The Woman that Knew Nothing

Melissa Gary

  • OnStage Ohio Columnist

On my fourteenth wedding anniversary I was offered my first part in a community theater play. After I hung up the phone I began to sob uncontrollably as tears flowed like a river down my cheeks.  My husband told me not to worry, I would get the part next time. I managed to shake my head no and told him I had been offered the part. 

I was thrilled for a few hours then the fear set in and the giddiness disappeared.  I knew nothing about theater or acting or any of it. Oh, my goodness what had I done? I mean I almost chickened out of the audition. I had sat outside the theater in my car asking myself why was I doing this, I mean they were probably a professional group and who was I to be sitting in their parking lot about to go in and make a complete fool of myself.  

My imagination starting spinning out of control of what might happen. The most likely scenario was me being mercilessly being ridiculed, running from the audition, falling then finding all the people standing over my body laughing and pointing at me.  

I’d faced my fear and gone inside, did my audition and low and behold they wanted me.  They wanted the woman that knew nothing. Now I was here again outside the theater in my car, scared again, not knowing what to expect or if I could even do what I auditioned for.  I was overweight, thirty-three with no experience, yet they saw something.  They wanted me. 

Fast forward fourteen years later, I ‘ve learned so much and I’ve gained a beautiful family. Community Theater is so much more than just putting on a show.  It’s ok to be afraid as long as you don’t let it stop you.  You can do it.