Every trimester my school puts on either a play or musical. This year’s fall play is a play called, Almost, Maine by John Cariani. The play is composed of a series of vignettes, depicting romantic relationships in a town so minute and insignificant, it is called, Almost.
The entire process began in the beginning of the school year. I was back for round three, and like all students, I felt the need to start the year by doing something remarkable. When the logistics of play auditions were announced at assembly, I found a perfect opportunity for me to attain that monumental beginning I was seeking. Just like that, junior year’s first decision was made: Elizabeth was going to participate in the fall play.
I have participated and performed in several plays but only one at Thacher prior to this fall play. In addition, to my lack of audition experience at Thacher, the director had informed all prospective actors that the audition will consist of improvisation. When I opened this daunting email, my jaw dropped. I was nervous enough going into a normal audition, let alone having to spontaneously perform in order to secure a spot in the play. This sudden shift in scenario got me thinking — do I really want to do this? When questioning my desires to commit to this production, I remembered the regret I carried with me after not attempting to join the fall play my freshmen year. I was also reminded of the fruitful journey I gained through the fall play my sophomore year. After combining the lingering regret and the extraordinary memories I gained after last year’s fall play, I resolved that I had to do it.
Fast forward two months: Auditions, call backs, and countless rehearsals had come and gone. In fact, last night was opening night. As I shuffled onto the stage in front of over three hundred people, the previous reservations I had before contributing to the production turned into exhilaration. Although my character’s story is not in any way comic, I was weirdly overwhelmed with contentment. I later realized that this contentment was not sparked by an interaction with my scene partner; this contentment was not part of some acting method; this contentment was there simply because I was doing something that I loved.
After rambling on for over 400 words, I’m going to get to the moral of my little story. Throughout your high school career, there will be a seemingly infinite number of setbacks. These setbacks could vary from fear and anxiety to speech impediments or injuries. In moments when you feel hindered, knock down the barriers impeding you. Force yourself to undertake the looming but desirable tasks. You may think, “What if I mess up? What if my voice cracks? What if I trip?” The answer to those questions are, “if you mess up you mess up, if your voice cracks it cracks, and if you trip you trip.” That is just the brutal truth, but amidst this harsh reality, it is vital to remember that everything has risks. The single thing worse than those risks is regret. I hate to turn this into a cliché — which I always seem to do — by saying, “no regrets,” but a high school experience is much more pleasurable without regrets gnawing at you. In moments of setbacks you physically cannot conquer, patience is key. Use your off-time efficiently by forming new hobbies that will follow and benefit you. Nothing about hindrances are fun, but the ultimate objective is to defeat obstacles and do what you love to do.