This I Believe

Tyler - Kildeer, Illinois
Entered on January 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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“Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

-John Wooden

When I read this quote, it immediately reminded me of a time when something really exciting happened, and I got so close, but then it all ended. Earlier this school year, I went to an open call audition in Chicago for a Broadway show called “Spring Awakening”. I had been a huge fan of the show and a lot of my friends encouraged me to go to the open call audition in Chicago. I pondered the night before the audition with the thought of whether or not it was worth it for me to skip the entire day of school and force my dad to change his entire day; all for an audition for something I knew was out of my league. I finally came to the conclusion that all I was doing was creating excuses for myself to not go, all so I could say to my friends, “Yea, I could have auditioned, but it was just to short of notice” ; Something I vowed myself to never say again. I had a sudden feeling of exhilaration jolt through me, almost like when you feel like you’re in a dream but you realize it really is happening! At that moment, I knew I had to ask my Dad. Luckily for me, I have an extremely supportive father, who was more than willing to sacrifice his day all for me. That in-itself made me feel pretty good. The next morning my dad and I drove through the hour and a half morning traffic to the audition and after waiting in line for almost seven hours with over four hundred and fifty fellow hopefuls, I finally had my chance to audition for the casting directors. I figured they would stop me after just a few seconds, say thanks for coming out, and that would be the extent of it. As I began the dreadful walk out of the room after I finished my song, I heard someone say “Hey! Tyler! Where are you going? We want to talk to you!” As it turned out, they had really liked me and I was much to my amazement given a callback for the next day. It was one of those thrilling moments in you’re life when you realize you have actually exceeded the expectations put upon you by your peers. At that callback audition, I once again assumed this would probably be the end of the road; something I almost felt content with because I had already proven myself and others by simply being given such an opportunity. Once again, I was dead wrong. I received another callback the next day, this time for something I thought never accessible; the lead of the show! I was in shock! ( except I wasn’t in shock because it was definitely a feeling I had never in my life experienced until that moment). That next day at the second callback, this time in front of the director of the show, I actually felt confident, which is not an adjective I can honestly say I was ever able to use going to an audition. When I finished my scene and song, the director actually said to me, “You are very talented!”, but then the truth was told. He was worried that I might look too young for the character, but that they will keep my resume and headshot for future auditions, which still excites me to think about. Of course I was disappointed that I did not make it further, but I also realized that I had just auditioned for a Tony award winning Broadway director and he actually was considering me! Some people may have been discouraged by the whole experience and when I told my friends about what he said, they all say “oh that sucks that you didn’t make it”. But me on the other hand, I made the absolute best of the experience. Most of the people who had auditioned were much older than me, some even 25 years old, and I was only a novice sixteen year old yet had gotten just as far as them. By remaining positive, the experience has increased my overall confidence and most importantly taught me to never think anything is unobtainable. Now when I hear someone doubting themselves, I supportively tell them to never think they can’t do anything. If this entire experience had never happened in my life, I would most likely still feel insecure and unsure of my abilities and potential. Through just one amazing opportunity that I decided to not pass up, I discovered much of the self-confidence that keeps me working towards my goals day by day.