“Welcome Home” Chapter Eight- Notice me Horton

27 Jul

The winds of autumn pushed summer out the door before I hardly realized what was going on. The last couple weeks of August ushered in changes that somehow corresponded with the new toe-chilling icy freshness in the morning; a new day was dawning and my life was taking another road into September.
Though I was not yet fourteen, I was going into my freshman year of high school. This was fine, though, since most of my friends were a year or so older than me anyway. However, I was not expecting the dramatic wake up call that high school would bring. To be honest, eighth grade year was not challenging enough in general, but it really did not prepare me for all that high school would be. This year I was taking Algebra One, World History combined with World Literature and Bible, Biology, an online Speech & Debate class, going to a Bible study every Thursday, participating in home school group’s Year Book Team along with Student Government, and I also got to join Cue 52’s fall program of Seussical the Musical Jr. I have no idea how I did all of that in four months without being exhausted, stressed, or insane, but it happened. In fact, I made some of the best grades in school that I ever have and still woke up around 8:30 in the morning. When I think of that fall, I see almost instantly that it was the best autumn of my life so far. When I think of Fall 2012, I hear the beginning strums of the guitar in Taylor Swift’s song “Red,” the one in the album with the same name that I rushed to the store to buy one October 2012 night. I feel the crisp breeze flowing through my hair as my family and I rode home listening to this new album. I hear the local high school band as my brother, dad, and I would to the football games sometimes on Friday nights, hoping that I would see my friend from down the street. I hear all of the songs from Seussical and hear Matt Salvadore counting out dance steps, clapping to help us stay in rhythm. Yes, that August-November really did bring in a hodgepodge of happy memories.
But enough details about the rest of that amazing season of life. Let’s zoom in to the subject I’m actually here to write about: Cue 52.
I have to say that when I signed up for Troupe 52’s drama program I had no idea what Seussical the Musical was. I had heard of Dr. Seuss and had been a big fan of one or two books of his when I was a wee child, but I really was clueless about most of his characters. On August 15, Cue 52 had their first auditions. I think practice was originally supposed to be from 6:30 to 8:00 or something like that, but eventually it ran from 6:00 to almost 9:00 for some groups.
While Mrs. Jana and Mr. Kevin were still directing, Mrs. Jen did not come back for this semester. In her place were two new directors, Mrs. Hillary and Mrs. Andy. They also had two helpers, Casey and Matt, who were both older teenagers. Mrs. Hillary had an awesome British accent. She was friendly and loved to smile, but she still reminded us who was in charge. Every time people would start talking, she would instruct the rest of us to go, “Hey, ho, shh, shh, shh.” That really ticked Matt off, which gave us another motive to be silent. Mrs. Andy was also sweet, but a little quieter than Mrs. Hillary. She always wore her hair in two pigtails that stayed under a baseball cap. I believe Matt was a college freshman. He could dance very well and also had a good singing voice that reminded me of Brad Kane from Disney’s Aladdin. Casey was a Senior in high school and she was being home schooled this year. She and Matt led warm ups, even though Casey’s knee was in a brace for the majority of rehearsals.
I also met some new students who had not been in The Little Mermaid. Some of the same cast was here this time, though, including Lindsey. Kera could not be, unfortunately. She joined another theatre program in a nearby city.
At auditions, Mrs. Jana separated us into groups depending on what songs/characters we were auditioning for. I had read about some of the characters’ personalities online and I decided to mostly audition for Gertrude. As worded in my journal, it was “definitely terrifying.” Gertrude’s main song was “Notice Me, Horton,” which has a nice melody, but the beginning is like a runaway train. Some of the kids there, including Mrs. Andy’s daughter, had been in Seussical before and therefore knew the songs. Other people were at least familiar with them. On the other hand, this play was completely new to me. I had not heard any of Gertrude’s songs before that day and only got to listen to a few people briefly run through it in try outs. I still decided to try, but I stumbled through the first part and ran out of breath where I most needed it. Though it wasn’t the best performance ever, it certainly was not my worst and I am glad I got up to audition. Everyone was extremely supportive and this was a time that I faced some of the remnants of my stage fright.
The next couple weeks were also filled with auditions. I think I also tried out for Mayzie, the Sour Kangaroo, and perhaps Jojo. The cast list was finally posted online a couple weeks after the practice had begun; the cast was divided up into blue and red. This gave most people an opportunity to be two different characters twice since there were going to be four performances. Usually, a person got a major part and then a minor. I was Mrs. Mayor, Jojo’s mom, for the red cast and an ensemble Who for the blue cast. Those weren’t exactly the parts I was wishing for, but I was still excited about being in the play. I knew every character mattered and a lesser known part gave me more room to use my imagination. After all, “Oh the thinks you can think when you think about Seuss!”

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