Sunday, February 15, 2009


When I was a sophomore in high school, the Drama Department was putting on "The Music Man." They had asked our band director if band members could participate in the production, by marching down the aisles of the auditorium at the end, similar to how it was portrayed in the movie version.

I played trumpet in the band and thought it would be fun, so I volunteered for it. We had to play "Seventy Six Trombones" as we marched through the crowd. The audiences loved each time we did it (there were three performances). And every evening when my mom or dad picked me up, I was so excited about what we'd done that I decided right there and then that I would audition for any plays that the Drama Department put on during my junior year.

In late September of my junior year, posters went up around the high school announcing tryouts for the fall production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown!"

I remembered how I'd felt the spring before and knew that I wanted to audition. I found out what I could about the show, which wasn't an easy task since this was WAY before the internet. I found the album at a record store and purchased it. I played it over and over and became familiar with the music from the show.

There were only six roles in the play. Charlie Brown (of course), Linus, Snoopy, Schroeder, Peppermint Patty, and Lucy. Hmmmm....only two female parts.

This was going to be quite a challenge, as the girl who was president of the drama club had decided that SHE wanted the role of Lucy. That only left Peppermint Patty. I was not Peppermint Patty material. I was Lucy, through and through. Rumor had it that this girl had already memorized the part of Lucy before tryouts!

I was up against tough competition. I knew I had to have my game on. I was auditioning for the role of Lucy.

Lucy listening to Charlie Brown and his woes

Tryouts were conducted on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, after school.

Friday morning, the cast list would be posted. I knew what I was going to do. I wanted to get into school, go to my locker, get my things situated, then go to the bulletin board across the hall from the office, and see who made the cast. I was telling myself to be strong, because the odds of me getting the part I wanted were pretty much slim to none, even though I felt that I had done pretty well during the auditions. My plan was to keep a smile on my face, and congratulate Carol, the drama club president on getting the part of Lucy. NO ONE would be able to say that I was a sore loser.

While the butterflies were churning in my stomach and I was getting my books out of my locker for my morning classes, a guy who had auditioned for the role of Charlie Brown came up to me with a smile on his face. He immediately said, "Congratulations Cindi!" I said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "You got Lucy!" I asked him if he was sure and he said that he was. Then I asked him if he got Charlie Brown. Sadly, he replied that he didn't, and told me who did. I told him I was sorry he didn't get the part, and I truly was. He would have been great to work with.

I got my things and immediately went to the bulletin board to see for myself. People were all around and there were congratulations and from many. However, Carol, was nowhere to be seen.

Linus, Snoopy, and Schroeder playing his piano for Lucy

In between a couple of classes, I ran down to the bandroom and used the phone to call home and tell my mom the news. She was very happy for me.

By the end of the day, many people had talked to me, telling me that they were glad I got the role. However, right after band, last period of the day, one of Carol's best friends said to me, "I hate to say it, but congratulations, and believe me, I hate to say it." I wasn't thrilled to hear that, but that was just the way things were going.

At our first practice the following week, I happened to mention that comment to the director (who also happened to be my English teacher). She said that after the cast list was put up, Carol immediately went to her and that my name was MUD in the conversation. I was determined that our director was not going to regret her decision to give me the part.

Charlie Brown, Patty, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and Schroeder during a baseball game...Lucy dropped the ball.

I worked like crazy during every rehearsal, memorized my lines as soon as I possibly could, practiced singing the songs constantly, and listened to every single bit of constructive criticism given to me.

It paid off...because I was great, hahaha, even if I do say so myself!

(The pictures came from my old high school yearbook...and it took less than an hour to find it!)


Terre said...

I'm sure you were great, this was right before Girls State no wonder I enjoyed you so much, you were full of drama after that performance (and I mean that in a good way). You made me smile as soon as we met. Ter

edbteach said...

How fun!

I wrote for the high school yearbook and the other day an old friend of mine and I sat and looked through them. It was funny to read my writing again after all of these years.

I enjoyed seeing your pictures!

theArthurClan said...

What a blast from the past! That's awesome Cindi...and I loved reading about it. :)

Jen said...

I haven't seen that play, but I've always wanted to! I bet you were awesome!

PERBS said...

Good for you for not giving up. The other girl didn't deserve to get it. You looked perfect for the part too!

Anonymous said...

I remember that!! If there ever was a part made for you,,,,that was it!! LOL!! Love,,,,,

Your old friend