The Audition

“Kids’ auditions were last night,” the woman behind the counter sounded sympathetic. Well that’s it, I thought, we’ll leave, but the woman continued, “It’s all right. She can try out. Other young people came tonight. It’s just that she has 32 adults ahead of her.” Oh, no. I remembered how long we had been here at the community theater the last time.

How important was this? We didn’t plan ahead. I had forgotten all about it till my daughter came home from school. We were going to be near the theater, that night anyway so we might as well go. We hurried from a Girl Scout meeting which ran long. It was already 8:30 in the evening.

Should we stay? I looked at my daughter, expecting her to say, “Oh, well, let’s go home.”

“It’s up to you, Kat,” I said, “I’m willing to stay if you want to.” She nodded. Wow. She was nervous but determined. We filled out an information form and she was given a number in the line up of hopeful performers. We stood for what seemed like a long time, then a spot opened up on a church pew and we settled down to wait. A teenage guy who was calling each person in turn, directing them to the right places walked up with our info sheet. “We’re ready for ya,” he smiled. She jumped up and was off with him. I relaxed when he chattered to her like an old friend. “Whatcha gonna sing, Happy Birthday?” he teased as they disappeared up a stairway.

I marveled at this little girl’s bravery. My 10-year-old went off among strangers to read lines, sing (without accompaniment; we didn’t bring music), and maybe dance for them (no lessons). How I admired her!

“I didn’t sound like I wanted,” she whispered when she came back. “I can’t breathe right when I’m scared.”

“We’ll let you know one way or the other in about a week,” someone told us.

“You did the best you could,” I told her. “If nothing comes of this, it’s still good experience, and we learned things that will help if you do this again.”

I put my arm around her as we stepped out to the sidewalk, “I’m proud of you.”

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