Day 21. The Risen Star

Day 21: Your character’s dream in life is to be a celebrity. He/She is not particularly talented or successful at anything, so he/she will have to find a different way to become famous . . .

Marcia came from a land where real celebrities were the ones she saw on local television and in real life. Not the Kim Kardashian type she’d heard about. The local celebrities, admired by all, were Oliver Samuels and Glen ‘Titus’ Campbell, Volier Johnson and Camille Davis, and even Wayne Marshall and Elephant Man. It was always a mad frenzy when they were in town. Marcia wanted to be like them; acting in her own play at Center Stage or even the Pantry, singing her heart out, with the spot-light on her and only her. She made sure she went to the plays every weekend and would learn the songs by heart by the time she left the theatre. She wanted to be a Star!

After leaving high school and starting university, she decided she would do as much theatrical activities in her spare time. She tried the drama club, the university choir, the steel band, she tried learning the guitar and the saxophone, she even went to a dance class, once. Unfortunately for Marcia, she was not cut out for the arts. She could not carry a tune to save her life, her voice wasn’t strong enough to carry in a theatre, and she had no chemistry with the stage. She was all thumbs and little fingers with lungs of straw and two left feet. She never gave up hope though. After she graduated and got a job, she decided to try auditioning for the plays. Rejection after rejection didn’t deter her, she kept coming back for yet another audition.

Digicel Rising Stars

Then came the Rising Stars. Marcia knew she couldn’t audition for every play on the island and not try her luck on the Rising Stars. The first year Marcia donned a red sparkling floor length dress for the audition and sang “I will always love you” by Whitney Houston but didn’t even make it past the first verse. She lost her words when she caught a glimpse of one of the judges face. The second year she dressed down a bit and wore a simple black dress. She sang Mariah Carey’s “Hero”  and though she did remarkably better than the previous year she was still rejected. The third year she wore jeans and a t-shirt not making much of an effort on her appearance. When she got to the audition however, she realized all the staff knew her by name.

“Marcia again folks,” Denise, one of the judges joked as they took their seats at the head table. The spotlight was on Marcia in the center of the stage, just like she’d always wanted, but this wasn’t the best spotlight, not to her. She craved the spotlight during an act where she wasn’t auditioning, but performing for the crowd who was there, to see her. She bobbed nervously between her feet as sweat trickled down her forehead.

“Welcome back Marcy.” Anthony gave he usual smile that made her wonder if he was being genuine. “Which song you serenading us with today?” He grinned at the panel of judges seated next to him.

Marcia squared her shoulders, “You mean the world to me by Toni Braxton.”

“Oh Lord.” Neville mumbled under his breath into the microphone.

By the end of her audition, the judges were rolling around having their laugh. Marcy knew she was rejected again by their outburst and resigned to return the following year, better than ever, ready to become famous.

The following year Marcy dressed in her sparkling red floor-length dress and made her way to the center of the stage with the auditioning spot light on her again.

“Fourth times a charm, Marcy?” Asked Anthony.

“I’m hoping so.” She smiled.

“Bwoy Marcia, I have to say, you’re perseverance and determination never ceases to amaze me.” Neville smiled warmly at Marcia.

“So what’s the song of choice today?” Anthony asked.

“Shy guy by Diana King.” Marcy proudly announced. This time, Marcy belted out the tune. She closed her eyes and forgot the stage and the lights and the judges and the cameras, everything. And she squeezed out every ounce of that song out of her like she’d been practicing the last couple months. When she was done and she opened her eyes, she found all five judges standing in ovation for her, for Marcia. She grinned from ear to ear and twirled in her bright red gown basking in the cheers and the clapping from the crowd. This was just a taste of what she’d been dreaming about her whole life.

They rejected her again because even though she gave it her all in this last audition, she was still terribly off-key. Her stage presence was much better, one of the judges commented after seeing her every year for the past four years, and her voice was stronger too but she could not sing or act. Marcia soon became a television sensation as ‘the Girl who Returned’. Every year she was beseeched to return to the Rising Stars auditions to try out again and again and that is how Marcia became a local celebrity.

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