Shut Down

Sometimes I try my hardest and just end up disappointed

Morgan Tate

I hold in my urge to just run to music class. Instead, I walk in the straight line. Today the cast list for the Three Piggy Opera comes out. I’ve seen it twice, and I really want to be the Mother Pig. She gets a solo and everything.

When we finally push through the door, the whole group runs over to the bulletin board where the list is posted. I look down the list to find my name. It’s next to the words “Narrator 4.”

 I’m mad, I tried and didn’t get squat.  I’m somewhat friends with the girl who got the part. So I give her a friendship breakup letter. My teacher realizes how I’m feeling and makes me the “understudy.”  

The night of the play comes, I wait and the girl doesn’t come in. I’m gonna be the Mother Pig! Then she comes in at the last minute. I’m disappointed. My first show, and I barely get to do anything. 


I try out for the 5th-grade musical, this one’s about music over the decades. The musical has awesome songs and even a full dance routine to “Footloose.” and in-between the songs, the musical has scenes I auditioned for. 

I refresh my email. Finally, the cast email pops up. But I’m not there, I’m just in the ensemble. I start to cry on the laundry room floor. I’m not sure why I cry, sometimes I just take a show a little too seriously. Instead of saying a line, I just stand on the risers and sing. It feels a little disappointing. I don’t stand out from the crowd. 


Now I’m in eighth grade. It’s late, and they haven’t emailed out the cast list. I’m nervous, I know I’ll just be a Who or a Whikersham brother in Seussical

Then I get a text from a friend, “Congrats!” He sends me a picture of the cast list. My name’s next to Gertrude McFuzz! I’m freaking out! I run over to my mother, so excited about the role. Mom tells me “Wait to see the cast list for yourself.”

The next morning, I finally get the email — I am Gertrude McFuzz! 

I work hard so I can be the best, instead of being useless. This time, I finally feel happy. I’m able to do so much, and I know the crowd cheers for me. 


Now I’m in high school, I try out for Clue: On Stage. I’m just back from callbacks. Maybe I’ll get something good this time. After all, I’ve proven I could, at least, get a lead.

But high school is a whole new domain – a new teacher I want to impress, a group of Upperclassmen I so want to avoid annoying, and a big difference between playing Mother Pig and Mrs. Peacock. 

I nervously refresh the Google Classroom page. I always think I’ll stop being nervous when I wait for the cast list, but I never am. I always sit and refresh the page. 

The cast list finally shows up…. I’m not on it. I never quite get used to the disappointment either.

But I learn something from those disappointments. As long as I try my hardest, I just might get better at this whole theatre thing.