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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

#BlogFeature: The Audition

Here's a personal story from Vivian whom I've featured several times on my blog. She's a writer who thoroughly enjoys writing.

Based On A True Life Experience.

Early this year, while I drove with my cousin in his car, he told me about a movie his friend would produce later in the year and asked if I was interested. I answered yes. I'm not an actress, although I was in the Church drama group as a teenager and in my later years, wrote scripts for the team; I still wouldn't call myself an actress. I simply wanted to do something new.

The audition was to hold in February. He called me a few times to remind me. He assured me that a minor role was already reserved me: I just needed to prove my worth in the audition. A few weeks to the date, I lost interest in the program. "What made you change your mind?" my sister asked when she noticed I wasn't keen on being a part of the auditions anymore. "I have a lot of written works to finish, acting is not my thing. Let me focus on what I know best to do," came my ready answer. To worsen the matter, I started stuttering really bad that week. I stutter but I always have a way to control my speech. That week however, all hell was let loose on my tongue. I would speak with such difficulty and my heart would ache. I was so sure I wouldn't go. I had only one problem: how was I going to disappoint my cousin at the dying minute? 

Luckily for me, my neighbour has been nursing an acting dream. She overhead my sister talk about the audition and then came to meet me. "Ah ah, Ij, you have such an opportunity and you never told me," she said . I didn't understand at first. "The movie auditions..."
"Oh really, are you interested? You can have my place. I'm really not interested."
And that was my miracle. She only insisted that I must go with her. I thought it was only fair since I would have to explain to my cousin and then handover my position to her. 

On the day of the audition, I dressed good. My cousin called to remind me to come with a corporate attire. Although I wasn't going to audition anymore, I went with the cloth. We got to the venue which was at a hotel in Owerri. Seeing all those happy and eager faces sent an adrenaline rush into my blood stream. I suddenly wanted to audition but didn't know how to control my speech.

We wrote down our names. The auditioning team introduced themselves. Some of them were popular faces we see in our home videos. They made their introductory speeches and then proceeded to the secluded area where we would individually come to show our skills. My cousin being a part of the team didn't have time to talk with me. He briefly welcomed me, asked if I was hungry and said, "I'm not going to help you. You will compete as everyone else. I won't even call you first. You came late, you will be auditioned late. Do your best."

I was initially taken aback, and then I loved what he said. It made me think of a Nigeria where people are given positions because of their qualification, not their tribe. I quickly introduced my neighbour, he told her to do her best and she would be chosen.

The scripts were shared to everyone. The sentences were poorly constructed, so people couldn't make meaning of them. This contributed to poor performance by a lot of people;  because they didn't understand the sentences, they couldn't project their meaning. Using my skill of writing, I rearranged the sentences. I explained to those around me and we started rehearsing. The advantage of coming late was that I wasn't called up first. That one hour of rehearsing and rehearsing the script calmed me. I began to draw in long and deep breaths to help my speech. After some time, I told myself I was ready. I reminded myself of all those times I've spoken before crowds; this wasn't any different. "Actually, this crowd is small" I said to myself. 

I'm a beautiful lady and I dressed well on the said day: that added to my confidence. I was however determined to show my skill and not my looks. When it got to my turn, I walked in telling myself I was the best act they would see that day. With a smile, I introduced myself. From previous experiences, I know and understand the power of smiling to your audience. The presentation lasted 40 seconds or less. The first 10, I was nervous and secretly thought that I might still stammer. I guess the smiling helped me more; kinda relaxed me.

I did my presentation. I knew I did it well because I felt good after. I was about to walk out, when they called me back and asked for my details. That only happens for those who they would like to be a part of their movie.

I'm not an actress; I'm not even sure I'll ever be. I'm only happy that I did something new, overcame my fear (of stuttering) and had me a nice experience.


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