Nowhere but a community theater audition can some hippie with wild hair and huge eyes sit staring at his faded jeans and whisper about serial killers and look less crazy than other people in the room.
Beside him a man so fat as to be ovoid twists his too-long moustache and murmurs inaudibly, the only words I catch being "mother" and "guns." Beyond him sprawls a lanky woman of indeterminate age with cotton candy hair and smile wrinkles everywhere, almost falling out of her seat on the Community Center Couch. Maybe it's the exposed springs hooking her in place, or maybe as she lazily drawls about gender relations in This Modern World she just melts into the couch.
They're characters when they're out of character.
I'm competing with these people?
I stare down at my lonely little resume, my quickly-printed headshot. I make a note on my monologue; the O comes out an E, and trails off into oblivion. My knee bounces, heel tapping staccato on the linoleum floor.
What do I do, what do I say, remember to pause for commas, speak naturally, feel what you're saying, Jesus fucking Christ what am I thinking--
Everything stops. The droning crone is suddenly soothing.
"We're ready for you."
I rise and stride and wonder: how much can you screw a two-minute monologue up?