My first...and what I imagined would be my last audition:
I am in an empty classroom in Dublin High School (Dublin, California- ovs) my bff 4eva, Jessie, and I are waiting for our turn to audition. I stayed up all night circling my image words, writing actions, and practicing my "as if''. (I can now confirm I had no idea what I was doing). My turn to audition. Mrs. Maknara, with her squinty eyes scolds me, “Be more connected. No eyebrow acting in this audition, do I make myself clear?" I imagine a piece of tape above my eyebrows (a familiar tactic used by, yes you guessed it, Mrs. Maknara).
I spent the rest of the audition thinking about my eyebrows. I’m Ethiopian
American so I have a large forehead, high eyebrows, and note to the world: not all of us run long distances. A day later, we rush down the hall to check the cast list posted on the back door of the classroom. I did not get the part, but it ended up being the best thing, I knew I loved acting and I was going to keep pursuing my dream. Flash forward, sophomore year of college. Mr. Lewis, with his arrogant artistic air of bull***t, gives me a note, "Darling, I can barely see you on stage, I doubt you fit in here. Maybe in a dollhouse, but not Ibsen's, darling." As funny as it is to recount that today, it stung so much I pivoted from a degree in acting to a B.S. in Public Health. I should also mention that was the last time my parents were proud of me. It’s all good, shame is how we show we care about each other.
In the three years it took me to step inside an acting class again, I came to the
conclusion that my height and eyebrows are not diminishing qualities, but the outside packaging of a unique perspective worthy of sharing. Acting offers me the opportunity to inhabit the lives of other people, their experiences, and share them through mine. When I am not acting you can find me overanalyzing everything from new color names to the fact I overanalyze, gardening, and eating cheese.