Oh my....why must the years during High School be so fraught with so many highs and lows? In my HS years I was active in the drama dept. for just one short year. I auditioned and no one knew me or my background and I got a lead in the play because I was good. Raves from everyone, teachers and visiting professionals, my parents were so immpressed they didn't know what to do with themselves. Well...we all thought I would be a shoe-in for the lead in the spring play. I was a sophmore and I was riding high! I prepared, read the play, memorized the sides and auditioned. Everyone said I should get the role, we waited anxiously for the cast list to be posted. Well, they didn't post the cast list, the Drama teacher decided to announce the cast and hand out the scripts at the next Drama Club meeting. Imagine how excited I was anticipating the applause I would recieve when he announced my name! I am sure you all know where this is going so I will cut to the chase! Not only did I not get the lead, I wasn't even cast! I was crushed! I ran home and cried to my folks who gently told me that I would face many disapointments in life and though they understood, felt that I had to volunteer to be part of the crew. Their point was this..Was I involved because I wanted to be a star or because I wanted to be part of a group of people who all worked together, the good, the bad and the horrible, to create a theatrical experience. So I did volunteer and after about a week the director came to me and said that one of the girls had dropped out and they wanted me to take over for her. WHAT? Oh no, I wasn't good enough to cast in the first place! No way! I relayed the story to my parents, those pesky smart parents that I had and they said that I had to call the director and apologize for my bad behavior and say yes to playing the very small role at the end of the second act! I was miserable, but I did it..and guess what happened? I began to see that it wasn't about me! It was about the play, the experience and the sharing of the gifts I had been given. Looking into the audience at curtain call and seeing all the smiling faces and knowing that I was part of the reason they were applauding and grinning. I am glad I took that small part and learned about humility. Because that summer, at 15, I got my Equity Card and never did another High School show again. However, from Broadway to Europe and back I have enjoyed a career that has been about the joy and wonder of being part of a whole. A part of a community of people, High School, Community, Broadway, Non-Equity Regional and the like that share an incredible gift with those who can only sometimes dream of doing what we do! And for those of us lucky enough to enjoy a career in the buisness we call show, it is an honor and a priveledge to participate as leads, as secondary roles, in the ensemble or chorus, off stage as swings or on stage creating a role for a new musical or play. Take heart, live in the moment, follow your gut and stay positive about your gifts. Share them as often as you can, where ever you can, even if it's backstage in your high school for the show you wanted the lead for and it went to someone you think wasn't as good as you, that person may well be enjoying the only time they will be in the spotlight. The mark of a true professional is the one who steps back so that others may take a bow, yours will come soon enough and hopefully for many years to come. Best wishes and excuse the length...just wanted to offer a different perspective!