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  • Writer's pictureSimone Ellin

A Would Be Drama Queen

Updated: May 14, 2021

When you're bullied, or shunned by the people you thought were your friends, it can change your life's trajectory in big ways and small. I was always shy and anxious in social situations, but when I was a girl, I loved to perform. I sang and acted, played music and dreamt of being a performer. But after my girlfriends rejected me in 7th grade, I lost all self-confidence.

Nevertheless, I was determined to audition for the middle school musical, "The Me Nobody Knows." For my audition, I decided to sing "On the Street Where You Live" from "My Fair Lady."

I can still picture the run-down middle school auditorium as it looked that afternoon after school. When my name was called, I walked up to the stage. I looked out into the seats of the middle auditorium and there they were — all of the girls who stopped talking to me a few months earlier. Maybe they were snickering and whispering, maybe they weren't, but it seemed to me that they were just waiting for me to screw up. In that moment, I realized that my decision to audition was foolish. There was no way I could perform in front of those girls, or in front of any audience.

I started my song in the wrong key and the audition was a disaster. My former best friend landed a part in the play, but I didn't.

I wouldn't audition for another play until my senior year of high school. Sometimes I wonder what might have happened to my theatrical aspirations if I hadn't been ostracized by my peers. It's unlikely that I had the talent to become a professional actor, yet, I might have gotten a lot of joy from being a "theater kid." It might have kept me away from drugs and alcohol in high school and would certainly have helped me develop poise and self-confidence.

Did bullying or peer exclusion keep you from pursuing your dreams? Tell us about it.

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