Curtain call!


Rachael Hajec, Editor

It was October, 2018. My mom and I were sitting in our living room browsing on social media and she saw an advertisement that said “Auditions for October Erie Playhouse show, ‘Miss Nelson is Missing.’ Click here to see when and where!”

“Rachael! You should audition for this show in Erie! It sounds like so much fun, especially since you don’t have your school production till May,” my mom said.

I went over and looked at her screen to read more about the show. “A group of misbehaving school students get a scary substitute teacher and it makes them realize…where is Miss Nelson?”

“Huh, sounds interesting and fun– I’m in!” I said curiously.

A couple weeks later, after much preparation and rehearsing, my mom drove me in to Erie to audition. As I was singing my song and reciting my monologue in the car, I realized how nervous I really was.

“Mom I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know anyone, and what if they don’t like my performance?” I said nervously.

“You will do great! Just be yourself and sing with all your heart,” my mom said confidently.

We arrived at the Erie Playhouse Rehearsal Hall. As we walked in the door a white board said, “Miss Nelson is Missing auditions upstairs!” When we got upstairs we were the only ones there! We filled out all my information and what role I was auditioning for, but as everyone arrived and did the same, they finally started calling names.

“Our first person to audition will be Ms. Rachael Hajec!” the director exclaimed.

“Oh no no no no! I can’t go first!” I said, as all the thoughts in my head were bouncing off the walls.

“Good luck honey, you got this,” my mom said.

I raised my hand and walked towards the audition room. As I followed the director inside, I was so nervous that I was not paying any attention to where I was walking, and all of a sudden I stumbled on the ledge below me!

“Oh my goodness! Are you okay dear?! I am so sorry we forgot to put the sign up to watch the ledge.”

“Yes…I am fine, thank you.”

After that embarrassing moment, I sang my song well and read my monologue confidently. Suddenly I wasn’t nervous anymore, and I realized that I really wanted to get a good role. As I walked out, I remembered the ledge this time, I was happy with my audition, and I was excited to get the results later in the week.

A few days later I went on their website and kept refreshing the page. They said the cast list would be posted at 12 and it was 12:01.

12:02, refresh

12:03, refresh

12:04… THE CAST LIST! My thoughts going into it was that I was definitely going to get a small part in the ensemble, or no part at all. As I read the third name down it said: Rachael Hajec – Mop Hanson/Narrator.

“Mom! I got a lead role!” I said enthusiastically.

“I am so proud of you! I am gonna call and tell everyone right now!”

Months went by filled with rehearsals, costume measurements, songs, learning new choreography, lines being memorized, and all of a sudden it was opening night! I was so excited to perform my first Playhouse show in front of my friends and family.

Twelve shows later we: packed everything up, took down the set, and went back to our normal lives. The Erie Playhouse not only took a chance on me by having a girl who they did not know play a lead, but they helped me grow, create friendships that I still have to this day and will continue to have for a long time, taught me important life skills, showed me how to be professional and have fun at the same time, helped me realize my confidence and talent within me all along, and inspired me to always be myself.

Tears filled my eyes as we sang the closing number. My director smiled as we heard, “Curtain call!”