Hello Hermia readers! White Rabbit here from the land of White Rabbit NI. Tis a place in the Internet where I talk shite for the amusement of the (very) few. Feel free to come along. I’ll have buns. Hurry though because I’m quite hungry and there might not be any left. Miss Hermia has been rather lovely in asking me to fill in for a minute whilst she swans off around Paris. If you are like me then you are sickened with jealousy. Let’s band together and forget our woes with…TEQUILA! Now you drink up and I’ll start…
It’s not the best line to interrupt you in the middle of an audition. I was really getting into it as well. I even closed my eyes for dramatic effect.
I was stood in all my gangly glory in the music room in front of a panel of the Head of Drama, the Head of Music and a temporary sub teacher who clearly volunteered over lunchtime trying to suck up enough to be made permanent.
The audition was for the school musical, the crown jewel in the school’s calendar as far as budgets were concerned. The musical of choice was The Wizard of Oz (we wanted Grease but the Nuns refused because it was too ‘sexed’). Clearly every girl in the line before me opted for a whiny Corrs number. It was easy enough to sing and you didn’t have many words to remember. ‘Cos I-e-ya-ah-ah-ah-m falling in l-o-uh-o-uh-o-uuuuuh-ve with YOOOOOOU’ also made you sound impressive even if you really did sing like a sheep caught on an electrical fence.
The Head of Drama, who only knew me because I fainted in Assembly the year before and she thought the way I fell was very ‘actressy’ held up her hand to stop me.
“NEXT!” she barked.
Bollocks. That was that screwed then. Clearly my choice of an unoriginal song buggered up my chances of scoring a free pass to skip class for auditions and costume fittings. However, the next day I was delighted to find my name up on the notice board. Perhaps the pickin’s be slim. According to the cast list, I was going to be one of the ‘Girls’
‘Girls’? Well that was specific in a bloody girls school I thought.
Turns out the ‘Girls’ in the original script, were Dorothy’s mates when she went to the Emerald City. No. I didn’t know that part either. We also had a song called ‘Evening Star’. Please don’t bother looking it up. It’s horrendous and you can see why they left it out of the film. We would be bedecked in Emerald and Glitter and when our time came we would belt out this song with aul Dorothy with lots of pointing at the ceiling pretending that we could see a majestic night sky above us. We didn’t mind. We could look forward to weeks if not months of free classes to sit on our arses and laugh at the first years, who were automatically cast as Munchkins. Ha followed by HA.
When myself and the other 6 ‘Girls’ were going to our first rehearsal, the Head of Drama put us into a line and marched up and down, evaluating our size, shape and ability to follow instructions.
“YOU” she said to me. “The floor” She pointed just to make sure I knew where the floor was.
At the start of the song, I would have to… *sigh*… lie on the floor, resting my head in my hands and crossing my legs over my bum and stare dreamily at Dorothy whilst she sang her part. It wasn’t a great position to be in but at least if I got tired I was promised a little lie down in the second act. This was fine rehearsal after rehearsal (if a little sore on the old knees and elbows) until it came to the costume rehearsals. I was put into a long tacky green number that itched around the chest and neck. Everything was going well until I came to lie down on the stage. It was impossible to be graceful in that dress. What’s more is that when I pulled my legs up, my heels got caught in the dress so when I went to get up I kind of trapped myself in a twisted ball on the floor.
“REMEMBER” said the Head of Drama firmly, “Lift your dress off your heels before you get up” I nodded because I was a good girl and I listened which was probably why they gave me the big responsibility of lying down (HA!)
Anyways, opening night rolled along and our scene was coming up. Blah, blah, blah, sing, sing, sing, lie down, lie down, still lying down. You can see where this is going. I forgot to take the dress off my heels.
As we were a little late on our cue to move to the other side of the stage, we had to speed up a little quicker. As I got up quickly, my skirt still trapped in my heels, made me stumble and fall which made a massive BANGY CLUNK on the stage which was so loud, you could hear it over the orchestra. As I was falling, my natural instinct was to grab the girl in front for stability who was on her way to the other side of the stage but because of the dead weight of me, SHE STUMBLED TOO. I couldn’t have just soaked up the scundered by myself – tut.
Red faced, sweating, I made it over to the other side of the stage for the rest of the song where we pretended to be graceful. We extended our hands towards the imaginary evening star we were all staring trying not to be distracted at that stain the school Nurse (another Nun) was convinced was actually an image of the Virgin Mary’s face come back to judge us all for thinking about boys. I looked down at the Head of Drama and she was glaring at me. I couldn’t actually sing after that for fear of my voice cracking so I just mouthed the words. I don’t think anyone really noticed anyway given that the first four rows (the only rows I could see with the stage lights) were still laughing.