Risky Business

Posted by Lori | Posted in | Posted on 11:10 AM


"You never regret taking a risk,"* I whisper to myself as my hand reaches for the theater room** door. I am in the basement of Hall A and I am getting nervous. This is silly. I push the door open.

Three faces turn to greet me. "Hola," one says.

"Hola," I respond and walk to join them on the couches. To our left is the stage: an unimpressive wooden structure with black sheets strung up on poles at the back. I take in my surroundings. The concrete walls. The bookshelf of props. The ash tray. And most of my nerves disappear. This place is far from intimidating.

The "casting" proceeds. More people join us. We talk about the theater and do a few improv activities***. It starts to feel more like a casual meeting than an auditon of any sorts. Maybe we all just make it into the group no matter what...okay...cool. I start feeling confident.

Then we have to read scenes. The confidence begins to evaporate. The man who I assume is a director of sorts refers to it as a "prueba"****. The word makes me nervous. Several people already have the scene memorized. I have about 20 seconds to look at the paper before I begin. My partner and I go last.

And...I think I understand what is happening in the scene. And that's about it. So I just try to have the appropriate emotion and gesturing at the right time, speak the words clearly and correctly, and feign confidence.

After the reading, it seems like the meeting-quasi-audition is over. The three people who seem to be in charge(ish) approach me.

"So you've done theater before? I can tell by the way you express yourself."**** Big smiles are on all of their faces.

I laugh a little. "Thanks...I just need to make my Spanish better."

"No, no. It's good!"

Another nervous laugh. "Well...thanks."

"So we'll be in touch?"

"Good. See you later."

Our short conversation recharges my confidence. And as I exit the room I whisper again. "You never regret taking a risk." And I smile as I walk up the stairs, proceede down the street, buy some shampoo, and head home.

*This has become my new motto. It has forced me to: 1. Do more challenging climbing routes. 2. Fall on said climbing routes. 3. Ask strangers if I can join them in their Frisbee toss. 4. Go to a dinner party with said strangers. 5. Join a hiking group called, "Una ruta, Un cafe". 6. Go on a camping trip with 9 people I'd never met with said hiking group. 7. Go to a fair trade/local food co-op. 8. Talk to the woman at said co-op about how to get involved....And more.
**Yes, it's a room. Just a room.
***Which were awesome. Especially the one where we grabbed random objects, put them in a pile, and then each person had to make a scene using each object. I asked if I could do it in English. They, of course, obliged. I proceeded to improv this monologue as a slightly crazy perhaps drunk woman who sits in the cafe all day and talks about the magic sunglasses she found. And even though most didn't speak English, every single person laughed at least twice. (I think.)
****A word, in this context, I associate with "quiz"
*****This conversation was in Spanish. I translate.

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