Dramatics: Once Upon A Time.

My church organizes the “Youth Week” – an annual program for the youth belonging to the church to take part in, consisting of a week of events like singing, dancing, fashion show, dramatics and a band competition. It’s basically a platform for the youth to showcase their talents. It is held every November-end/December-start on a fairly large scale, gathering people from anywhere and everywhere, eager to show their support, or just eager to pass their time. All the events besides the singing competition are group events.

Singing and dramatics are the only events I’ll ever be interested in, and, well, I decided to do drama this year. I took part last year, too, but I don’t think I found it interesting enough to blog about it then.

Every year, there is allotted a general theme, and this year’s theme for drama was: “fairy tales with a twist”. Each group was given different fairy tales, which they had to improvise on and re-create the script, and enact a play of about 8 minutes. My group was given: The Little Mermaid. I’m not a fan of fairy tales or animated movies, so I didn’t know – I still don’t – the story or anything about it. I didn’t bother looking into it; I just read the script that the group had already prepared. I was told that I had to play the role of the evil witch, Ursula. *insert evil excited smile*

Although my role was small, and I hardly had a few dialogues – with an evil laugh, by the way – I was delighted with the role. We had only a couple of practices – the night before the event, and the morning of the actual event, which would be held in the evening. Those two days were really stressing out, with all of us getting only a little over a couple of hours of sleep, if lucky. The practice sessions had fun moments, too, along with everyone being yelled at for not doing their role satisfactorily enough when we had only a few hours until the competition, to actually show people our talent and potential, and how incredibly amazing we were. (It helps to have that attitude even if it’s far from reality because it works wonders for your confidence level).

On that day, we gathered a few hours earlier to get our props and costumes ready – yep, we did everything last minute. It was hectic, with everyone running around frantically, getting their make-up done, cutting charts, sticking paper, and a lot of other craft work that I don’t even comprehend. We assembled at the time we were expected – okay, a few minutes late – and were ushered into a classroom where we were to wait our turn. When our turn finally did arrive around an hour later, we were surprisingly calm, and whispered a prayer before making our way on to the stage.

I only appeared in the third scene, so I was waiting backstage until my turn, trying to compose myself and keep my calm. The scenes went by rather quickly, and within no time, it was my turn to go up to the stage. The only thing I was particularly scared of was not being able to make the laugh sound convincing enough, and each time I tried to practice, it sounded different than the last time, which made me really doubtful and unsure of myself.

Just before the play, one of the people in-charge, who was directing our play, came up to me and said: “I believe in you, and I think you can really pull this off. Just go out there and have fun”. And it was those very words that kept playing in my head until I went out on stage and did my part, along with the laugh – which came out stronger than ever. I had fun, and there were no feelings of nervousness at all, and I felt like I was right in my comfort zone, just being my normal self. Unfortunately, we exceeded our time limit by a few seconds, which was a major killjoy, but at that moment, I was too happy to let it bother me.

There were a few acts after us, so we had to wait until the results. I met up with a few people who seemed like they enjoyed (either that, or they’re really good actors themselves) and said I was very convincing. The feedback that actually satisfied me, however, was that of my mother’s. She said she couldn’t even recognize me; it took her awhile even when I spoke. She found it hard to believe it was me, and that was really all the reassurance I needed to know that I was convincing enough.

By the way, we didn’t win. True, the whole point was the competition, but all the fun we had took centre stage and left the competition in the background. Sure, I would have loved to win, but I had a fun time out there, and I didn’t mess up, and honestly, that was all that mattered.

-CF

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