HOW I GREW UP ON MY AUDITION DAY
I have worked closely with a former teacher/mentor on my audition monologues for the MFA Acting Program of The Juilliard School’s Drama Division while I was still in the Philippines. As the date of my flight to New York neared, I wanted to rehearse more but couldn’t get hold of my coach due to her schedule. I was feeling more and more panicked as I tried to find available times for both of us to meet together in order to rehearse. Finally, she sent me a text message in Filipino along the lines of: You got this. You’re on your own now. Trust your gut. Trust your instincts. And you will fly.
There was some truth that rang to me as I read her message, even though a scared part of my self couldn’t believe it yet. I eventually went on with my flight to New York City (my first time in the United States and my first international flight ever). I traveled with my mother as my father wouldn’t let me travel to the United States alone for the first time. When we arrived in New York we stayed at my grand aunt’s apartment at the Upper East Side. I can still remember all the fear and uncertainty that I experienced throughout the entire journey yet my desire to complete it was stronger than my fear. I would continue to warm up and do my vocal routine almost every day and when everyone was asleep I would get up from the couch I was sleeping on and pull up a chair and rehearse my monologues on my feet in a whisper.
I can still distinctly remember that moment on my audition day after I checked in at The Juilliard School lobby. I looked at the elevators where I was to go and looked back on my mom who was to wait for me at the lobby and said goodbye to her, knowing that from this point onwards I was to be on my own in my journey. Nobody can come up the elevators to the third floor where the auditions were but myself alone. No one can walk in the audition room to reveal who I am and my work but me alone. I was alone in a way that I have never been alone before and yet in a way I grew up that day.
I think one of the things that I learned to do that day was how this journey was (and probably still is) a way for me to aim at myself. It seems on the outside that my goal was to get into a school, etc. (and it probably still was) but it was also for me to come face to face with my Self.
I went into that audition room (Room 306) and spoke to the panel and revealed myself and went up and shared my monologues and song and revealed myself again. And I would do that again and again in the initial callbacks, the final callbacks, and I still struggle to make that decision every day now that I am in my second year of studies at The Juilliard School’s Actor Training Program. In every phase of my life I come face to face with a part of my Self in a new and deeper way. The way to become who I want to be is to come to terms with who I already am.
REGINA DE VERA