's right, I didn't even make the chorus.
My friends, who'd both scored decent parts, tried to console me. But truthfully, I was relieved. I think the whole school was relieved. And soon after, I gracefully exited drama club and focused instead on a new venture. Writer's club. I think it was a good tradeoff for all involved!
So, drama kids, let's see a show of hands! Tell me about your drama experiences in high school. Did/do you try out for the plays? Are you a prima ballerina, American Idol hopeful, or an uncoordinated clod who can't carry a tune (aka a "Sarah Ockler")? No judgments here, friends. Trust me. :-)
And by the way, if you're looking for some great theater/drama club contemporary teen reads, check out ONE WISH by Leigh Brescia and MY INVENTED LIFE by Lauren Bjorkman!