Gotta’ Love Rainy Day Auditions

There’s something about me and theater.  Whenever you put the two of us together, rain will probably follow.  The summer before I entered college, I attended a drama camp.  While I was walking to auditions, it began to pour.  No drama queen in the world crying over a lost part could have matched that flood.  I took refuge in the restroom momentarily to at least wring out my skirt which had become as soaked as Gideon’s fleece.  I stood in the line of drenched auditioners waiting for the hand-dryers, feebly attempting to dry shirts, skirts, purses, and hair.  Despite the hand-dryer’s remote success in drying my arms and skirt, after two hours of auditions, my purse was still wet.

Given my stormy history with the theater, I was not at all discouraged two weeks ago when greeted by a persistent drizzle on my way to my first-ever callbacks.  My friend offered me her umbrella as we parted ways on the sidewalk.  “Nah,” I replied, “it always rains on my auditions.  It’s kinda’ tradition.  But thanks.”

I coolly strode across the parking lot, rain drops falling on my head…and glasses.  I peeked in the door to find all lights on but no one in sight.  I hesitated but entered, took my seat, and continued my homework until the auditions started at 6.  It was 5:55.  By 6:02, I began to worry.  I was still the only one there.  Just then, a fellow student poked her head through the door.

“Is this where the callbacks for Our Town are?” she asked.

“I thought so,” I replied. “But I’m starting to wonder.”

She flipped open her phone and called a friend.  It was now 6:05.  “The other theater?!!!” she cried out, “Oh no!”  We did not hesitate, but ran out the door.  It was not drizzling any longer–it was raining hard and heavy.  Heaving my book-bag over my shoulder, I took the umbrella, intending to cover us both as we began to sprint.  Funny thing about running…you move your arms far too much to cover your head with an umbrella.

Dripping and breathing hard, we split up–she to a detour and I to a shortcut through a dormitory lobby.  I slowed down, knowing I couldn’t run the rest of the way there.  I decided to walk.  After all there were many more people in front of the dorms than behind them.  And a girl running breathless in the rain is just about as weird as a chicken crossing the road.

The door opened in front of me as several students came through, shaking their umbrellas and laughing.  It was like the door of opportunity swinging open before me if only I could get there in time.

Forget decorum.  I’m gonna’ run.

I dropped my book-bag in the lobby and headed out the door with renewed determination.  Rain was not gonna’ stop me from getting to that theater.  I took the first few steps prudently, but once I passed the first couple standing in the rain…I began to jog.

I wish I could say I ran the whole way, but I remembered the wise advice Bree gives Shasta in C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy, “Let’s have no nonsense of this galloping for a day and a night like in the stories.  It must be brisk trots and short walks.”  So I followed Bree’s advice, trying to trot briskly up the sloped sidewalk, evading the strolling guys with wide umbrellas and hiding under an arch for ten seconds before I cross the road.  Once I reached the final stretch of sidewalk, I considered slowing down.  But impatience got the better of me as I sped to the theater door, down the steps, into the basement, and across the linoleum floor.

I had arrived.

As for the audition itself, well…it went well if you consider losing your place twice a good thing.  Or if you enjoy using a Southern accent unintentionally for a play set in New England…when you normally don’t have a Southern accent.  Or if you appreciate  it when an actress cannot think of an original way to say her lines.  Then yes, the audition was splendid.

As I left, the rain was still falling.  And I stifled a laugh.  You gotta’ love rainy day auditions.

P.S.  In the following 24 hours, I saw three other sprinting individuals on campus.  I am not alone.

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