9 Sept. 2012
Lights, Camera, Stress?
The second I stepped on the stage, I fell in love. The bright lights blinded me as if I were
staring at the sun. I began to tremble with fear as I caught sight of the audience sitting quietly,
anticipating my next move. It was my first show; I was the second lead in my high school play
and in my sixteen years on this earth, I’d never had to memorize so much. I began to go though
my lines exactly how I practiced, and to my overjoyed excitement, the audience loved me. At
that moment I knew that being onstage and performing was my passion. Little did I know that
my newfound love would cause me a great amount of stress.
As my fellow classmates would count down to 2:20, I sadly had to wait for play practice.
As much as I loved to perform, practicing until 6:30 was never my favorite. As a theater student,
homework was never first. My grades began to slip as soon as I started my career as a thespian,
my perfect grades on the anatomy quizzes became almost failing and other classes fell in similar
patterns. The only thing I cared about was practicing and how soon I could get back to acting.
School and grades were no longer of importance to me and I quickly began to change. I would
stress over tests that I had no time to study for and found myself cramming desperately the night
before. When the test came I’d scramble to get what little information I’d retained to try to get a
passing grade. Sometimes I got lucky, and other times it was the opposite. With my less than
fabulous grades I’d wonder if being an actress was worth it. I would feel guilty and sad and think
about quitting, but then I would remember the bright lights and the audience and immediately the
thoughts were out of my mind.
January meant speech season, my favorite time of the year. Competitive acting was what
was more important to me than the regular plays and musicals. To get trophies for how well you
act and the fact that I always won was enough to keep me interested. I would tremble with fear
before I took to the stage but as soon as I went through the piece assigned to me I felt
overwhelmed with a sense of adrenaline. My characters were precise and clean and as I snapped
to each one I could tell the judges were impressed. At the awards ceremony my friend Brady and
I would hold hands and pray for first place. They called out the names and I clutched her hand
tightly. As usual, I won first place.