The first play that I tried out for and got a roll in was The King and I. I was in six grade and fortunately I did not have to sing for this audition, I was cast in the chorus and jsut ending up with the dancing rolls. There were many other children in the play because the King had many kids, so I got to enjoy all the down time with kids that were my own age or close to it. We had to come to every rehearsal even if we were not participating in the scenes that the director planned to rehearse, so we had a lot of time to goof around. They tried to keep us all in check but when you have that many kids around and the adults we busy with the scenes, it was hard. My mom came with me every time and get frustrated that I wasn’t taking it as seriously as she thought I should but hey, I was a kid and if they weren’t on a scene that I was in then who cared?
I felt really important though when the main people who were in charged got all of us dancers and chorus people up on stage to determine who was going to be the lead dancers for the play that the King’s new wife presents to him in an attempt to show him how unhappy she is. The one called The Small House of Uncle Thomas, I got picked to be Uncle Thomas. This was huge to me, in this number there were many main characters of the ballet and the fact that they picked me to be Uncle Thomas went straight to my head. Here I was in my very first play and they pick me to be a lead character in one of the dance sequences, in the grand scheme of things this was not a big deal but to me it was huge. This was a small number compared to the whole play, it was just a ten minute scene, if that.
I got to wear a mask with this scene which made me stand out from the other characters and boosted my ego a notch higher. My mom couldn’t understand why I thought that this was so great, she was proud that they picked me but she could see the whole picture and I just saw my little world of being Uncle Thomas. After each performance all the characters were hang out in the hall and greet the people in the audience, this was a tradition for this theater, even the actors who played Anna and the King would go out and say hello to the audience. I was always one of the first actors out in the hall along with many of the other kids that were in the play. We all thought how cool it was that the audience got to see us up close but the people weren’t as excited as we thought they should be to see us. They gave us nods and some even said hello but they were there to see all the other characters who actually made the show a great play to watch, such as all of the main characters, not the chorus people, like me. That was not good for my little ego but still every night I went out there hoping some one would acknowledge me. No one did. 🙂
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