Story: "Too Much Too Soon"
Chapter: 2: "Casting"
A/N: It's been a very long while, but I'm back! So far this is the only the second chapter, and since I published the first one I've gotten a lot done in the fanfiction world. I decided to put this story on the backburner while I worked on other fics and dealt with real-life things. But now, finally, I'm in my first play ever: Beauty and the Beast! Even though we've only had three practices so far and it's going to conflict badly with fencing and whatnot, I love every minute of it. Now that I'm actually behind-the-scenes of a play I actually know what it's like backstage, rather than asking my sister for the details. That really helps me out with this story because, obviously, it's a backstage story. Also (sadly), Tony Vincent just left American Idiot last week, so that ironically goes along with this! Anyway, enjoy.
Notes about the story itself: this is sort of weird, but I act as if multiple plays are in one building. For instance, here, the St. James theatre holds Cats, American Idiot, and like two other plays. Just so there's no confusion…Another thing: Even though Tony's in his thirties I sort of give him teen-ish hormones: not being married/ having a hopeless crush on a girl. Also, sadly, Aspen is not in this story. Tony may be married in real life, and I adore Aspen, but that would ruin a big chunk of this plot…sorry!
Same disclaimers, same warnings
This is it. This will be my first day as a cat- if, and only if, I made the final cut.
I'm positive that my singing audition went great. I sang a Queen song, I Want To Break Free, one of my solos from when I performed in We Will Rock You back when I was in my twenties. I was going to sing an American Idiot song, but just couldn't bring myself to do such a thing. I'm glad I stuck with Queen because the judges were very impressed with my ability to hold out Freddie's vocals and not ruin the song (like most people covering Queen). I listed all the plays I've performed in, and said I would be more than happy to add Cats to that list.
The dancing audition…wasn't so great. I was up on stage with about seven other people- we were all learning the dance for the first time, so that made me feel a bit less awkward. About half of them have never even had formal dance training like me! But still, I think I caught the director laughing at me when I tripped and almost fell off the stage. If that casting list doesn't have my name on it, I blame the dancing…
I really hope I'm on that list…I've been having a good day so far! Well, sure, it's only seven o'clock in the morning, but the day's been productive! The only thing I would change: the heavy bags sagging under my eyes from yet another sleepless night. This time I actually had a legit excuse for being so anxious for the next day I could barely sleep. I tried sleeping, but after two hours of rolling around hopelessly in bed I gave up and spent the remaining hours on my laptop. At five this morning I made myself a nice fried egg on a bagel with ham, bacon, and melted cheese, with filling hot chocolate on the side. After that I took a nice, long, warm shower to relieve myself of the cold, wintery weather. I spent more time than usual on my hair, perfecting ever strand, and left the house soon after. Okay, so I've really done nothing today besides walk to the theatre, but I just want to have a good day and get on that list! My reward for making it in is a cat- I've been getting lonely living by myself with nothing to do lately, and figured getting a dog would just make no sense considering what play I'm going into…
I must get in…I must get in… I think to myself as I walk to the St. James theatre. I'm shivering lightly and I can even see my own breath as I walk along. When I finally arrive at the theatre my heart jumps. The daily schedule for each play is posted on the door. I completely ignore any text regarding American Idiot, and guide my index finger down to where the printed paper reads Cats.
The final cast list is posted on the door.
First rehearsal: 7:30 A.M.
Easy Enough…I shrug and walk into the building. Once I walk in there's a huge map of the place, but I already know where to go from auditions. I fast-walk, practically running, toward the room, making turns here and there. I only come to a complete stop when I'm finally standing in front of my desired room. It seems as if I'm the first to arrive…
I scan the list for my name. Tony Vincent…Tony Vincent…Come on…My name needs to be here…
Rum Tum Tugger: Tony Vincent
Wait…there's my name…It says Tony Vincent! Oh my goodness I'm actually in? Is this the real life, or is it just fantasy? Wow I just quoted my old play…But who cares- I'm in Cats! Finally, back at my old home…I smile ecstatically as a creepy girl comes up behind me. She has brownish-black hair and very bouncy bangs to match her personality. She looks familiar- maybe an old fan?
"Are you in?" is all she asks, very hyper.
"Uh," I look around. "Yes. Are you?" I ask awkwardly.
She rolls her eyes and chuckles. "If you ever have questions about your character, what you can do to get into character, or anything involving the storyline and background information, you just come ask me. Okay?"
I'm still a bit weirded out by this girl, but I'll gladly accept the help anytime I need it. "Sure." I'm assuming, by her rant, that she is most-definitely in this cast. "Who did you get?"
"My name is Megan Kane."
Now I'm assuming she wants me to look for her name on the list, rather than her simply just telling me her role. I scroll down the list and see her name.
Victoria: Megan Kane
"I don't know who Victoria is, but she's the only one with a normal name so I guess that's good!" I smile because there's nothing else to say.
Megan, of course, laughs at me again. "There are two characters with normal names."
I look at the list again…
Cassandra: Megan Kane
Why is her name by two different roles?
"They're both leads," she says to me.
Now I'm really confused. "But-"
"It's a split role," she answers, reading my mind. "A girl by the name of Shannon Esper will be playing Victoria every other night. When she is Victoria, I am Cassandra. When I am Victoria, she is Cassandra."
That's a really weird thing to do. I now assume that the directors don't have common sense. "But…you both need to learn two lead roles then…" I add in.
"Exactly! I should be Victoria- she is really the more important one out of the two. I deserve Victoria so much more. Shannon Esper is now my enemy."
Do you know your enemy? I think to myself, quoting another past play. "But…You're probably equally good," I respond. I don't even know this other girl, but to get a lead in a dance show must mean she's good. "Do you even know her?"
"No, but we'll meet today…" Megan says evilly. "So who'd you get?"
"Rum…something…" I re-check the list, embarrassed that I forgot my character's name.
"Ah yes, the Rum Tum Tugger. He's quite the curious cat."
I turn around. "How so?"
"You're a flirt. All the queens love you. The kittens: Victoria, Jemima, Electra, and Etcetera, all adore you. Bombalurina is your sex appeal. Your father is the leader of the tribe: Old Deuteronomy. You're the youngest of three kids. Munkustrap is your oldest brother. He's second-in-hand to your father. Your other brother is Macavity: he's the villain. He lost his mind and left the Jellicles, so Munk is practically your only brother." She smiles. "Questions?"
Yes. Too many. That was way too fast. "How does that explain how I'm curious?"
She rolls her eyes. "Just go with it. It's part of your song."
"I have my own song?" I ask, excitedly.
"Yes. Anything else?"
"What's a Jellicles?"
"What's a Jellicle Cat?
"Oh, you don't know either?" I ask.
Megan laughs at me once again. "Oh Tugger, you're so…so…amateur."
Excuse me? I decide not to say anything because she probably doesn't even mean anything by it. Besides, I definitely can't have any enemies on my first day. "Uh…"
"The naming of cats is a difficult manner…It isn't-" she pauses. "Someone else is here…"
A beautiful girl slowly walks up to Megan and me. She pushes aside her light brown, medium length hair from her face. Her eyes are made up. Her face has a perfectly soft tone to it. Dimples grow as she smiles sweetly at us. "What time does practice start?" she asks shyly, yet I can hear the confidence in her voice at the same time. Her voice…is perfect also. Everything about her seems too perfect to be true. Could a girl of this much amazement be standing before me?
Megan answers, "Did you look to see if you're in first?"
"Oh," the girl starts. "I already got a call last night?"
Megan's facial expression takes on a worried appearance. "I got a call last night too. Why did you?"
"Because apparently I'm going to be splitting roles with someone."
"Which roles?" I ask, finally stepping in. I can tell by Megan's face that this girl is none other than Shannon Esper- the girl 'stealing' Megan's lead.
"Um, Victoria and Cassandra."
Megan looks horrified, but stays civil. "Oh hey, that's me too!" she says sweetly.
Shannon looks like she's happy for Megan. "Oh awesome!"
Suddenly, our director, Mrs. Abdel, waltzes up to us. "Hello all!" She looks around. Shannon, Megan, Abdel, and I all exchange glances for a moment. "Are you three the earliest ones here?"
We all look to each other and nod.
"For heaven's sake, practice is starting soon!"
As Abdel unlocks the doors and walks in, Shannon trailing behind her, Megan whispers, "Keep your friends close…"
Alarmed, I turn around.
When the other two are inside the stage doors, Megan continues, "Keep your enemies closer…"
I shrug, and we both walk into the room. Isles upon isles of chairs and an empty stage sit in front of my view. Just like American Idiot when I first started…
As the minutes pass, more and more people arrive. By 7:30 it seems that almost everybody is in the room. I sit alone in an empty isle, outcasting myself immediately. My hair's still a bit uneven from the St. Jimmy mohawk, and that turns some eyes in my direction. Abdel, the vocal director, and the two choreographers all stand on the front of the stage.
"Can I have everybody's attention now? Abdel screams. Since it's only the first day of rehearsals and everybody is so eager to perform, the room silences almost immediately. "Thank you," she continues. "Now, I can see some of you starting to mingle already. This is good. But before you all start to get acquainted with one another I must tell you the first rule of this play: you will all be referred to by your character's name while you're in this building! Understood?"
Mostly everybody, including myself, nods.
"Great." She smiles. "Example: what's your name, Sir?"
A boy in the very front row stands up. "Munkustrap." Munkustrap…Munkustrap…I know that name! He's my older brother; according to Megan…I mean Victoria…or Cassandra…
"Very good, Munkustrap! As for the four girls with split roles…come up here."
Yes, four girls walk up onto the stage. Two of them are, obviously, Megan and Shannon. The other two are unfamiliar.
"Grizabellas, step up."
Two blondes then take a step up. One is very pretty- a boy-cut, a touch of eyeshadow, and slimming, Hollister clothes. The other is pretty also, but not stunning like the other. She's skinny too, but actually has shape, rather than the first girl who is practically a twig. Her hair is wavy and a bit messy. I'm trying to guess who will get which part, but I fail because I don't even know the characters.
"Sam, you will be referred to as Grizabella, and Emily, Jellylorum."
They both smile and step back, almost simultaneously.
"Victorias, step up."
I cross my fingers that Shannon gets Victoria.
"Shannon, you will be Victoria. Megan, you will be Cassandra."
I'm surprised at Megan's maturity as both girls smile. Shannon looks especially happy, obviously. I mean, it's only a name. All four girls still need to learn two roles each, but it's apparent at which cast is 'official' now.
As the girls sit down, a guy walks over to me and sits. He has nothing with him but a water bottle and cell phone. I've been watching him text this whole time. "Hey, who're you?" he asks.
"Rum Tum Tugger, you?"
"Plato," he responds simply.
"I would also like everyone to know the siblings of the play!" Abdel screeches out. "Demeter and Plato, please stand up!"
Plato slowly stands up.
He's a sibling?
Him and his sister smile and sit down after everybody has a chance to see their faces.
Abdel, the two choreographers: Leslie and Lindsay, and the vocal director: Regan all take turns explaining their backgrounds to us. It turns out that Leslie and Lindsay are mother and daughter. After their long speeches, we're finally let out.
"And the real practice will begin tomorrow morning at 7:30! Don't be late this time, guys!"
Everyone's excused. I get up to make my way to the crowded door, and Plato follows me. "Have a lucky girl to share the good news with?" he asks.
I laugh to myself. "No, but even if I did, I didn't tell anyone about my audition."
He looks shocked. "Really? Why not?"
"Yes, really. Not even family knows. I didn't want to get anybody's hopes up for nothing if I didn't make it. One of my old co-workers, Stark, is obsessed with this play, but I didn't even tell him yet."
"Nice. Well, see you tomorrow Tugger!"
"Uh," I check to make sure Abdel isn't in earshot. She's not- she's still on the stage, talking to some people. "When we're not on stage would you mind calling me Tony?" I ask. I just thought it was weird to be called 'Tugger' all the time.
"Sure." He walked away with his sister, Demeter.
I'm always going to wonder what these people's real names are…I pull out my cell phone and create a new To-Do List. It's an old-fashioned method, yes, but very efficient.
1. DON'T forget a water bottle tomorrow.
2. Put off telling family/friends about my new play.
3. Buy a cat! (I'm thinking…a hairless sphinx?)
4. Ask out Victoria.