I'm probably not the only one who envisions herself as the spunky main-character in a book, movie, or play...and I really hope that I’m not the only one willing to admit it. Before you think I’m vain or selfish, let me explain. I completely realize that my hopes were just dreams. I was never going to be the lead or main-character.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t try.
Since my sophomore year, I have auditioned for every play in the theatre department. But I was never cast, unless a weird bit of luck happened. The two exceptions happened last year. During fall semester, the College put on the William Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, and I was asked to be a musician for a 2-minute scene. This character (which I rightfully named Musician No. 2) didn’t have any lines and was creatively added to the play by the director. And in the spring, I auditioned for another play, made it to callbacks, and did not get cast. But one of the actresses quit unexpectedly, which put a lot of stress on the director. I received a text message from the stage manager, and I was there, filling in the part within an hour. It was my 14-line debut, and I was having the time of my life. But I didn’t think my theater career would continue.
This year’s fall play was decided last spring. A copy was floating around, and I curiously got a hold of it. The thing is, I’m not a theater major or minor. Theater is just a love I’ve flirted with for years without either of us committing. I read the play anyway.
Jeffery Hatcher’s SMASH is a dry, hilarious, and incredibly challenging play. Also, it’s hella British. If Monty Python had a baby with that Sherlock actor Bendersnatch Cumberbun, this play would be it. The best parts of the play are the characters. You have Sidney, the unsocial socialist millionaire who can’t shut his mouth. Henrietta, the strong and certain capitalist hell-bent on revenge. Sir Charles, the annoyingly energetic billionaire playboy. Miss Willson, a Maggie Smith-type overload who schemes way too much and achieves nothing. And many more memorable characters.
Then there’s Agatha Wilie. A young, rebellious fireball who is one surprise after another. She’s the passionate ringeader of her two devoted rabble rousers. She has a character arc that would make Noah jealous. And I wanted to be her. From the moment I read the play. There was no helping the instinct! And trust me, no one knocked me down off my dream pedestal faster than I did. I knew it was probably just a dream, and I was okay with that.
But I still tried. And I got a call back! And eventually, THE PART.
The next three months were some of the most incredible moments of my life. We recently finished the play, and after catching up on sleep and class work, I began to really miss it.
Always try new things, guys. You never know what can happen if you just put yourself out there!
Be kind and be strong,
Katherine Lizarraga is a senior creative writing major from Los Angeles, California.