Auditioning for a play is very nerve-racking, yet not as nerve racking as the days waited before you're told 'it's your big break' or 'sorry mate, you don't fit.' Auberon knew the second feeling quite well.
He auditioned for anything and everything he possibly could. Yet rarely was he called back for a review, and even less was he casted. He had large dreams of shining on a stage. Yet, the problem was his height. Being a mere 5'4 caused him much trouble. He never fit the 'masculine' role that a man can do. Plus with his face and almost hour-glass figure, you could easily assume he was a woman.
That, including he wasn't very developed at singing. But that's to put it kindly, he sung about as good as a cat who was stepped on. He knew quite well musicals would hardly be a possibility, yet his passion was to dance. His special talent. But to be a dancer alone isn't enough.
He was waiting impatiently for his future to be told to him. He auditioned for a new musical, one that was never performed before. With the uncertainty of the quality of the play, the turn out for auditions was rather smaller than his normal auditions. The large names, the experienced beings, didn't bother with it, so competition wasn't as fierce. It wasn't Broadway in any way. It would be performed at a smaller named theater in the center of Minneapolis. He lived through the snow, through the storms, through the tornadoes and the failed football games, all for the availability of a position in the developed theater scene.
Auberon watched out his apartment window, sipping a calming cup of chai tea he got from the near-by 'Peace Coffee'. The phone was expected to ring any time this day. He took the day off from his part-time job as a bagger for the K-mart, just so he would be there to answer it right away.
Auberon wasn't a very nervous person, yet today he was. No amount of tea, no matter how good, could calm him down. He wanted to know yesterday if he would be able to quit his boring job, no longer wanting to recite; 'paper or plastic?', 'do you have the rewards card?', 'cash or credit?'. The words were monotonous in his mouth. He worked for that position for over 6 months. 6 months of the same words, same actions, same neglected store environment.
Being 22 years old, with a degree in performing arts, and a few non-musicals under his belt, he was awestruck that he received as minimal attention as he did. Though his voice equally sounded as a train running over a plastic bottle, he expected at least an ensemble part by this current time. He auditioned for well over 11 musicals, all getting the same notification that he was not right for the part.
Even at workshops, they said he had quite the potential to play as a female character. That wasn't Auberon's wish. He wanted to play as a leading male actor within a musical.
It was his dream.
He stared directly at the telephone, his hand itching to pick it up and hear the words 'congratulations'. He closed his deep blue eyes, wishing deep within his nervous core that he was casted- if not the main role than at least a supporting spot. Ensemble even. Anything.
The long awaited time came- the phone rang. He picked it up on the first ring, as if a nervous woman waiting to hear back after a first date. He cleared his throat, getting a hold of himself.
"Hello?" He questioned, his voice betraying his attempt to sound relaxed. He sounded as if he was going over multiple bumps in a vehicle.
"Hello, is the Auberon Johnson?" Spoke a charming voice on the other end. Auberon had to bite his lip to keep his nerves at aim. He could hardly stand it- the time has come. This one phone call can tell him he can lose his monotonous job, lose the complaining customers, lose the small pay- for his dream of joining a musical. Or if he must keep that job, customers, pay, everything- and return to preparing his auditions for yet another try.
"Yes, I am Auberon." After clearing his throat a second time, he managed to make his voice sound nearly normal.
"Hi Auberon, I'm Elizabeth Smith, I am the casting manager for the show 'Small Starts to Big Beginnings' that you auditioned for recently. I am here to inform you that you have received the position as the secondary character 'Kenny'. Congratulations! Now, I want to confirm your email address so we can email you the rehearsing schedule and-" Her voice continued on, yet Auberon didn't hear another word. He was too shocked. He got it. He got in. He was going to be in a musical! As a man! He hardly could believe his ears.
"Hello?" Her voice snapped him back to reality, realizing she had asked a question. As the natural improver he is- and a very good liar- he took a deep breath.
"Sorry Elizabeth, the phone cut out for a second there, what did you ask?" He said smoothly, though his face was in a large grin.
"Your email address, we have to confirm it..." After confirming it, they said their parting words and hung up. The first sound that came out of his throat was a squeal of excitement. He began bouncing on his hand-me-down couch, unable to contain it!
His dream was close to coming true! At least that is what he thought.
Auberon walked down the snow covered sidewalk, bikers passing him without a glance. He sipped his tea, green tea this time, as he watched them zoom by. They moved much quicker than the bumper-to-bumper traffic in the street. He questioned why everyone felt the need to drive this mess every day, day after day. Yet his mind retained to his current situation- he was going to his first rehearsal. He was apprehensive at the possibility of a conceded cast, of someone who wouldn't like him in obvious manners, or someone who is bad at acting. Though that brought him back to his own musical "talents", he hardly could talk.
He wasn't nervous on his abilities. Hardly benounced to himself, he was a little egotistical. Never would he admit it, but he was.
He walked into the theater, walking up to the front desk. A middle age woman stood behind it, clicking away on her keyboard. She greeted Auberon with the warmest, sincerest of smiles.
"Hello. How may I help you sir?" She spoke with such kindness, Auberon was rather shocked. She enjoyed her job, enjoyed the socialization with talented people- no matter how they acted. Her name plate located on the right side of her uniform said her name: 'Sally Edwards'.
"Hello... Sally. I'm in the new play, where do I go for rehearsal?" He asked, looking into her gentle light brown eyes.
"That is just down those stairs, to the right. Follow the hallway until you see an open door." She directed with not only her words, but her hands. She gave the fullest of attention to the pondering actor in front of her.
Auberon couldn't help but return the smile. "Thank you ms. Have a good day." He said as he began his exploration into the theater.
"You too sir, have a pleasant day." With that, Sally returned to her desk work, a smile still lingering on her lips.
Auberon followed the directions, following the hallway on the right until he approached the open door. He walked into a bright room- it was a dance studio. The walls painted white, the floors a light pine color, it made it so bright. Cheerful almost.
He only made a few steps in before he realized what he was doing. "Sorry!" He spoke as he quickly removed his 'Toms' from his feet.
"Not a problem, I'm glad you knew that, I didn't see you walk in." Spoke a woman as she entered from the back room. She had a mess of curly black hair placed on the top of her head. She wore a tank top and shorts- with no shoes. "You must be Auberon, hi, I'm Nancy Grenevile. I'm the director of this show. You're the dancer, right? I'm glad you know you can't wear street shoes in a studio." She gave a dirty glance over at the man seated against the wall who returned it with a sluggish shrug.
"Oh, yeah, It isn't my first time in a studio. " he stated with a smile, walking over to turn in his paperwork. He did make a quick look over his shoulder, for he felt eyes on him. That man was staring intently at him.
Auberon turned around, to face him with his small-framed body. "Hello, I'm Auberon." He introduced himself, and when he expected a response not one came. That man sat there and watched him, judging him with his eyes.
Nancy sensed the increasing tension. She moved herself between the two strangers. "This is Jarrod Levitt, he is the creator of the play. Jarrod, this is Auberon, he plays 'Kenny' remember?" As she spoke his name, Auberon realized he did know who this man was. He was the man who was part of the auditioning team, yet he didn't talk much himself. He mostly sat back and watched.
He stood out from the other judges by his tan skin, which wasn't too common in snowy Minnesota-especially during the winter. He had definite features that made him look all man- and those eyes. A hazel color, watching Auberon with a burning desire.
"It's nice to meet you sir, thank you for picking me for your play." He said as sweetly as he could, yet it was hard to ignore the feeling he was getting nonverbally from that man.
Though Auberon preferred to not be placed as women in plays, he did enjoy being the more feminine part in the homosexual relationships that he, on occasion, has. He has been with men during his college and late high school years, yet his parents do not know. They are critical enough of his profession, his change in sexuality? That could push them over the edge.
Jarrod raised himself from the wall, and took a few steps over to Auberon, taking his small hand within his warm large palm. He brought it to his lips, where he placed a kiss on the middle of his knuckles. "My pleasure, Auberon."
Auberon almost forgot his surroundings. Nancy had gone back to organizing the paperwork, trying to avoid this director. Auberon opened his mouth to speak once again, yet foot steps interrupted their connection.
In walked a fairly attractive man. He had a noticeable presence of arrogance as he strutted into the studio, as if he owned the land he walked on. Auberon disliked him quickly, the way he walked, the way he dressed in branded clothing, everything pointed one thing out to Aubreon; this man was egotistically and probably a douchebag.
"Why hello, your star is here! I'm Peter. " Peter exclaimed with absolute authority. To Peter, this was a small 'charity' job he was doing before the next big casting meet. He knew he was above these people, this theater, and he was going to make sure everyone knows their place.
Auberon separated from his new director, walking to check out his paperwork, as the director and members worked on finishing the normal agreements and contracts. This was would be mostly business, not as much fun.
When Auberon gathered his things to leave the first rehearsal, being last because of the necessity to fully bundle up for the long walk, he felt a familiar presence behind his shoulder. He turned to face the creator of his big break. The same creator who spent a majority of the time silently observing Auberon, which was noticeable by everyone present who had half a mind.
"Auberon, right?" A simple question, something common to ask, yet Auberon felt spell bounded. The way his lips moved to speak his name, his eyes filled with such interest- it was shocking to Auberon. So much, that he stood there staring like an idiot for a good 30 seconds.
"O-oh, yeah, H-Hi Mr. Levitt. Yes, I'm Auberon..." He stumbled over his words, placing his scarf comfortably around his neck. He realized that he was left alone in the main hall with this man. Sally had left her position to replace the coffee in the common room.
"You look pretty bundled up. Are you walking?" He asked nonchalantly, not taking note of the embarrassment his overwhelming presence did to the small man.
Jarrod was unlike more creators. He did not have a set-in-stone ideal for any of his characters. He was looking at all different people for the roles. But, unfortunately, most of those people were boring and did not put their personality into it. But when this little man walked onto the stage, all smiles, with that slender frame, hourglass shape, feminine face- he felt the need for him right away. Yet, when he opened his mouth and out came a sound his cat could produced better, he knew he couldn't make this man wishes come true. The main role had to be able to sing, that is what's important.
But he gave him the second best thing. He gave this hopeful character a chance at fame, a chance to dance and act like he could so very well, and adapt the musical parts for this man's singing would always be with another, better singer.
But he hoped his kind acts would not go...unrewarded. Jarrod liked the way his hips swayed every step he took, he liked the way his eyes lit up almost every time he had a chance to shine- he really did shine.
Though his first priorities was to make this project a success, he kept he idea of that man on the backburner. It was painfully obvious his attraction to him. But, who wouldn't be attracted to Jarrod? Jarrod was a very handsome, very successful playwright. He was so successful, he had his own car, his own penthouse, his own theater even. He was sure a majority of his cast either lived with other people or in a dump.. Though he wasn't positive about Auberon.
He was more of the social outcast in the group. He was friendly, but there was no one he positively knew and was happy around. He had been observing his interactions, maybe someone was with him in cast. Jarrod wanted to know if he was in a relationship. If so, a faithful relationship at that. That would just ruin the buzz they had together.
He realized that lost in his thoughts he had left Auberon standing there, reaching for the appropriate words to say. "Yeah, I'm walking..." He finally muttered out, his face flushing. Could it be from embarrassment from the fact that he had to walk, or from Jarrod's concern?
"Well, its cold and icy out there. You know what? I'll give you a ride." His sudden interest sent Auberons mind racing. What would happen once they got there? Would he just drop him off or walk him to the door? Would he want coffee or something? Was his apartment even clean?
"Thank you, I really appreciate it." His mind racing, hoping that maybe it was all just mixed signals and Jarrod just wants to offer a stranger a nice ride, not want to bed him the first time they've talked. He hoped because he wasn't sure his apartment was clean.
They walked out into the below 0 temperatures, going right to his fairly new car. It wasn't exactly eco friendly, as Auberon had hoped, but beggars can't be choosers.
Without a word, they got into their respective sides. He pulled out into the traffic, and off they went.
The only conversation held the entire time was where Auberon lived, and how to get there (the streets are confusing).
They pulled up right to his apartment complex, Jarrod getting a relatively good spot in front of the door. This is where Auberons nerves kicked in. Was he parking to go in with him? Was he just going to drop him off? Should he say goodbye? Did he even have his key?
He fumbled into his patched-up bag, digging for his key. When he looked up with a Victorious smile, and key in hand, he saw a coy smile on the lips of Jarrod.
"It's been a pleasure working with you already, Auberon. I'll see you tomorrow." That dismissal. All the worries in Auberons mind faded away, yet a sense of rejection filled the void.
"Goodbye, Mr. Levitt. See you tomorrow." With that, he climbed out of his car, over the bank of ice, and to his door. He glanced back to see the car pulling out.
Auberon rushed to his room, excited. He just finished his first day of rehearsal and had to gush about it, and Jarrod, to another person. He allowed his finger to automatically dial the number.
"Nori? Hey-let's go Chinese food, I have so much to tell you. " Auberon said, with a grin on his face. Nori was his best friend since middle school. She was a Japan - enthusis, even changing her name to a Japanese word. Her real given-name was Skyler Rolland Keys. The only ones allowed to call her Skyler are her parents and her doctor.
Nori was born a male and was currently a pre-op transsexual. When she came out to school, the students humiliated her. Insulted her. Bullied her. All but one community; the theater community. They kept all their insults and comments separated by walls, never saying them to her face. But Auberon was there for her. They did most everything together, even went into the same art college. She was a talented artist and Auberon admired her greatly.
He would tell her every single little thing in his life, and he couldn't wait to dish out all the juicy details of this new attractive man he's met, of the arrogance of his cast member, of the sweet desk-attendant, everything.
Little did he know, this would be the last time he could talk to her about Jarrod. The last time he could talk to her at all.