The Perfect Storm

Posted by Ryann Lecklider Category: Musings

I am a happy girl. Really. I wake up happy. I laugh at everyone’s jokes. I was voted “Most Optimistic” in an unofficial High School survey facilitated by a friend and classmate. (It was on wide-ruled notebook paper. Very credible.) I love giving compliments. I believe that everyone has good intentions, and I forgive and literally forget. What I’m trying to tell you is I’m a pleasant person. (And doggone it, people like me!) But sometimes, with the perfect storm of circumstances, I can be less than… charming?

So, three things I need to tell you about me before you continue reading:

1. I require a lot of sleep (I am an 8-hour girl, minimum). And I could easily go to bed at 9p every night. I’m not ashamed.
2. I cannot smile or talk to you if I am hungry. Like really hungry. I’m told “nice” is not commonly appointed to me in this state, but I prefer to refer to myself as “quiet” in these moments.
3. It can be difficult for me eat on-the-go because I am a vegetarian, and I like healthy options (and by “like” I mean “that’s what I will be eating”).

I swear I’m fun! We all have our quirks, right? Well, I found out what I’m really made of (and who my real friends are) at a recent audition that will remain nameless. (My friends still like me!)

The weekend began (yes, weekend… this audition took that long) on a glorious Thursday evening in Los Angeles at a birthday party for a close friend. I arrived at 10p. (See “Keep-These-Three-Things-in-Mind” Note No. 1… I literally walked into the party with a pillow.) We talked, we laughed, we sang Happy Birthday. It was a beautiful 45 minutes.

Then we (about seven of us) piled into two cars and drove to San Francisco. Through the night. I don’t know how our appointed drivers did it, but I suspect magic was involved. I, however, couldn’t get through a single driver’s ed in-car driving lesson without wanting to nod off at the wheel. (Don’t judge; they were two hours.) Nevertheless, I still awoke with a certain pep in my step Friday morning. (This is not surprising. I am the ultimate morning person.) I mean, I was prepared, people. I basically had a shower-in-a-bag. I looked good. I felt good. My hair was still curled. I was ready to sang. I had enough organic, healthy snacks to feed all seven of us for the rest of the day. From Whole Foods. (This is important.) And as we strutted into the registration line, smiling and nodding in solidarity with the masses that only an open call can bring, I actually thought, this won’t be so bad…

Fast forward two-and-a-half hours later. The sun was high and unusually hot for a late-spring San Francisco morning. My half-ginger skin was no match for this sun. I. was. burning. My feet hurt because I had to put on my singin’ heels because the fur lining in the fake Uggs I brought were starting to make me sweat. I couldn’t really eat anything because all I could think about was shade and the sweet relief it would bring me. My thoughts: (1) Isn’t San Francisco supposed to cold all the time? (2) If I have to wave my arm to-and-fro to the beat of Calvin Harris’ “Feel So Close” one more time…

My deep reflection was finally interrupted by the lines slowly pumping into the stadium entrance. Oh yes. The day, once again, was looking up.

And then it happened. The events that led to this critical moment replay in my mind in slow-motion. What could I have done differently? How could I have been more prepared? Why wasn’t I paying more attention? The truth is, I never saw it coming. And as I approached the arena entrance (think dull, gray plastic picnic tables manned by a bored team of individuals idly checking purses and loose clothing for weapons of any kind), I heard a forceful voice from somewhere in the crowd bark the phrase that ultimately altered the course of my day. The words settled in my ears like a grenade, at first muted and unannounced, only to explode moments later without warning.

“No outside food or drink allowed inside! Throw away all items!”

Excuse me?

They sawed through my plastic Whole Foods sack tied to my purse with a dull key. As I watched my delicious snacks fall into the overflowing trash cans like a pinball bouncing from one bumper to the next, I heard someone say, “Deeeeeeeeeeeeeee-yum, those are some SNACKS!” And that’s when I lost it.

I know… White Girl Problems. They made me toss my fancy Whole Foods rations. Big deal. But, in my mind, it seriously was the worst thing that could’ve happened to me in that moment. (See “Keep-These-Three-Things-in-Mind” Note No. 2. And 3.) It took my friend (and now manager… go figure) almost an hour to get my head right after that. (She’s really funny, so I couldn’t resist her forever.) So what happened next? I waited around for another nine. hours. and then sang my face off. And then I got a callback. And I was all happy again 🙂

So what’s the moral of this story? Make me mad and tired enough, and I’ll forget to be nervous. Oh, and you can’t be fully prepared for everything. Sometimes life throws you curve balls… maybe even in the form of terrible concession stand food and $4 bottles of water. (I bought three.) This ended up being an experience that I’ll laugh about forever, and even though I’ll never try to put myself in this position again, I’m glad I have another story to tell.

But seriously. Don’t ever make me throw away my food.

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