I know its past the deadline but I figured since we need more material I'd throw it in there. Tell me whatcha think. Bio is in my other post.
I am standing on the stage in the school auditorium. Behind me is a scattered jumble of half-built sets, half-interested students, completely dusty curtains, and a piano.
In front of me are rows and rows of empty seats.
Next to me are three other students. Onstage, they are supposed to be my best friends. Outside of this auditorium, they are my worst enemies.
I have a line here. The boy, who, in the hallways, nobody likes, has said something, filling the role of the man who everybody learns to love. The irony never ceases to intrigue me.
I say my line. I am loud. I am clear. I stumble once over words that I am supposed to be making mine.
Today, on stage, I am not gay. I am not in 8th grade. I am not in the midst of problems with my girlfriend- or perhaps ex-girlfriend.
Today, on stage, I am married and have two children. It is 1912. I am a gossip girl, a little self-centered, and have some pains in my foot.
It makes me consider, sometimes, that acting is like many people’s lives. Forcing themselves into another role. The audience is convinced you are someone else, and you are the only person who knows what you’re made of beneath ruffled costumes and thick stage makeup.
This makes me consider that my life is not like that. My life is like acting in a different way. Everyone in the audience knows exactly who I am. My identity is sometimes their rotten tomatoes, though just as often it is their break a legs and their you sound great up theres and all the other words that they use to congratulate me.
Every day, though, I am standing on a stage. I am center stage, reciting the lines that are now becoming my history, my life. Sometimes I stumble and forget, and call out to someone with a script to tell me what I say next. Sometimes I remember perfectly and my voice resonates to every corner of the large, dusty room. But everyone in the audience has a pen and paper out. Everyone’s review for everyone’s newspaper will be read by everyone, everywhere. I feel watched by the whole school, even if there are only a few eyes in the hallway with me.
All of this passes through my mind quickly, because right now I am going through a scene about dancing, when I get to speak loudly and peacock myself to the world.
The world isn’t very accepting to my fluttering feathers. In a pause between words, I hear mutterings from the audience. “But she’s gay,” I think I hear. I don’t know the girl in the front row who said the words. I recognize her, but I don’t know her. I don’t know if I heard her correctly, and I don’t know if the she in her sentence was me. Maybe it’s because I am right on the edge of the stage, front and center, that I feel like the words are directed at me.
But because of all these uncertainties, because she didn’t come right out and call me a dyke, I cannot do anything. And anyway, I’m balanced at the edge of a sentence, and the lead is waiting for me because we are supposed to be having a conversation.
I am thrown off balance but I quickly regain my footing in a world where all the words are mapped out ahead of me, instead of the real world, where I don’t know what I mean until the words are already out there and doing their damage.
On the stage like that, in real life as well as when I’m acting, I am vulnerable. I am open to be seen and criticized, and I, needing to keep to my roles, am often unable to say anything back. But sometimes just going on and saying my next line is the strongest thing I can do. So I stand strong, out in front of the curtain for everyone to see.
I live a precarious life. One moment I’m proud of myself for being out there, for putting myself on stage. The next I am afraid to take my next step for fear of what people think. No matter what happens, the audience will remember me. I feel like I’m leaving an impression. My name is in the program for good.