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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago

It's hard to pick a single event in life to mark as something that represented you completely. Instead, I've decided to go with an experience that was in complete contrast to my real self because I feel that I essentially live my whole life as my true self.


There is really not a more "un-yourself" moment than when you are pretending to be someone else. I think that acting in my high school's musical my senior year, "The Music Man",

Two things: 1. rewrite: "musical, The Music Man, my senior year" 2. underline or italicize play titles. Click edit to see how to do that in wiki.

was the most unlike

add: "myself"

I've even been. I was cast as the female lead, a snotty, holier-than-thou, introverted librarian, who falls desperately in love with a traveling salesman. Her personality traits were completely opposite of mine. I definitely don't see myself as any better than anyone else, and in no circumstance do I ever put on the air that I do. I am also perhaps the most extroverted person that you will ever meet. I am outgoing and love just randomly going up to people on the street and introducing myself, just for the fun of it. Add to that the fact that I had never in my life actually fallen in love, especially with a con artist, and you can see how I had nothing in common with this character who I was supposed to become; there was no small piece to relate us. Going on a stage in front of 1300 people each night and leaving myself behind to become this complex woman was perhaps one of the hardest things I've ever done.


The acting itself was terribly difficult. After a ton of drama over who would actually have the roles in the show, I was cast as the lead. I had never held anything close to the lead in the past. I was a choir girl, someone who sang in all-state choir, enjoyed the sound of 4 different parts going on at the same time, and who sang Italian Arias in her spare time, not Broadway show tunes. Since my freshman year in high school, I had held minor roles in my school's musicals with small solos. Now, however, the directors had given me- the inexperienced girl- the lead. Singing in front of people had never been a problem for me; I had been doing it since I was two, but acting in front of an audience was close to impossible. I became incredibly self conscious.


I felt as though everyone listening to me was judging me. Never in my life had I been one of those people who could go in front of a group, or even in front of my friends, and make and fool out of myself. It was another obstacle that I had to overcome. I eventually realized that when I was on stage, people didn't look at me and say "Look at Katie Roth! What is she DOING?" They instead became sucked into the story line, and looked at me as the character I was playing.


After three crazy months of rehearsal after rehearsal (sometimes two or three a day), the show nights finally came. The entire cast, scared because we had been forced to skip three imperative rehearsals because of snow, didn't think that we could pull it off. My acting was below par, the choreography was still more than a little shaky (the choreographer was an idiot, and we ended up making the dances as we went along most of the time), and the cast didn't know the full company songs as well as they should. But there was nothing that could be done, the show had to happen. We had sold out two nights, 1300 seats a night at $7 a seat, another thing that no one ever thought that we could have done, and people were expecting an amazing show.


We waited behind the closed curtain on the first night, smiling, dancing to the overture, giving hugs and words of encouragement. The tension grew, but I knew that it would all work. To be honest, after walking onto that stage in front of the people and the lights and for one split second hearing MY voice came over the sound system, I don't remember anything about the show. I couldn't tell you whether it was good or bad, because I wasn't there. It was as though the character of Marian Paroo had taken over my body, and she performed. I came to my senses as my friend Mark and I ran from the back of the stage for curtain call, and the sound of applause hit us like a wave. Every person in that auditorium rose to their feet, giving a standing ovation; and that is a feeling I will never forget.


I do believe though that this was a great experience for me. Though this complete transformation of myself to someone else, I learned a lot about myself. The things which were the hardest to become, I learned were the complete opposite of my strongest traits. At the end of the night, I had never been so happy to just be myself again. Walking off that stage gave me the power to be me, and not what I was supposed to become just off of the page of a script. It was liberating and exhilarating. I now know completely who I am.

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