I LOOOOOOOOVE THEATER! Next to my husband and my family it is the thing I am most passionate about. For a long time I have been trying to pursue my dream of being on stage. I danced for many years but a recital is not the same as being a part of a show. I want to feel the heat of the stage lights and the sound of the applause from the audience. I want to work my butt off with a company of people to perfect a dance or get the most amazing harmonies. I don’t want to be THE star, but I would like to be a star in my own right.
When I was in 8th grade the theater bug bit me hard. I went to see 1776 at the Baton Rouge Little Theatre for extra credit in my middle school history class. I was amazed by all of it, but one performer got me. He was the delegate from South Carolina and the song he sang was called Molasses to Rum to Slaves. A normal person would never remember this sort of thing. I remember it though as the moment that something changed in me. A moment when a song wasn’t just something you hum along to in the car. A moment when I felt like I was on fire with excitement over the possibility of what a character could make you feel just sitting in an audience.
After years of season tickets to community theatre and many trips to see touring shows with my Nanie, I finally decided I might be good enough to try out for something. I was 19 years old and in college. My first ever audition was for Beauty and the Beast. I was completely and totally intimidated. 300+ people auditioned for that show. It was insane but a great learning experience.
Years went by and I kept trying and things got better. I tried out for The Pajama Game, Crazy For You, Hairspray, Mary Poppins and Les Miserables. All of those shows I got a call-back for. For Hairspray I even got a call-back for the lead. However none of these auditions proved to be fruitful and I was not cast in anything. In the meantime I helped choreograph and stage manage shows at my work. All the while feeling a little like a fraud. I knew what needed to be done but I had never actually done it before.
For whatever reason I decided to give it one more go for the summer musical at my favorite community theatre. I had to because the show was The Little Mermaid. I have proclaimed my love for Ariel many times. I often say she is my best friend. Because of my loyalty to the mermaid herself I felt like I could try one more time. I just wanted an ensemble part. I could play a maid or a fish or something.
I worked really hard on my audition song. I looked for something different and challenging. I finally settled on These Palace Walls from Aladdin the Musical. The time came and I walked in to an all new set of faces at the audition table. I gave it my all with my song but was slightly discouraged when I didn’t receive any call-back music like I had at past auditions. I prepared for my dance audition and that was even stranger. Instead of a full 2 hours of crazy and packed rooms I was done in 15 minutes and left very unsure of anything.
A few days passed and I got an email that said I wasn’t getting called back for a lead but not to fret because ensemble was being cast from those who were not called back. I thought as usual I would get an email saying thanks for trying but you weren’t cast. Instead I received an email from the director saying we want to offer you a part as one of Ariel’s sisters, Atina. I cried at my desk like a big idiot but it was amazing. I finally made it!!!!
So starting in the next few weeks I am going to start a series of blogs called The Mermaid Chronicles. I want to remember every detail so I am going to use this outlet to write down everything. Stay tuned folks cause its almost time to go Under the Sea.