And then last week I got an e-mail about the musical “Back to the 80’s”. How perfect is that? It’s a musical — so that’s already awesome. It’s got 80’s music. Hello! Loooove 80’s music. And it looks like it will be fun and goofy. Yes, there may be a lot of young teens in this production, but that is a lot less intimidating than a bunch of adults trying out.
Man, and when I first walked in, I almost walked right back out. All I could see was kids from 12-16, sitting here and there, and I began to wonder if I’d read the production promotion correctly. Was I in the wrong place? Better question: was this the Twilight Zone?
You should have seen my get-up, too. I was WAY over-dressed, compared to the rest of the crowd. But, they said to wear 80’s clothes! I really went all out: high black boots, fishnet stockings, jean shorts, bright turquoise halter under a black tank (“wife beater” — ugh. . . hate that term). I changed my outfit quite a few times, and then added some jingle jangles in the form of a chunky bracelet; a turquoise-jeweled silver ring; a long, dangling turquoise, green and silver necklace, and large silver hoop earrings. Then, I added a sparkly gold and black flowered headscarf, doubling as a headband. As a finishing touch: poofed up my hair, added some heavy turquoise/green eye shadow, mascara, and rouge — voila! I’m Pat Benatar. Or someone attempting to sing her infamous “Love is a Battlefield” song. So, yes, feeling very old and over-dressed, I almost left. But, then came the self-pep talk:
“Teri, you’ve been wanting to try out for another musical for FOREVER. You will regret it if you skip this chance because you freaked out and chickened out. It will be like high school softball all over again. (You would have made it!) You love to perform; you love to sing for people. The timing is right with all of your activities. So, just go in and do it. If nothing else, for FUN. It will be FUN. Block out all of the young strangers. Block out your awkwardness at sticking out like a big turquoise and black thumb. And then you can say you did it. You WENT for it.”
I was very convincing. So, I didn’t leave. I went through with it. My singing was fine, but I made little eye contact and my attempt to sway in an 80’s-sort-of-way was fairly lame. The dancing part was sloppy. But I sort of kept up with the leader and the good dancer next to me, copying them as quickly as I could. The line reading was the most fun. I LOVE reading aloud, and love acting and pretending just as much. Some of the readers who read before me were clearly gifted actors, who blew me away. But I still did a pretty good job.
Callbacks are Wednesday and Thursday. I’m hoping to at least make it in it. I’m not going to re-live my high school days, thinking I have a great part in the bag, and instead ending up in the 2nd chorus with a bunch of little middle school kids. I need a way back into theater. And I’m hoping this is it.