Last week, I auditioned to be part of DC’s Listen to Your Mother cast. Final decisions will be made this week and the final cast will be announced on Friday. Before the experience is forever changed by that decision, I need to preserve the memory of audition day.
I woke with butterflies. Mildly nauseating but also producing an energy I don’t feel very often.
We went about our morning much like we do every Saturday morning. Coffee (which helped neither the butterflies nor the excess of energy) and cuddles in bed before wandering downstairs for breakfast and weekend morning cartoons. I nursed the baby, paying close attention to the soft morning sunlight streaming through his window and willing the peacefulness of that moment to calm my nerves. I gave myself a pep talk as I showered and got dressed. I read my piece to my reflection several times.
My wonderful husband packed a diaper bag of snacks, a bottle, extra clothes. Things I would not have thought about.
Out the door was a rush. The drive there quick and jittery. I distracted myself as best I could. Bantering with my three-year-old. Drawing inspiration from the jazz music on the radio.
We got there early. I nervously wandered around under the guise of settling my family down in a comfortable spot to wait for me. I felt guilty about dragging them all there but so happy to have them with me.
When I couldn’t wait any longer, I found my way to the room. Better early than late, I reasoned, as I knocked on the door.
Stephanie and Kate were lovely. Friendly and calming and easy-going. Just as I’d heard they would be. I sat and we chatted a bit. An overview of how this would all go.
And then, I read.
The beginning is a bit of a blur. But there was a moment. I felt it. A moment about halfway through my piece when I relaxed. I felt my breathing slow. I felt my heart calm. I felt my body relax into the chair.
I don’t know what it was. That I realized I was reading my piece? Just like I had practiced. Like I wanted to read it. That I was reading my words aloud? That they were listening? And they didn’t look bored or bothered?
In all of my harrowing public speaking experiences, I have never felt anything like that before.
Stephanie felt it too. She described it to me. She asked me to read the beginning again. Now that I was calmer. I took a deep breath and I read it again.
And that was it.
I made my way back to my family. We made our way home. I rode an adrenaline high until late that afternoon. I had done it. I’d had fun.
I feel good about it, come what may.
I want to do it again.