My Very First Acting Audition

It was a quarter past two, Swifty wandered down the empty corridors of the Education and Humanities building in his university, searching for 'TELEVISION Studio B', the place where the audition was going to be held. He was not nervous, even though this was the very first audition he had been to.



In a distant childhood, he had once thought that he was competent in acting, yet these thoughts were shattered by a tragic turn of events. And as he continued searching for 'TELEVISION Studio B', he was gradually overwhelmed by a flood of painful memories.

1992. He was 8. Standard 2. Cosplaying as a Ninja Turtle, he strutted around the stage for a graduation ceremony, showing his insane kungfu skills where he could leap high up in the air, do a few somersaults, and then land on the ground and do a couple of backflips. Instantly, he was given celebrity status and local legend in his primary school, everyone started calling him 'Ninja Turtle' for the remainder of his primary school years.

It was amusing at first, but since then, he started trying desperately to do something that will shake off this image.

1996. Last year in high school. Aged 12. His class put up some cheesy stageplay about a goody-two-shoe sister convincing her black-hearted, unfilial siblings to visit their ailing mother one last time. And when she finally did, mother was already dead, and each and every single one of the siblings started weeping and lamenting about how they never treated her well enough. It was a powerfully pretentious melodrama with overwrought angst and silliness.

He played one of the siblings, the only male in the family. He turned it into a one-man comedy skit. It was a campy performance, where he went totally overdramatic when screaming for his 'dead mother'. It was overacting at its finest.


Swifty shook his head, chuckling softly to himself at the ghosts of this long-ago memory. He could remember the thundering applause! It was the crowning of a prodigal comedy actor, a graduation from primary school with a massive bang. Walking down the stage, parents of people he didn't know came to him, singing praises, telling him how talented he was in acting, how he had stolen the show...

A notice was pasted upon the door of TELEVISION Studio B, saying that the venue of the audition had been changed to AUDIO Studio A, which was just few doors away. Swifty sighed in annoyance, and continued his long trek towards the new venue just a few doors away.

More memories came, hitting him squarely in the head.

Blinding flash.

1998. Form 2. He was 14. Two years have passed since his last stage performance. Now a budding scriptwriter, he was given the task of adapting the Christmas Carol storyline for a class presentation that was supposed to be seen by everyone else in the school. He got screwed this time. Working with a partner, he gave his partner his part of the script, asking his partner to make any necessary changes. Unfortunately, his partner didn't return the script to him (with ZERO changes) until a day before the performance, thus the other actors and actresses were never given the chance to read the script.

The presentation was a flop of massive proportions, everyone had to carry a copy of the script and read the lines during the performance. It sucked. They were rained by loud boos, jeering and catcalls. Swifty, who was playing Scrooge snapped, allowing himself to be possessed a demon of madness that had been lying dormant within him. Cocky and arrogant, he snatched the microphone from everyone else and ANSWERED THE AUDIENCE.

He told them that he LOVED them.

He repeated that when they continued booing.

"BOOOOOOO!"

"I love you all."

"BOOOOOOOOOO!"

"Yeah, I love you all."

"BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

"Ah, thank you. Give me more, I love you all."

He turned into a heel from WWE, working the crowd over with his badassness. He was The Rock before he became popular, he was Triple H throughout his entire career, he was Ric Flair throughout the many decades of his illustrious wrestling career.

That got him blacklisted by school authorities, and he was the only one who took the blame for the failure, not the partner, after all, he was the one who stood out, he was the easy target. Since then, none of the stage performances involving him were ever on stage...

Blinding flash.


Swifty entered Audio Studio A. It was empty. There was nothing. Just chairs. And bags. Frowning in confusion, he wondered whether he had entered the wrong place or not.

He stepped out of the Studio, a woman, who had just returned from a cigarette break, walked towards him. Swifty wrinkled his nose at the smell of smoke. He could never stand those.

"Are you here for the audition?" she asked.

Swifty nodded.

Then, memories of his last few years in high school that were hiding in the deepest recesses of his soul emerged abruptly.

2000. He was 16. Just a month and a half before he would be elected as president of the English Language Club (also known as the Literary, Debate and Drama Club) and work miracles upon the long-dead club that would allow it to rise from the ashes for the very first time in decades, he was just a normal committee member trying hard to make a name for himself and the struggling club. He developed a sketch for Teacher's Day, but it never got through because some teachers with serious hearing problems accused one of the cast members (Alanded/Alex, Swifty's mentor, whom he dragged into the club) for pronouncing 'Fight' like 'Fuck'. It was a mindlessly entertaining play meant only for laughs, yet the school authorities remained adamant in their attempt to keep Swifty down.

A year later. Swifty was president of the English Language Club, riding high on the wave of success as he had helped turned the club 180 degrees, he was at the peak of his career. The club was more active than it ever was, its amount of membership propelled it to become among one of the elite clubs in high school.

Yet he was held down again.

The club was presenting a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde-type story duo acting skit. Swifty's two friends were in the lead roles, one playing the schizophrenic whilst the other played the victim. Swifty was invited to guest-star as the evil counterpart of the poor scientist. The audition was successful, but that night, Swifty was phoned by the ENGLISH LANGUAGE SOCIETY TEACHER ADVISOR, telling him not to act in it during the final performance because it was a DUO ACTING. Thus, the president of the English Language club was prohibited from acting in a skit put up by his own club... even though the audition had given him the greenlight.

There were more painful memories, like the one where the conspiring, scheming, biased bastards from his school pulled the plug on Swifty's painstakingly planned Drama Night during the last minute without prior warning, effectively ruining Swifty's efforts in pushing his beloved club into the annals of high school history. These painful experience left him angered and cynical.

Unlike primary school, the star that once shone so brightly had dwindled into nothingness. Whatever future he had with acting was gone. His passion for it died as well. The school authorities were merciless, and they had succeeded in their vile efforts to keep Swifty down.

Years passed by, Swifty turned into a filmmaker, and managed to put himself in the two short films he was in, out of necessity. The first short film, 'A Boring Story', an incredibly introspective piece about loneliness, or perhaps a PARODY of incredibly introspective pieces about loneliness. He had a non-speaking, uncredited cameo role in his upcoming short film, 'Forced Labour' as well, which he will attempt to complete by this week...


When asked about through email about his acting experience, Swifty was vague with his answers, telling the woman, Jean, that he was merely a filmmaker trying to understand the feeling of being at the 'opposite side of the camera'. She accepted the answer without anymore questions. But she knew not the painful secrets Swifty had been hiding throughout the years.

The woman handed Swifty an excerpt From the script, so that he would know which character would he be playing. It was a story of a young woman who died, and as a ghost, she returns to her home, wondering whether she can move on, or continues haunting them. Her lover is a wreck, and there will be very romantic scenes featuring her trying to let go of the man she loves.

... that subplot happened only in Swifty's imagination. Unfortunately, there's no 'lover' role, and no romantic scenes involved. Swifty happened to be auditioning for the role of the 'asshole brother who didn't give a damn when his sister, the main character, died'.

AAAAAAAAAAARGH! Enough with the third person talk, it's giving me a major headache.

The short film is in Mandarin, because the ones involved in this project are all Singaporeans and they want to make something that can be accepted by their country, I think.

So yeah, my line was:

"BAH! STOP PRAYING! IF DAD WERE ALIVE, HE WOULD'VE BEEN EMBARRASSED BY THIS!"

And I delivered this line (numerous times) with GUSTO. With STYLE. With ROGUISH CHARISMA. With IMPECCABLE MANDARIN SKILLS.

Then, I walked to the sofa and watched TV. A bastard without a doubt. The deepest, most complex and conflicted character in the short film... despite his one line.

And now, I wait and see whether I've been chosen for the role, this is going to be interesting.

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