I still remember reading Eve Ensler’s I Am An Emotional Creature for the first time. I was a freshman in high school trying to tackle my goal of reading my way through my entire neighborhood library. It was a lofty goal. I found the book moving and powerful, as anyone who reads Eve Ensler does. The book is a series of monologues embracing what it means to be a woman in society. It’s about what it means to be the girl that wears ripped jeans and Converse, or the girl that wears cardigans and dresses.
After that, I immediately read The Vagina Monologues, which is THE Eve Ensler book that everyone talks about. I found The Vagina Monologues more eye-opening than Emotional Creature since it was focused on women’s relationships to their vaginas. At that point, I hadn’t yet had sex ed or regularly talked about vaginas or even really said the word out loud. It was eye-opening, to say the least.
Since then, I have seen The Vagina Monologues performed live twice. Maybe you have, too. It’s a popular event across many college campuses around late January and February. After seeing it performed, I always wanted to audition for the show…even though I am very, very shy. Like, barely even talk to people shy.
My Auditioning Experience
So this year, I did it. I auditioned for The Vagina Monologues. The group putting on the show at my school didn’t require any preparation for the audition. I was terrified when I walked into the waiting room and saw that there were a lot of other people auditioning, too.
I’ll be honest: My nerves didn’t kick in because I was scared I wouldn’t get a role. It was because I was nervous about talking about vaginas in front of a lot of people. Really and truly, the thought made my heart pound out of my chest.
But my being nervous saying the word “vagina”? It’s actually part of the point of the monologues themselves. The monologues are all about urging women to take back the word vagina and start feeling comfortable having those conversations. So, in a way, my nerves were a normal part of understanding the monologues.
Picking a monologue to recite was difficult. In my memory there were lots of monologues that I had previously felt I would be comfortable saying. But in reality? There weren’t many. I was picky. This one is too angry. This one is too sad. I was at the table looking at monologues forever.
I finally settled on Because He Liked to Look At It. It felt like something I could recite out loud in front of an auditorium full of strangers. I walked into the room when I was ready and awkwardly began to read the piece. I didn’t know if they wanted me to just jump into it and read right away or tell the title first, so I just jumped in. There was a long pause.
And… it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be at all. I think because I was so nervous, my mind did this weird out-of-body thing so I wouldn’t focus on how twisty my stomach felt. I stumbled over the word vagina once, Saying “va-gy-gina” instead. But that was the worst it got. I made it through and got some looks of approval from the audience. I didn’t die up there. No one laughed at me. Success.
Honestly, I am incredibly proud of myself. To some of you it probably doesn’t seem like much. But, it was something I never thought I would do – I am just that introverted. Through this experience, I learned that my death won’t come from reading a monologue filled with the word vagina in a room of strangers. TBD Adventure #1, complete.
What do you think?
Do you like this new series idea? What other bucket list-type items should I attempt next? What’s on your “I’m so scared to do this but I want to do it anyway” list? Tell me in the comments!