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My Life on the Stage

Hunter Lincoln

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There I am, listening to the introductory announcement: “In case of a fire, please locate the exits.” But in my mind, I am nervous. This is my first lead role in front of a packed house. As I am about to go on, I feel time slow down, and I step on the stage.

Many students today never feel the excitement of performing in a musical or play. But there are some who have stuck to it for years. I have been performing in shows since fifth grade.

In my freshmen year, we performed “Little Shop of Horrors.” I didn’t expect a big role, but I auditioned anyways. I ended up getting a very small role. I was destroyed, thinking that I wasn’t good enough and should give it all up. I stuck to it, mainly because I am not someone who likes to give up that easily. Two weeks later, one person quit and someone else got into academic trouble. They both had had the same part. It was a big role, and I was the next in line to fill it. I took the role and began practicing. The role was a psychotic dentist named Orin. I had about eighty-seven lines, along with one big solo song and a duet. The show was amazing and that was the start of my high school stage experience.

My sophomore year, I was ready to do the musical again. I was given the lead. The show was “The Happy Elf.” I was cast as Eubie, the main role. I was shocked, mainly because it all started the previous year. I didn’t know if I could do it, so I began working, keeping in mind I also had a job at that point, working Wednesday through Sunday, along with the tremendous work given by teachers.

I remember there being a point, a month before the show, where something just switched. I was performing one of the main songs and I was right on point with everything. It may have been one of the coolest things I have ever experienced in my life. I felt more confident about everything I sang and acted. The show was going in the right direction.

Time flies so fast when you are in plays or musicals. It’s sometimes unbelievable to even imagine that the show is next week. I’ve never been as nervous as I was for that show. I kept thinking of the simple things that could go wrong, “What if my mic isn’t on? What if I forget the song? What if we get bombed by North Korea?”  What if that and what if this? If it could happen, I thought of it. The day of the first show went very slowly.

And as the clock ticked towards show time, I could feel my heart pound with each second. It was 6:40. Twenty minutes left. I got everyone gathered and began my pep talk. I told them, “no matter what happens, give it your all. Our time is limited in life, and you all have a reason for doing this. No one says, why not try it? You had a reason. Let’s go show this crowd our reason.”

I don’t think I have ever given anything else more effort than I did that night. The show was very successful. The next night was even better. Towards the end, I had a costume change and found my friend Gavin. He seemed weird. I asked him “Are you good?” and he said yea. But his face was as white as fog in the morning. I didn’t have time to question him more, so I got back on stage. A little towards the end, he was supposed to come out but didn’t. Apparently, he was in the bathroom throwing up, as I could hear Mrs. Marsh say that from backstage.  That’s when it hit me. Everything slowed down and I could feel myself begin to question what to do. But I remembered one of my favorite quotes, “Sic Parvis Magna,” which means “greatness from small beginnings.” I instantly looked around and said, in character, “maybe we have to sing a Christmas carol for him to show up!” Everyone started singing with me. Then, Gavin came out and the show went perfectly the rest of the night.

There was a time from 7-8th grade when I avoided doing musicals at all costs. I don’t know why. But ever since I first performed one, my life change. The connection between the cast is way different then any sports team can ever offer you. You aren’t scared to mess up and you know everyone around you has your back no matter what happens.

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My Life on the Stage