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Jeremy Lowther Mr. Neuberger Eng. Comp. 101 – 132 8 September 2011 Narrative Essay Stage Presence I stared at the sheet taped primitively above the black and white classroom sign. My eyes darted from the paper to the room number and to all those around me in an attempt to make certain that I was not dreaming; that this was reality. I looked at the top of the paper and mouthed the title, almost speaking the words “Urinetown: The Musical – Cast List…” My eyes slowly traveled down the paper to what kept me in wonder, my mouth still agape from the forming of previous words. I then found what had struck me in such a manner, “Senator Fipp - Jeremy Lowther…” It was the first time I‟d ever truly auditioned for a show and had a part. Every fiber of my being tingled with excitement, I‟d no idea what my part was about or how difficult it was but that didn‟t matter. I expected to get ensemble as I had never been active in theatre at Central, but it was my first show and I had a PART. I looked around to find people congratulating me. I robotically congratulated them back being able to do nothing but go through the motions at this time as my mind was still reeling from the joy I was feeling. In fact, were I not afraid of embarrassing myself, I‟d have clicked my heels and begun singing “Eye of the Tiger” on the spot. As I arrived home, I announced the news to everyone as if I had just made Chairman on the “Board of Awesome Badass-ness,” and it was clear to everyone that I was stoked and saw fit to let it be known. I danced in my room impatiently expecting the first day of rehearsals. When that day came, I was so pumped anyone else would have thought I was preparing for some

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testosterone contest, and indeed I may have been the most mannishly excited person in the room when rehearsal began as if that‟s saying much, it was a musical rehearsal after all. There, I discovered I not only had a part, but I possessed several of the jokes within the show and even a short singing solo. My head was lighter than whipped cream in space and my heart was singing Michael Bolton tracks during the entire rehearsal. I had so excited myself with the idea of this part that once I finally got home, I had used up so much energy in my excitement that I collapsed onto the couch and fell into slumber. By the next rehearsal, I discovered something amazing; I memorized lines fast… really fast! It was an enormous discovery. Without knowing it, I had memorized all my lines for the show by the second rehearsal. Granted, I was only in four scenes and didn‟t have an enormous amount of lines, but in one weekend I had memorized all my lines and my small solo. I was on Cloud Nine and clearly climbing my way toward Ten with this show. I received several compliments on my humorous portrayal of my character, an old man who was sleazy and creepy and clearly money hungry. It seemed to be a part meant for me. Then, when we were halfway through the rehearsals, I made unfortunate discovery number one: I-Could-Not-Dance. I had two left feet and a third that tried to trip both every other moment. So, unfortunately, I was stuck to awkward flailing outside of any of the dance numbers. When it came time for the actual performances, I even hopped the wrong way during the single dance number I was a part of. It was shortly after I realized my lack of foot-floor coordination that I made unfortunate discovery number two: I-Was-Nervous-About-Singing-A-Solo. My solo consisted of less than twenty words but I kept getting so nervous every time I sang it in rehearsal I ended up enunciating poorly or forgetting words. Luckily, I was not the only one with these issues, so I was rarely singled out.

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I eventually ascended over my fear of belting out my sexy tunes but can‟t recall ever learning how to make my feet work for me or anyone else. A week before our matinee performance, I was granted a boon finally: I received a majestic “Man‟s Man” moustache to wear for the performances. I was so excited that I wore it outside of rehearsal though the directors wouldn‟t let me wear it to class because they wanted students to be surprised when they saw it. I developed a very creative idea and decided to do something wild at one rehearsal and, in the middle of my solo, ripped off my moustache. It didn‟t even hurt much and the moustache stuck back on afterward quite well. I had made my way back to Cloud Nine and was feeling fine. What better moment, then, to make unfortunate discovery number three: The-StickyMoustache-Stopped-Sticking. One time backstage, my „friend‟ Victoria decided to rip my moustache off as part of a joke. However, her gorilla-armed yank ripped the hairy moustache from my face-without its sticky tape. I panicked, and would‟ve cried were I not so infuriated. After clearing my head, I used that clear head to do something about it: I complained to one of the directors. She sighed and handed me my salvation. It was a small brown bottle of victorious temporary sticky paste called spirit glue. I lathered the concoction onto the back of my „stache and slapped it on. When it came time for my solo, I was so pumped I may have belted it out louder than I‟d ever sang anything before. The culmination of my unfortunate discoveries had not deterred me from my star moments. I sang out, my heels clicking in my mind, “Eye of the Tiger” booming through it as well; my heart singing Michael Bolton, and my head again turning into astronaut crème Chantilly. I was above my lack of dancing ability, past my nerves about singing by myself and over my earlier moustache massacre. I joyfully rang out the last of my solo and ripped off my mended “Man‟s Man” moustache and then made unfortunate discovery number four: That-Bottle-Of-Spirit-Glue-Used-The-Word-Temporary-Lightly.