Get Our Of Your Comfort Zone 1

Back in January, I was driving down one of the major roads in our town.  As I was passing the Civic Center, I noticed a sign out front:

PLAY AUDITIONS TONIGHT!

7-9 p.m.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to see what it would be like to act in a play.  In high school, I wanted to audition, but was too shy and self-conscious.  I was also playing several sports, so that was a good excuse that practice times overlapped.

I’ve spent over 6000 hours speaking to groups over the last decade, so I’ve gotten very comfortable being in front of people.  In a way, you’re acting when you’re a speaker.  I love to tell stories to illustrate points, so you get to where you use your body effectively to do so.  You also learn how to position yourself to maximize audience participation.  Tone, inflection, pace—they’re all tools of a speaker’s trade.

So it seemed that doing a play would be a very easy transition . . .

Throughout the day, the thought of auditioning stayed on my mind.  I was having conflicting thoughts:

“Man, that would be fun!”

“What makes you think you can act?”

“What if I get a lead part?”

“You’re going to make a fool of yourself!”

“I’m good in front of people!”

“You’ve never tried out before.  You don’t know what to expect.”

You know the voice . . .

As 7:00 approached, it started to rain.  It was also very cold outside.  Sandy was out with her friends, so it would be very easy to just “chill” at home for a couple of hours.

But then I had this thought:

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The only thing that was going to stop me was me, so I got in the car and drove to the Civic Center.

As I walked in the doors, I noticed that there were numerous people filling out applications.  Not many of them looked like me.  They were young, good-looking, and they were all talking.  I’m sure that I looked like the fire marshal, or someone’s dad who might be waiting there to pick up his kid.

I walked up to two ladies who sat behind a table, and asked if this was were the auditions were.  They handed me a clipboard and told me to fill out the application.

Instead of walking away, I asked them what play they were auditioning for.

“HELLO DOLLY!”

What?  “Isn’t that a musical?” I asked.

They told me yes.

“You mean you have to sing and dance and stuff like that.”

They both had smiles on their faces, and told me yes again.

“You’ll need to dance, sing, and read tonight for the part,” they told me.

“I can’t sing and dance.”

They told me it didn’t matter.

“DOESN’T MATTER?” I’m thinking!!!

“You’re telling me that it’s a musical and I don’t need to know how to sing and dance?”  They began making some half-baked excuses, then one of them jumped up, told me to wait, and went to talk to the director, a lady named Pam Ware.

She came back and told me that Pam said for me to fill out my form and try out anyway.

I filled out the form, took it back to them, and they gave me my number:

“13”

Yep, lucky number 13 . . .

I then walked down the hall and waited by myself for about 15 minutes.  It felt like two hours.

“I gotta dance?  I can’t dance!  What am I going to do when they ask me to sing?  I suck at singing.  I’m going to make a fool out of myself.”  I’m saying all these things to myself as I’m watching the other people who are auditioning limbering up in the hallway . . .

“This doesn’t look good.  Maybe I should leave.  I could slip out the side door and no one would notice,” I’m thinking to myself.

Just at that second, one of the ladies walked into the hall and told everyone to follow her.  We walked down another couple of halls and went into a room that had a big wooden dance floor.

Two young ladies were waiting for us.  They were dressed like dancers.  I watch TV, so I know what they look like.  There was also a boom box in the front of the room.

Everyone started taking their shoes off, so I decided that I better too!

(Were we going to get a foot massage???!!!)

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW . . .

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