I had always wondered if my love of acting would materialise itself into some sort of tangible experience.
Having never realised the opportunity before, I decided to take a shot at a local amateur dramatic society. This I thought was the chance to bring into fruition the love I felt and to give it life.
Walking down the street covered in ice after the heavy snow, I did wonder if this was the brightest of ideas and yet something kept me moving towards the warm glow of the house I was approaching.
Knocking on the door a friendly male face opened it and a touch nervously I introduced myself.
On entering, I noticed the house which smelt slightly musty but was warm and very pleasant, had a long hallway into a kitchen, I was guided left into a large room and gingerly sat myself at the table, a place of safety to put between me and the others and started to fill in the required form, all the time wondering how everything was going to work and if I was going to have to audition in front of all the people sitting in the lounge.
The hostess to fill the silence put on her Halloween music tape and the sound of ‘Ghostbusters’ filled the air and I felt ever more nervous and slightly out of place as most seemed to know each other and some, even the young had a deep passion for Shakespeare.
“What brings you here,” they asked, to which I replied – “I have just read Macbeth and thought I might like to have a go at acting in a Shakespeare play.”
At this point if I remember rightly, Shakespeare is meant to be the hardest form of acting, but I love words and have never been deterred by things like that.
Then in came the hostess, “there is dog poo, from the front door to the lounge, can everyone check their shoes.”
In that moment – I just knew, whose shoes it was going to be on, so with held breath I lifted my foot and there attached to the grooves was POO.
“It’s me.” I expressed clearly – to which there was a hush that filled the room as fully as any sound and everyone looked. Deftly and acting as if I was unconcerned, I quickly removed said item, ushered an apology to my host, as she wandered her lounge, cleaning with spray the offending material I had managed to walk through half her house on her cream and yellow carpets.
Only once my shoe was removed, did I realise that there was a hole in my sock. The evening was drawing on…
Finally I was invited to audition in front of the Producer and Director – I had decided on the part of Maria – the loyal servant of the Duchess – outspoken and trusted but meant to have a west country accent. In my head I started to explore the sound of Devon – and decided if needs must I could pull out the dodgiest of accents based on ‘Helen’ our once host in a B & B.
I read the part.
Listened to the direction.
Knew where I was going wrong.
Attempted to make right.
At first I could feel a burning sensation of heartburn – nerves I thought – don’t belch Janice it wont help you. So kept under control the desire to let out my nervousness.
Then a strange thing happened.
I started to enjoy myself.
I listened to the direction and my motivation and took on board what they were asking for.
I was having fun, the nervousness gone and I felt completely at home, in me.
Exhilaration filled my body as I felt whole and natural and was experiencing myself growing and learning as I was doing and taking on board the comments made.
Alas – I didn’t get the part, yet I know where I failed and it was ok, because I also learnt how to do it differently and gain confidence in it. I completely loved it, completely. They were the best few minutes that I had, had in a long while.
I just felt like me.
So, we shook hands and they said they would let me know.
I walked downstairs and bid goodnight to my fellow auditionees and shook the hand of the hostess, who welcomed a complete stranger into her house.
Opened the door to leave – head held high.
The older gentleman who let me in, turned and looked at me and said. “Great first impression, poo on your shoe.” We looked at each other and laughed.
Failure or Success – you decide…