The Audition

I was thinking about people who have inspired me, and  was reminded of this experience.  

There was a boy who was attending a high school for artists and performers in Denver, CO that is known for being very tough to get into.  His goal in going there- which had required a several hundred mile move for his family, was for that school to serve as his stepping stone to getting into a top New York City acting college, with a career on Broadway being his ultimate goal. Near the end of his senior year in high school, he was on his way to audition for his top choice of colleges- the American Academy of Performing Arts Conservatory in NYC, which was holding its annual western states auditions in Denver.  He had been rehearsing his audition monologue and song for weeks, so he was excited, anxious, dressed nicely, and groomed to the max.

As the kid arrived at the downtown Denver hotel that was hosting the auditions, he noticed a homeless man curled up and sleeping on top of a steam grate in the sidewalk. Although it was a bitterly cold winter day, the man had on only a light jacket, with the rest of his belongings stuffed inside a torn paper grocery sack beside him. People walking down the sidewalk were stepping around him and going on their way. The boy said to his companion, "You go on in.  I'll be there in a minute." and rushed off in the opposite direction from where the auditions were already under way.  He appeared in the waiting area a few minutes later, arriving barely in time to walk onstage.  As he walked through the stage door to his future, his companion asked where he'd been.  The kid whispered, "I had to go buy him a blanket." 

When the pair returned to the street, the man, his sack, and the blanket were gone.

The boy was my son, and it was I who accompanied him that day. Knowing how much it meant to him to be accepted into AADA, and having witnessed his hard work to prepare for the audition, I was moved and inspired by his selflessness on that very important day.  He could have missed his audition.  He could have lost focus, forgotten his lines or song, or been less impressive during his performance due to being rushed.  He knew all of that could happen, and yet he put his own interests and desires aside for another person- someone he'd never seen before and would probably never see again. 

Maybe that day he was actually auditioning for the most important role of his life- serving others, and he hadn't even known it. 

The rest of the story: Honor Nash-Putnam was accepted into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC based on his audition performance, and moved to New York after graduating from high school to attend the conservatory on a full scholarship- having been granted the highest award amount they'd ever given any student (according to the AADA Dir. of Financial Affairs).