I pretty much felt like an outcast when I began high school. Most of my classmates still had their friends from middle school, whereas mine went to the neighboring high school. Having social anxiety really didn’t help me either. It was hard for me to make eye contact with others or even bother to introduce myself to new people. In the first few weeks of high school, something had caught my eye. There were flyers advertising auditions for ‘The Little Mermaid’ production. Taking the risk, I decided to audition. Through the auditorium doors there was a grey table with upperclassmen talking to other students. Located on the table were different character scripts and a clipboard for signing in. One of the strangers approached me and asked what part I was trying out for. Not fully knowing which characters would be portrayed in the play version, I blurted out Ariel. She picked up two papers from the table, handed them to me and continued on with the person behind me. The first paper had Ariel’s lines highlighted. On the other was a place for personal information and a scoring guide for the director. Chatter began to echo between the walls as I glanced around the room to find a quiet spot to practice. Heavily engrossed into practicing my lines, I barely heard the voice on the microphone. “All auditioning for Ariel please sit in Section E.” Scrambling to gather all my papers, I sprinted towards the seats. It was already dark outside by the time we were called to go up towards the stage. I was third in line. The first two girls went by quickly and before I knew it they called my name. I frantically walked up and handed them the score sheet. One of the auditioners began to speak Prince Eric’s line and I followed afterwar...
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...llow actors from 3:30pm to sometimes as late as 10pm. We would eat dinner together, talk with each other and do our homework. The experience of working as a team (similar to being in a close-knit family) gave me a sense of belonging and acceptance while striving to put on a spectacular production. I finally found my niche. The drama department was a place where I could be myself without feeling judged by others. For ‘Legally Blonde’ they used my design on the billboards, t-shirts and programs. I was so proud of myself that my hobby, graphic design, became something useful. This helped further boost my self-esteem and confidence.
As I reflect on my experience in the drama department, I transitioned from feeling like an outcast to becoming a social butterfly. I finally gained a true sense of self-worth. Now I’m getting ready for the next chapter of my life… COLLEGE!!
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