Neovision Superstar: Part Seven
Unlike the first audition, I could wait for this one. I purposely kept myself from becoming excited, no matter how hard that was. Saturday eventually came, as all days do, and I spent my morning finishing off homework. When I closed my Geography textbook, I called to my mother, “Do you know what time it is?”
“It’s time to get going,” she said, coming into the kitchen, brushing her hands off on her apron.
I calmly put on my running shoes. “You don’t need to come with me,” I said. “Cassy and Michelle said they would.”
My mother’s small head cocked to one side. “Really? Are you sure? It’s no problem to me.”
“No,” I said. “It’s fine. I’ll see you later, okay?”
She still looked confused, but seeing as I was leaving at the very moment, she brushed the confusion away and gave me a hug. “Good luck,” she whispered.
Going out to the front porch, I saw both Cassy and Michelle leaning on the rickety fence. They waved. “Hey!”
I waved back. Overhead, the clouds were rolling softly across the pale sky with a slight breeze. In my gut I could feel tension building.
We started off to downtown, taking the main roads which were nearly empty due to it being a weekend. I showed my friends the way, seeing as they had never been there before. Both of them seemed pretty excited, even if they weren’t going to do anything themselves.
“This is it,” I said, waving to the stark building. “It doesn’t look like much, but...”
I let the sentence die off, letting Cassy and Michelle form their own opinions. I could see the skepticism on their faces.
Entering through the main gate, we got stopped by the security guard. We explained why we were there, and we all received the standard ‘Audition Visitor’ badges.
Once again, overwhelming chaos washed over us as we entered the building. The people seemed more hurried; the shadows darker. Seeing as I knew where the auditions were –the same place as before- I knew exactly where to go and skipped past the secretary.
I wanted to throw up, I was so nervous.
“This is really creepy,” Michelle whispered as we descended the twisting staircase of Section I.
Leading them through the maze of hallways, I tried to keep my brain from exploding due to the nerves I was experiencing. “Here we are,” I said, my voice creaking, opening the door to the waiting room.
They both smiled broadly. “You’ll do great, Hillary,” Michelle said.
Cassy nodded. “You’ll knock ‘em dead.”
The blindingly-white waiting room was just as boring-looking as before, but there weren’t nearly as many Neopets waiting. Actually, there were only two.
My friends and I went up to the desk, and the Buzz secretary gave me my number, 3.
“Wow, this’ll go fast,” Cassy mumbled. “But why are they holding second auditions? And where is everyone else?”
I shook my head, some straggly blue furs flying every which way. “No idea.”
The two other waiting Neopets went in and out of the room, always crestfallen. I exchanged looks with Cassy and Michelle. This didn’t bode well.
“NUMBER 3!” barked a frenzied Lupe. It took me a moment to realize it was the same one as before; he was Luke’s uncle!
I hurried off with him, expecting him to lead me away, but he paused. He looked hard at Cassy and Michelle. What was he doing?
“You two come here as well,” he snapped. He seemed to be tremendously tired.
“But we’re not auditioning!” Michelle said, standing. Bewilderment was stricken on her face.
“Don’t care,” the Lupe said. “Come with us.”
Cassy and Michelle looked at each other, beyond confused, then followed. When they caught up with me, I asked, “What’s going on?”
“I have no idea!” Cassy said quietly, trying not to speak loudly enough for Luke’s uncle to hear.
We came to a different room than the previous audition had been held in. This one was still small, but was painted green and had a few paintings and plants scattered about. Once again, at the back of the room sat the three same judges; a Uni, Scorchio and Lenny. They seemed bored, but not unkind like before.
“Why are there three of them?” The Scorchio asked, directing the question to the Lupe.
“Get them to read Scene 3, part IV,” he responded quickly. Something lit up in the judges’ eyes.
The Lupe handed us each a script. He looked at Cassy. “You’re the character of Elizabeth.” Next he glanced at Michelle. “You’ll be playing Caitlyn.” When he came to me, he said, “And you’ll be Lucia.”
We nodded, dumbfounded. We stood in front of a screen, and we faced the thing called a ‘camera’. My friends were seriously wondering why we were talking in front of a black box, but I silenced them with a glare that said ‘I’ll tell you later.’
“You can go any time,” the Uni said.
And so we started.
Cassy had the majority of the lines. “‘Oh, Mother, what should I do about Charles?’” she read from the script perfectly. My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. Who knew she was so good?
Michelle was next. “‘Elizabeth, you should take him to the hospital. He needs medical attention!’”
The dialogue was focused mainly between them, with me, the maid, occasionally saying witty remarks or asking them if they wanted tea. I knew that I simply didn’t hold a candle to Cassy and Michelle’s performances.
It continued like that for ten minutes, when the Scorchio finally said “Stop.”
“I think we have a winner.” The Uni grinned.
“Excuse me,” Michelle said. “But Cassy and I weren’t here to audition!”
“Ahh, you see, you fit the parts perfectly, though! Luckily he-” the Lenny pointed to the Lupe “-knew natural actresses when he saw them. When we first held these auditions, nothing worked for us. So we advertised a second time, but hardly anyone came, as they had all tried out the first time.”
“But what about me?” I nearly cried. I clamped a paw over my mouth.
The judges looked sad. “Sorry, but you’re just not a natural.”
His words stung like ice, jabbing deeply into my soul.
“You can, however, keep the role of the maid.”
A small consolation. Meanwhile, Cassy and Michelle looked aghast. “But we don’t want to steal Hillary’s part!”
The Uni shrugged. “She wouldn’t have gotten main parts, even if just she had auditioned.”
They were talking about me as if I weren’t even there! “Excuse me,” I said. “But how may I improve my performance, then?” My voice was staccato and stilted.
“Talk with emotion.”
“Don’t face directly into the camera.”
“Learn to smile.”
“Put emphasis on certain words.”
“Put character into your character.”
Sure, I wanted to know how to be better. But all of their “constructive criticism” was a little harsh.
“Thank you,” I said, and went out of the room.
I walked slowly back to the waiting rom. When I got back, my eyes were so teared up the walls were no longer painfully bright; instead, they were a dull grey.
What had happened?
My best friends had taken my role?
No, I told myself. They didn’t.
I waited a long, long time. When Cassy and Michelle came bursting into the waiting room, they looked near tears themselves. I held up a paw to silence their apologies. “It’s not your fault,” I whispered.
The long walk home was awkward. Occasionally one of them would try to say something, but I would stop them. If I tried to talk, I would start to cry. When we all went our separate ways at the crosswalk, we didn’t even say goodbye to each other.
When I got home, no one was there. A note on the counter said that my parents were out running errands, and I was glad for the privacy.
I was mortified. I hadn’t achieved my goal.
My dream... slipping away....
I went to my bedroom, and I under all of the mess I saw a piece of magazine. Picking it up, I saw that it was a picture of Kenneth Kyrii. I placed it gently on my desk.
Being on Neovision was harder than it looked, that much I was sure of. I had gotten my first role, but it had a grand total of twenty lines. I had worked and worked to learn how to read aloud, and for nothing.
That’s not true, I said to myself. It’s a valuable skill that you’ll need later on in life!
I could get over this. I could get over Luke being mean to me; I could get over losing to my best friends. Why? Because it just meant I had to step it up once more notch.
I would be victorious!
Apparently, to be successful in life you have to think positive. And so I did for a long time. That night I did, that week, and the week after that. I eventually totally accepted Cassy and Michelle having better parts; I wouldn’t have been the best part for the show!
Cassy, Michelle and I became the best of friends though thick and thin throughout the years. When one of us bombed an audition, the others were there, cheering them up. We always laughed about that incident so many years ago, the incident that had started our careers.
We had enrolled in all of the acting classes of the time, and I had improved. With a lot of hard work, a dream was reached.
To this day, it's the best thing I’ve ever done.
As I write this, I can only say this: believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams, and let nothing stop you. Why? Years ago, when I tried out for that Neopian Chronicles audition, I thought the world had ended when I didn’t get it.
I was wrong. Instead, I worked even harder, and it paid off.
Because now, years later, after many demanding, exhausting auditions, I can say only one thing.
I’m a Neovision Superstar!