Ever since I can remember, I was naturally quiet and shy. I constantly repeated myself because people could not hear me the first time. Even then, I seldom made eye contact with others. When I entered high school, nothing changed.
Soon afterward, I disliked the way my classmates thought of me. If someone had to make an announcement in class, I was not chosen; my classmates believed I was not vocal enough. If someone threw a party, I was not invited because they thought "Shy girls" would not want to come. Most of my classmates attracted a great deal of attention. No one willingly associated with me.
Not only did my classmates see me as quiet and shy, but they made me start believing it, too. Ashamed, I wanted some way out. I wanted my words to stick with people. I wanted them to think, "Louisa said…." I tried participating in class more and sharing my opinions, but that did not help. Whenever I made a comment, one of two things happened: I did not get the credit for my comment, or no one took me seriously. I felt helpless.
The ninth grade production of The Tempest changed my life. My teacher, Mrs. Massand, gave me a part in the play and I no longer appeared quiet and shy. Although Mrs. Massand assigned the whole class a part in the play, she appointed me as, Stephano, the drunk, a major role. Her choice surprised me and my classmates. Stephano's character seemed so unlike mine; he was loud and silly. My first thought was, "How is a quiet girl like me going to play the part of a boisterous drunk?" Until now my classmates convinced me that I was simply quiet and shy. Now the play required me to show another side of myself.
We began the play by reading the text out loud and becoming comfortable with t...
... middle of paper ...
...t scene, I was marching around in a circle shouting, "Ban, ban, Ca-Caliban!" At the end of the performance, the audience was bursting with cheer. Then Mrs. Massand had us individually take a bow. When it was my turn to bow, the audience gave me the standing ovation. I was never more excited. As I exited the stage, almost every classmate stopped me to say, "Wow Louisa, you were the best!" At that moment I realized I could be loud, silly, and talented.
My ninth grade performance in The Tempest made my last years in high school a success; acting and reciting the words of Stephano made my growth in confidence possible. What I once thought was an everlasting label of shyness proved removable after all. My classmates saw another side to me, and I was glad that I was not labeled as a quiet and shy girl anymore. That year I came in like a lamb and went out like a lion.
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