I spent the weekend like I’d spent my three days after the collision; eating well, doing some gentle exercise and reading Pride and Prejudice. The last thing I needed, after all, was for some horrific freak accident to happen or to suddenly come down with a case of Hepatitis C.
My nervousness grew, of course, and on Monday morning I could hardly eat my breakfast with how much my hands were shaking. Preparing was something I could deal with, but the test itself was difficult, even worse when I actually prepared.
To be honest I preferred the idea of doing a mediocre job with no preparation than doing the same with preparation. Frankly, I knew that if I let stage fright or my anxiety get the better of me I would never forgive myself.
I had the technique and the practice, it was just a matter of the execution. And that was the part that was going to be the hardest.
I showered and walked to Bea’s apartment, carpooling for the day. For once, she actually looked as on edge as I felt. Even as she drove us to the theatre she drove with a high degree of caution.
Even if she hadn’t and ended up getting a ticket, I had decided beforehand that I would climb out of the car right then and find the nearest bus stop. I couldn’t afford the smallest mistake.
My future was literally on the line.
When we arrived I changed and tied my hair up before going into the main theatre, scanning my surroundings.
It was practically empty, with just the cast co-ordinators sitting in the front row and some other auditioning dancers sitting in the back, waiting their turn. I joined them, unable to make conversation because of how jittery I felt.
Bea came in soon afterwards, sitting beside me and promptly hugging me sideways from her seat.
We watched the male auditions go by, marveling at the skill of the dancers. Each auditioning person chose a primary show and part, and the co-ordinators chose a random act and scene for them to perform from based on that. They would then be cast in any of a variety of roles.
It didn’t matter if they didn’t happen to know the part; there were at least a full two weeks of cast rehearsals before the show’s opening that would give you a chance to catch on.
Eventually the ladies’ auditions started and Vera went first, beaming and trotting to the center of the stage.
“Show and role?” one of the co-ordinators asked, clearly sounding bored.
“Swan Lake, Odette.”
I could hear her loud and clear despite the fact that I was at the back of the room, and watched with my lips pressed together in a thin line as she began.
I would be lying if I said she was bad. She had the moves down, but she looked more like she was doing an aerobic workout than dancing. Her expressions were exaggerated to the point of melodrama and I noted with a smirk a considerable smattering of technical mistakes.
Seemed like someone spent more time playing drinking games than practicing.
A couple other women went up and then Bea left my side for her turn, and I felt my heart go out to her as she anxiously walked up on stage.
Seemed like I wasn't the only one being ambitious.