I was walking along the streets of New York in my sparkly blue and black showcase top and studded leggings waiting to perform at the biggest showcase of my life. Western Michigan University Music Theatre Seniors always had the opportunity to be exposed to the competitive casting world in New York through our Senior Showcase. Very lucky of us. Some people don't even have the chance to have this tryout before moving here, and then they just get dropped like a bomb. Then again, it's not that different. It's just another showcase, another opportunity, another singalong.
I remembered clearly, a year ago it was gloomy and raining just like this. Not too heavy of a down pour, just wet and humid, a lil trickle here and there. My heart was thumping not because I was nervous. I have performed this number a zillion times and I knew I rocked the hell out of it with a little rapping and attitude. My heart was thumping hard because I have completely lost my voice. I felt sick. For the first time since I moved to the States, I could not sing a note at all. Still I had to perform. I had to sing. I ended up speaking through my entire song.
I remembered seeing my sister in the audience as I was bitterly trying to work through my song. The sadness in her face, the dissapointment not because I sucked by talent, because I sucked by fate. It was the biggest turnout in WMU showcase history. Important casting directors, managers and agents were all there to scout for new talent and I deliberately embarrassed myself, performing for the first time in New York City.
At the end of two showcase performances, our head of department sat us down and gave us the list of agents and managers who were interested in us. We were supposed to call them and set up appointments and maybe work with them in the future. While everyone in the class got at least 6 people interested in them, I had none. Could you imagine the devastation? At that time, this showcase was the world to us. 4 years of college training, working hard and picking the right choices of songs just for this 5 minutes of moments to shine. All of it went down the drain just because I was sick and couldn't pipe a tune. I felt like I embarrassed myself, my family, my class, and the entire program. All the WMU alumnus were there watching me struggle as I tried to pretend nothing was wrong.
I cried like a baby after the showcase.
I spend the rest of the entire week walking along the streets of New York with my sunglasses on just because it would hide my swollen red eyes from the world. I was depressed. Like I said, at that time, the showcase meant to world to me. It was what I left Malaysia to the States for and I busted my one time opportunity.
A year later, it is my junior's turn to shine. They are rocking their first show as I am typing this and I am so darn proud that have made it this far. I wish they knew that the Senior Showcase isn't as big as a deal as it really is. It's great exposure, that's what it really is. One year later, I am still here trying and grinding in the city like everyone else. You may get an agent out of it and who cares if you didn't? Truthfully speaking, non of us seniors from last year got any agents out of it so... I guess life goes on? Just get yourselves out there, break all limbs and have all the fun in your few moments to shine.
Break legs guys, like what Julia Murney said, "Choose enjoyment."
See y'all there at the 6pm performance!
You guys are awesome as hell anyways :)