~ TOEFL/SAT vocabulary is in bold with links to the Cambridge Dictionary ~
During my brief stroll down the gray-tiled corridor of Manhattan High School, I construed the outcome of my interview for a role in The Sound of Music. My perusal of Kirsten, a Senior actress, eloquently persuading me into auditioning had me silently praying that I wouldn’t be nervous. I trusted that the verdict of the audition would be God’s Will. I took a deep breath before I entered the MHS Band Room with new confidence. Exiting from my try-out, I didn’t realize that this moment was the beginning of many changes in my life which aggrandized my courage to cultivate myself as a unique person.
When I saw my name written next to the character “Brigitta” on the cast list, my journey of new growth had begun. I was ecstatic! I thanked the good Lord for the part I had received as I wondered about my future. Practices after school in the Band Room began with accretion. Casual faces in the hallways soon became my cherished friends. We added singing and choreography to our routine practices. I knew more about these affable actors as each day passed. A congenial salutation followed by grunts began our Saturday practices from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We reviewed our parts on the stage through the whole script twice in a rehearsal. Each weekend wore on in a crescendo while numerous memories were embedded into the deft cast’s minds. Re-enacting a derivative scene from Fame in the library, we raucously danced on the ledges to the song “Rhythm of the Night,” which became one of my favorite memories. Meeting at Wendy’s to inhale bacon cheeseburgers and Frosty’s, and camping out on the gym floor with our blankets, pillows, and pretzels became a natural custom. We gradually were congealing into one unit while aspiring toward a common goal.
Performance night consisted of rumbling stomachs and trepidation. The renovated locker rooms were complete chaos because of the ubiquitous clothes all over the floor for our quick scene changes. In the Band Room, we received a makeover, good luck hugs, and encouraging words like “Break a leg!” At this point, we were not ourselves. We had capitulated into the role we played. All of our carping, discipline, impatience, and somnolent practice went into that night. The goal that we’ve been attaining to do our best, had come. When we missed a line or agile dance step, we were diligent in covering for each other, always helping. In no time at all, curtain call had come, we bowed, and it was over till the next evening when we emulated the same routine.
The cast party was like a memorial to The Sound of Music. We knew that it might never be performed by us again. Hugs were given to symbolize the fun and assiduous sweat we went through that aggregated us together. Autographing programs by a bonfire after munching on cheese balls, we shared accolades with each other for singing and acting. I relished the moment while lying on my back on a blanket, studying the stars. The Von Trapp children would probably never sing and dance to “Do Re Mi” again. A melancholy lump formed in my throat.
Following my final performance and cast party, I conceded that I have my own personality, talents, and feelings. I don’t need to emulate another classmate. Popularity used to be one of my goals. To reach it, I thought I had to act like the fickle popular clique to be noticed. When I observed Carolyn and Lowell’s uncanny ability to live securely in who they are, I attributed my desire to forsake my insecurity to their example. I let my own personality show by eliciting my feelings. I dressed confidently. I stood firm on my morals. As a result, I was respected and accepted by the popular students. That’s when I judiciously realized that some people aren’t validated for being themselves or know how to stand alone as an individual. Now, I don’t like to be associated with groups who thrive on denigrating gossip, sophomoric surmising, and deriding people. Instead, I am grateful for those who consider me their friend. We stand securely and self-aware.
Original by Melanie, 1986; revised 2020.
Study the vocabulary here.