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New appreciation for those onstage

Posted March 3. 2006

Yelena Ovcharenko
Web Editor

My heart was ready to jump out of my skin and my pulse radically increased as I stood in front of a panel of judges and attempted to regurgitate Jane's confession to her psychiatrist from “‘Dentity Crisis” written decades ago. By the end of the first sentence, my voice was nervously fluctuating in mid tones and my knees were knocking against each other.

I attempted to receive the smallest hint of emotion from the judges as the stage lights blinded my view: a smile, a nod, a laugh, anything?

There I was standing on the stage of Dailey Theatre and auditioning for Tony LaScala’s senior thesis, “All the Pretty Colors,” even though acting wasn't in my field of experience.

I felt anxious and terrified.

Unable to descriptively paint the stage with hues of red, violet, yellow, indigo and pink, I briskly shoved everything aside and finished just as I began, with a blank page.

I stuttered over the last few words with increasing speed and rushed out of the theater hoping that I wasn't on stage long enough for people to memorize my terrified face.

It seemed hopeless to check the show’s callboard and see if by some miracle my name appeared beside a character. I accepted my fate, as it was clear that I was no actress and abandoned my brief dream.

To my great surprise the judges carried a different opinion. I was amazed in bewilderment when I heard of the judges' approval the following week.

I was about to jump up and down and scream ecstatically, but then I realized that I was chosen to play “pink” - my childhood enemy.

“Out of all the colors in the world, why pink?” I thought.

After a thorough analysis of the situation I finally gave in to pink bows and dresses, and temporarily suspended my strong alliance with blue.

After all, I was going to get a shot at acting and sharing the stage with talented actors.

However, I never realized that extensive amounts of preparation went into producing a play.

Everything seemed so simple when I sat in the theater and watched the finished product unravel before my eyes.

During January Interterm I ransacked the storage room in search of the perfect costume, painted wooden carts and platforms in the shop and explored the prop bay. These activities became the framework of my new life style.

Rehearsals slowly transformed into rituals that helped me to find my ‘inner pink’ and strengthen my character.

After an overwhelming amount of rehearsals the premiere was here.

Crowds laughed, cheered and applauded as I pranced around with my pink sisters in the art department of the ACB Building.

Unfortunately, the comedy came and went in the blink of an eye, and for a glimpse it seemed that the show never happened. Once again I was wearing blue and typing away on my computer.

“All the Pretty Colors” has reinforced my admiration of the theater department and has taught me several things about acting.

Now, I sit back as an audience member and appreciate the interesting costumes, gelled lights and unique characters of each show.

Yelena Ovcharenko, a junior journalism major, is web editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at