It was the last day of auditions I still wasn’t sure if I was going to join the production or not. I’ve weighed out the pros and cons of this decision and I can still be a part of the production behind the scenes since I’m part of the organization that’s hosting the play but I want to perform so bad I practiced three weeks before the said audition. I’m so scared of this thing because it’s my favorite musical and my best friend is the director.
A part of me doesn’t want to audition because he doesn’t know that I want the lead role so bad. He knows that my dream role is to play Natalie Goodman in a production of Next to Normal even if it’s just in the university. She wants it so bad because in a way she is Natalie and some ways she is also Gabe.
“Chels!” someone behind me screamed and I turned to see Jules running towards me, he’s directing the play.
“Hey.” I tried to act normal, as if I can do that.
“Hey, where are you going? Aren’t your classes that way?” he asked pointing to the other direction.
“Yeah, but my professor texted the class rep that she won’t be having the lecture and rescheduled it next week, so I might hang out in the org office for a while then go home. Why?”
“I was wondering why you aren’t auditioning for Natalie?” he asked eyeing me suspiciously.
“Nothing. I just have a load of things to do and a paper due next week but I’d be helping with the production team, I’m one of the production heads remember?” I poked him.
“In that case, Ms. Production head for something, come with me to the auditions. I need your opinion with the auditionees because you know Natalie’s character inside out.” He smirked and dragged me to the auditorium.
For the past two hours I watched audition after audition for the cast and chorus. I know that Jules is looking for that right amount of crazy to play cast and the right amount of normal for the chorus. This show is going to be fabulous!
The door opened and a girl introduced herself as Aimee, she was auditioning for the role of Natalie. She looked studious and in my judgmental brain, kind of weirdly nerdy with a small voice and glasses.
“Hi, you can start with the song from the play. Any song.” Jules smiled at her.
“Uhh. I’m going to sing Super Boy and the Invisible Girl, if that’s okay.” She said quietly.
How can this girl play Natalie if her speaking voice is so quiet? Natalie’s supposed to be paranoid and cynical and stuff. I didn’t like this girl because she kind of looked like Jules’ peg for Natalie. I doodled on the paper he gave me to write comments about the auditions.
She started sing the first verse and to my surprise, she had an amazing voice and it scared the hell out of me. I was so scared that I watched her with eyes bulged and I felt that the shock on my face concerned Jules because he stopped the singing girl and touch my arm. I turned to him.
“Are you okay, Chelsea?” he asked still holding my arm.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I need to take a break; I’ll call Ashton to stay here with you. I’ll come back in a few minutes.” I told him as I gathered myself from the floor.
“Okay.” He said as I stood up and left the auditorium.
I went to the quad to clear my head of my negativity and bitchiness and the apparent shock that I felt a few seconds ago. I put on my earphones and started playing music. I shuffled my songs and Superboy and the Invisible Girl played.
I was singing along to the song when I felt someone sat beside but I didn’t look at him or her because I was still clearing my head.
“You know, you could be Natalie.” It was guy’s voice. I had to take off my earphone to look at him and tell him to beat it. I was that shocked.
“Excuse me?” I asked him. It was Jules, I eyed him menacingly and he knows why I did that.
“You can be Natalie if you want.” He smiled at me smugly and looked at the students playing Frisbee.
“Why are you out here? There are still people waiting to audition.” I pointed at the auditorium.
“I’m dragging you in there and you’re going to audition for Natalie.” He turned to me seriously.
“What the hell are you talking about? You’re my best friend and everyone will think that the auditions got rigged because I got Natalie.” I screamed at him, my arms flailing and landing on his shoulders.
“That’s why you are not going to audition to me.” He said trying to hold his laugh because I became a screaming loony in his presence.
“Wait, what?” I asked cautiously.
“Mr. Galvez is going to be the one watching you audition.” He smiled.
“Why are you telling me this now?” I raised my voice.
“Because I know you are prepared and I already have a Gabe and he agreed to sing Superboy with you.” He replied.
“I hate you so much.” I looked away.
“I know you do, now let’s go back to the auditorium. They’re already there.” He yanked me out of the bench and dragged me back to the auditorium.
“I can’t do this, Jules. You know how I always screw up an audition that’s why I prefer the chaos of the backstage. I’m so scared.” I pulled the back of his shirt before he opened the door.
“You can do this. This is your dream role remember? Remember when you passed the chance to audition for Mimi in the adaptation of RENT two years ago?” he was holding my shoulders because I was beginning to shake.
I did remember that time I wanted to be Mimi in the play but I chickened out and said yes to the stage manager gig. I did perform Out Tonight but I was a back up dancer not Mimi. Before I could even respond to him, he pushed the door opened and everyone’s head turned to us expectantly.
“She’s here don’t worry. You won’t be disappointed.” He said out loud.
He pushed me on stage and handed me a script.
“What am I going to do with this?” I whispered to him.
“Francis? Come here, man.” He called Francis on stage. I hate him right now. Francis is my crush in one of my classes.
“Francis here is going to be our Gabe.” He presented Francis to the small audience consisting of Mr. Galvez and the other production heads. I so hate him right now. I don’t even know if he knows that I have a crush on Francis.
The confusion on my face must be apparent because Jules leaned over to me and said, “I know you like him, but be professional and act like he is your brother because I want you to play Natalie.
“Now you are going to sing Superboy and the Invisible girl, Chelsea. Okay? The whole song with Francis.” He smiled at me and I knew that there was a vicious meaning behind that stupid smirk.
I took a deep breath and started sing the first line “Superboy and the invisible girl, son of steel and daughter of air/ he’s a hero a lover a prince she’s not there/ Superboy and the invisible girl, everything a kid ought to be/ he’s immortal forever alive then there’s me.”
I exhaled and looked at Francis who was smiling triumphantly beside me and at Jules who was sitting beside Mr. Galvez whispering about something. In the corner of my eye I saw Ellie doing thumbs up and a smile was plastered on her face from ear to ear.
“Okay, Chelsea. Thanks. We’ll contact you soon if you got in or not. Thanks.” He said, with no emotion in his voice. I knew I shouldn’t have agreed on auditioning. Jules is such a manipulative jerk; I don’t know why he is my best friend.
I went home that day feeling mentally and physically exhausted. I needed to finish my paper for a major class tomorrow and all I was thinking about was the stupid production! I’m so uncomfortable because I didn’t know what to expect and I don’t think that they’d be getting me, because clearly that Aimee girl was a better fit for Natalie’s character but what the hell, I already took the leap of death and my afterlife is in Mr. Galvez’s hands or Jules’.
Jules texted me a week after that the audition results will be announced during the General Assembly of the production and obviously, I need to be there because I was on the production team.
The day of the General Assembly, I was so anxious about the results and other things because I will be hosting the assembly and I didn’t even know who got the other parts except for Francis who got the role of Gabe.
As I was announcing who got Diana, Dan and Gabe’s roles, I was cautiously looking at Jules to get an idea whether I got it or not. When they clicked on the next slide, I thought it was the revelation of who got Natalie but to my surprise it was the list of chorus members and I was reeling with nervousness and anxiety. Jules stood up and borrowed the mic from me to announce who Natalie was; I scanned the room and saw Aimee there. “Oh my god, she’s going to get freakin’ Natalie, her name wasn’t on the list of chorus members so that’s why she was here.” I thought to myself.
“Chelsea Gomez!” Jules said into the microphone and turned toward my confused face.
“What?” I asked not having the slightest clue as to what was going on.
“You got Natalie, you freak.” He whispered in my ear and hugged me. “Congrats” he said.
Everyone applauded and cheered for me. I was still speechless when he handed me the mic to say a something.
“Okay, apparently, my best friend did something for me to get this part —“
“No, he didn’t have anything to do with it. He actually made us watch a video of you singing Natalie’s song in your bedroom yesterday that’s why we chose you as Natalie, it was not Jules. It was everybody who’s part of this production.” Mr. Galvez cut me off before I finished my sentence.
“You filmed me while I was in my room?!” I stared daggers into Jules’ eyes.
“You didn’t even notice me and that audition yesterday was just a formality so you can play the part. Aaaaaand Aimee will be your understudy.” He said proudly.
That happened two years ago and the clincher of it all was that I didn’t get to play the part when it was shown in the university. I got sick and was not allowed to perform because of my condition. It sucks that I can’t do anything about it but I took the leap of faith and got the part even though I doubted myself, I still wanted to do it.