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Opening Night

Opening Night

A Story by Ann Elise Monte
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Moments before a school musical's opening night, a singer prepares herself.

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The dark, empty stage beckons to me. I adjust my costume--the skirt is slightly shorter than I am used to--and tiptoe to the rises at the back. I sit, waiting for the overture to begin. The buzz of a million conversations filters through the grey curtains, settling in my stomach. I sit straight--perfect singer’s posture--and breathe. In, out. In, out.

My foot jiggles of its own accord. I think I came here too early. No matter. Maybe I’ll have time to calm my nerves and run through the words of my opening song in my head. I don’t want to forget them. Ever since that one time I forgot the words when I was fourteen, I have been afraid of forgetting again. I haven’t yet, and for that I am grateful.

The light filtering through the curtains suddenly dims and I feel my shoulders stiffen. Any moment, now. The crowd hushes, but the buzzing in my stomach remains. My friends, in their cookie-cutter chorus costumes, wave from the wings. I wave back and close my eyes. I breathe again, feeling my diaphragm inflate with each intake of breath and deflate with each exhalation. I whisper my song, paying close attention to my breathing technique. When I’m nervous, I forget to use my classical breathing technique and to position my tongue according to the vowels I am singing. I will not forget this time.

The overture begins and I jump to my feet. I pace quietly around my starting position in the centre of the stage, trying to block out the band and listen to the music inside me. I reach the end of the song in my head and finally stand still. I straighten my back and ensure my head is perfectly upright, yet relaxed. I roll my shoulders until they settle comfortably. I stop fidgeting and drop my hands to my sides.

The band softens and the curtains open with a series of clicks from the ancient pulleys. The spotlights blind me for a moment. I glance down at the conductor. He nods. I take a breath, planting my feet, and sing.

© 2011 Ann Elise Monte


Author's Note

Ann Elise Monte
This was *slightly* autobiographical, though I did fabricate in places.

My Review

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Featured Review

I've never really done reviews before...so here it goes. This kept my interest and I could feel your anxiety. I was able to completely picture this scene. I think all the references to sound help with that. At the end I want to know more about this person. I really like it; good job!


Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I've never really done reviews before...so here it goes. This kept my interest and I could feel your anxiety. I was able to completely picture this scene. I think all the references to sound help with that. At the end I want to know more about this person. I really like it; good job!


Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

well it captures the essence of being nervous before a peromance. i say you have good imagery. nice job on this.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Stats

585 Views
2 Reviews
Added on January 1, 2011
Last Updated on January 1, 2011
Tags: music, nervous, nervousness, anxiety, excitement, anticipation, musical, sing, singer, singing, nerves, band, costume

Author

Ann Elise Monte
Ann Elise Monte

Fantasyland, beside a mass grave of dead story ideas, Australia



About
I write Young Adult fiction and my longer works tend to contain strong fantasy and romantic elements. My shorter works have more variety because I find it easier to maintain non-magical stories for sh.. more..

Writing