If Dylan had only knew what he would be getting himself into when he innocently auditioned for his freshman year musical. If Dylan had only known the shame, humiliation, embarrassment, and torture that was yet to come, he would have never enthusiastically auditioned in front of a panel of directors. If only he knew that he would become a statue when he faced the Musical Theatre bulletin board. It was his first audition. His first musical. His first year in the school. His first time performing. His first time on stage. It was the first time Dylan had ever seen is name listed next to the lead on his school’s Peter Pan cast list.
He was frozen in his spot while he read the roster of results: Dylan Marci – Peter Pan. How could he, someone who seemed so untalented, so boring, so shy and awkward, acquire the largest role in the show? The list peered right back at him. It was a predator ready to harm its prey. Soon, a repulsive feeling sunk in. Dylan felt to be a fraud. He was not ‘lead material, he was the kind of kid to deliver the poor role of ‘tree’ in the background. Matter of factly, not a single bone in his body believed he was ready to shine on stage.
Time surrounding Dylan stopped. Floods of actors checked the list beside him threw their hands up in disappointment. Everyone was directing their anger at him. It was as if nobody could tolerate him anymore, simply because he was cast as the largest part. Seniors, juniors, and even sophomores shouted sourly at the freshman who one way or another got the lead. He was greeted by just a small chorus of ‘congratulations’, but the majority of his interactions were shameful.
Max, his best friend of two years, was the only one to mutter out a small “you deserve this. With ngst behind his eyes, Dylan turned from the list, and subsequently began what seemed to be a never ending jog to his homeroom. Upon approaching his locker, his scrawny knee took a blow from behind, tripping him onto the tile floor of the hollowed hallway. ‘Peter’ jerked his neck, trying to see who was the one to kick him. To his dismay, Dean stood above him looking down. In the moment, Dylan and Dean were playing cat versus mouse; Dylan was the helpless, losing mouse. “So I see you’re Peter, are you not,” Greeted the upperclassman.
Deans eyes watched as Dylan tried pushing himself off the ground. Next, gulping down his anxiety, and sitting up from the dusty floor, he nodded. With a need for retaliation, he tried to croak back a response. “Yes, I am. And you? ” “What my name corresponds with on the cast list is none of your concern. Your concern is this: I will be Peter Pan. I will take your role. You will turn it down. You’ll earn your way up the totem pole as a freshman. You will not take my final show at this school, and make it your own. ” With every word more intimidating than the last, Dean slowly neared the boy.
Towering over him, he finished their conversation with another ick to the shin. This time, leaving a bruise. Without delay, Dean swung his bag over his broad shoulders, turned the corner, and was gone from Dylan’s line of vision. Shaken from the experience, the younger boy sat back down on the floor. Soon, his school’s homeroom bell rang in his ears, but he didn’t budge. I can’t do this, he thought to himself, I have to turn it down. As much as I love the part, I can’t infringe upon their show. I don’t deserve to be Peter. Truly, Dean would be so much better.
Soon enough, Dylan snapped out of his daydream, and rolled his feet slowly on his way to first period. I want to do the show, he continued to himself, but they all want to do it even more than I do. During his classes, specifically period eight biology, his attention was not focused on his teachers, but on his future. He grew skeptical of his own decisions. Should he do the show? Should he not? Decision making was never Dylan’s forte, especially when it is a lose-lose situation. Furthermore, If he backed out, he would be seen as a coward. He would always be known as the quitter of the club.
On the contrary, If he stayed, he would be crushed by Dean and his crew of musical menaces. Mid thought, he heard a stern swat of a ruler coming from his science teachers desk. “Mister Marci, can you please explain why you’ve been staring into blank space for my class? ” Began the old, strict woman. “Considering your desire to move into honors chemistry next year, one would expect you to show more than a miniscule amount of respect,” Dylan watched his furious professor rip something off her desk and trail over to his. “Detention this afternoon, be in the office promptly at two- thirty.
Dylan’s facial expression changed to incredulity. Formerly, he has always been regarded as a good kid, his only rior offense was stealing an enemy’s glittery pen in the first grade. Never has he ever done something to deserve a detention. All day, The purple disciplinary slip stared at him for the remaining two periods. It was a constant reminder of his tragic day so far. If he can’t accept a role he tried so hard for, can’t be a scholarly teen, what can he do? Part of Dylan anxiously awaited tonight’s post-detention musical rehearsal, but the majority of him felt a deep feeling of dread.
Bravely, he took on the remainder of the day staring at the class whiteboards with a face reading, ‘l-would-rather-be-home- than- e-here-but-l’l-act-like-l’m-having-a-good-time’. Alarmingly, Dylan’s Spanish Il teacher could see through his eyes. “Dylan, can you please explain why you are flaunting the most disrespectful attitude l’ve seen all day? ” Snapped his professor. “Uh, er, well, I’m sorry, sir, I’m just a little-” Dylan was cut off my the roar of his teacher. “No? uh’s in my class, Dylan. Considering your low ‘C’ grade in this course, I would actually begin listening. ” Continued the harsh, blunt man.
Following, Dylan’s class joined in with a chorus of laughter. He heard mockery from the desks behind im, cheering something about Dylan’s lacking grades. Resting his head in his sweaty palms, Dylan thought to himself, could this day get any worse? One thing after another. First, casting. Next, detention. Now, this? If it could go wrong, it has, and I’m so sick of it. At the bell, Dylan grabbed his old, outdated, nearly ripped apart folders that were falling apart at the seams, ran swiftly through the doorway making a right at the first hallway, and stormed into the detention room with as much fury as possible.
Upon his entrance, the secretary greeted him by first name. She sked a typical “why are you here”, having known about Dylan’s goody-two-shoes attitude. He was seated in the fourth chair from the door. Surrounded by delinquents and punks, Dylan had never felt more out of place. With nothing to do until the detention bell rang, Dylan slowly rested his head down on the desk, but not before a familiar voice echoed into his ear. “Dylan! Bud, what are you doing here? ” Greeted Max’s usual perky voice. “You know, Mrs. Chamo always dishing out detentions to the best kids,” Dylan tried to make a joke to lighten the mood, but nothing really could.
Ah, man. That’s awful. Congratulations once again on the role, will you be at rehearsal tonight at four? ” Dylan’s face sulked and he began, “Aaah, about that.. ” With a trace of anxiety in his voice, Dylan tried explaining his viewpoint. He told max how it’s not a freshman’s show, it’s the seniors. How Dean would be so much better. How Dean deserved it. How Dylan wanted to turn it down. For the second time today, Dylan’s speech was cut off. This time by Max. “Dylan, stop right there. ” Began the supportive, talented friend. “You’ve always loved singing. Remember seventh grade t the Justin Bieber concert?
We sung our hearts out all night, and you never looked happier than you did in that moment. This is just like that, just you’ll be Justin, and the ensemble surrounding you will be like we were that night. You deserve this, Dylan. You never before would let others tell you what to do, so why now? Why let this bully control you? Why let this nasty upperclassman make you quit the show that you have worked so hard to audition for. Dylan, I believe in you. The directors believe in you. Every sensible person who laid eyes on that case list believes in you. Please, Dylan. Understand that.
Dylan responded in protest, “Yeah, but l’m a pretty sensible person. I don’t believe I’m ready. There has to have been a mistake. Dean would be so much better. ” Immediately, Max shushed the boy and the detention bell rang. “Dylan, trust me on this one. You’ll make us all proud. If you weren’t ready, you wouldn’t have gotten the part. ” With his message left ringing in Dylan’s ear, Max went to his chair, pulled it out from under the old, rocky, wooden desk, and sat down. For the remainder of detention, a grouchy old woman sat at the front desk moderating the class.
Dylan couldn’t stop replaying and rewinding Max’s words. Is he really that good? Is he really worth the part he was given? Internally, Dylan knew Max was correct. Honestly, he just did not want to admit it. Dylan was never one to take defeat, yet he realized Max was a fairly honest friend. Perhaps, this is just another instance of his completely truthful speech. His world turned upside down from how it seemed earlier. No longer was he going to tiptoe into rehearsal shy, timid, and embarrassed, but he would strut onto the stage showing everyone what Max told him; That he was ready for this.
Dylan’s foot tapped under the desk for all of detention. He watched as the moments displayed on the clock ticked past slower than a sloth caught in quicksand. Upon the ring of the bell, Dylan kicked back his chair leaving detention in his past. As fast as he could, he made a mad dash to the rehearsal room. Since the classroom was located across the wide school, up two slippery flights of steps, and down the darkest hallway, Dylan was the last kid in the room. Prior to his arrival, the club in its entirety had congregated in the center of the room, and were seated in an exclusive circle.
Initially, all eyes were on Dylan when he strolled into the center. A shiver was sent down his spine when he heard the hideous voice of Dean from behind him. “Well, well, well… If it isn’t mediocre Marci. I thought you ? quit your role? I thought you were sensible… ” Luckily for Dylan, the bully’s words went in one ear and out the other. No longer was Dean going to persecute Dylan for something he so greatly deserved. “About that,” Began Dylan with sudden strength in his voice. He adjusted his posture ever so slightly to show respect in his stance. Dylan would not let Dean control his life.
Dean doesn’t make Dylan’s decisions, Dylan does. With as much bravery as he could muster up within himself, Dylan declared, “I have decided that I will, in fact, accept the role of Peter Pan! ” Immediately after, a wave of roars followed his announcement. It caused him a flashback to the morning prior, except this time the roars were not in anger and disgust. His friends and fellow actors roared with a congratulatory tone. His peers clapped, cheered, and shouted for Dylan’s accomplishment. Even his biggest rivals for the role of Peter put their hands together, showing their happiness for Dylan.
For once, Dylan truly felt like he was a part of something. A part of something great. With that, Dylan began his life as an independent, brave, exceptional person. Never again would he let someone bully him into making a decision. Never again will he not ask for help when needed, and never again will he doubt himself. Sometimes, the struggle is what makes success even greater. After all, who would ever guess that at his first show, his first audition, his first musical, and his first time performing, Dylan would become the first ever student to rock the stage as well as he did.