“My Name in Lights” By Emmy Lane

My leg is shaking. My heart is pounding more than it ever has before. My eyes are blinking rapidly. I bite my lip nervously. This is the day I have been waiting for. This is the opportunity I have wanted since I was six. Now I have the chance and I can’t blow it. It’s been four hours since I entered Pearl Studios at 35th and 8th avenue in New York City. The elevator ride to the 12th floor was nerve racking enough, but the thought of going into that studio with other hopeful girls wanting this as badly as I do is going be impossible. My name is Madi and this was my chance to be a kid on Broadway.

They were reviving the musical Annie, and of course Annie is a musical full of kids. When I saw the casting call on Backstage.com my heart nearly stopped. I had checked the website everyday waiting for something like this to come up. It finally did. I headed up to New York City with my mom and we stayed in a hotel right by Pearl Studios, so I had plenty of time to sleep in.

When the morning of my audition arrived, I couldn’t wait to get out of bed. I dressed as quickly as I could, putting on a shirt that said “Adopt me.” It never hurts to look adorable in an audition. When we went through the big glass doors I started to realize what was happening. I was going to have the chance to be on Broadway! I rode up the cramped elevator full of other girls hopeful for the same part I was hoping for. Once we had checked in we were taken to a waiting room full of other little girls like me. I felt like I waited nearly forever before they called my name. When they finally did my heart dropped into my stomach. This was it!

I walked into the room with about nine other girls. I could tell by their faces, we all were nervous. We introduced ourselves to the members of judges and to the other girls. We learned a dance combination and performed it as a group, and then individually. When it was my turn, I was feeling pretty confident. Dancing is my strong skill and I felt I knew the combination well. When I finished I bowed to the judges and walked away proudly. They then sent the nine of us out, and one by one we sang the song we had prepared. I chose “I Know Things Now” from Into The Woods. When my turn came, my heart again began to race. I nearly choked when it was time to sing. But I took a breath and belted my heart out. I thanked all the judges and left the room. I left the studio trying to catch my breath. That was officially the most nerve racking thing I had done. I sat a little while longer waiting for the director to come out and tell us when we would hear about a callback if we got one and how to prepare for it. After about two hours he came out and explained to us what to expect next. I walked out of that audition proudly. The audition was a big step for me, and I did it!

About two months later I got a phone call saying I got a callback. I was so excited, I practically ran around my whole neighborhood screaming “YAYYYYYYYYY!!!” So the next weekend my mom and I went back New York City. This time I was feeling much more confident. I felt like I had a greater chance of being cast. After all, they wanted to see me again, that meant they were considering me for the part! When I went to the callback there were fewer girls. This time there were six, all whom had been through the callback process before. They had told me they had been through 7 and 9 other callbacks for just Annie. This was my first one. I felt a little out of place. But I went in there prepared to give it my all. We learned another dance combination and learned a song from the show. Once again we did the choreography alone and sang the song solo as well. “Girls we will tell you whether or not you will be in the production in about 2-4 weeks.” Those were going to be 2-4 nervous weeks for me. On the way home to California, I was thinking about all the possible outcomes of this situation. I could get the part, but I could also be cut. I could be cast as a swing. That’s someone who goes on for people when they are unable to perform. Whatever happened in the end I was just telling myself that I did my best. The experience so far was amazing.

About three weeks after that I got a call. Probably the best phone call ever. I was cast as the orphan July. When they said the words “We would be honored” over the phone I nearly screamed my head off. I bounced off the walls. All I could say was “Thank you.” I was practically speechless. This time I ran around my neighborhood screaming “I’M GONNA BE ON BROADWAY!!!”

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