Auditions

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Following the instructions on the flyer, we headed to the theater building near the front of the campus. Professor Lannister, head of the drama and performing arts department, was who we were supposed to go talk to about scheduling auditions.

As per usual when any sort of audition process involved me, I was getting more nervous by the second. Ever since I was a child, I had gotten horrible anxiety about trying out for things. At the talent show in 2nd grade I had thrown up on stage. After that, needless to say, I was finished.

Tom, however, was the complete opposite; the embodiment of calm, cool, and collected, he walked right up to the office door and knocked. A tall, thin man with white hair answered. "Professor Lannister?" Tom inquired.

"Yes," the man replied, "Are you two here for the auditions?"

We told him we were and he promptly invited us inside. The interior of the small office space was cozy, lit by a few dim lamps, the maroon carpeting and matching walls made it feel homey. He instructed us to sit down and began telling us about the audition process. "You'll need to try out together, as I require pairs. I'll need your names, and personal phone numbers where you can be reached."

We gave him the proper information and he handed us two worn copies of a script. "You'll be reading for Stella and Stanley, the two main characters, and then I'll place you where I think you'll fit. When would you like to try out?"

Tom and I looked at each other and shrugged,

"The earliest I can take you is three days from now, and the auditions have to be finished by next week."

"How about three days then," I said. Better to get this whole nonsense over anyway. I breathed a heavy sigh of relief when it was all settled: 2:00 on Thursday. Now if I can just make it through the audition.

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Tom and I practiced and practiced, reading over the lines again and again. When Thursday finally came, I was almost positive I could run the entire scene without even glancing at the script. We walked back to the theater and met Professor Lannister in his office. "Wonderful," he said, "Are you ready?"

We nodded and he told us to go ahead and start.

Just like every time we rehearsed the scene, I was taken aback at how quickly Tom could change from his normal, smiley self to an enraged, drunken character. It made the fear a bit easier to portray. Watching him yell, something felt...off. It was unsettling.

We completed the scene and I actually thought this was probably the best we had done even in practice. Afterwards, the professor dismissed us and we went back home. Then came the worst part, just sitting and waiting. He had ten more auditions to get through and then he said he'd call us, but having to wait was torture.

I tried to distract myself with homework and even started a new novel, but nothing helped. There was always a nagging anxiety in the back of my mind. When Tom was there, it helped, but I knew the nerves wouldn't abate until I got that call.

A week after the initial audition, the phone rang.

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