My Ranking Points
The Zodiac RP
P.O.V. Marina Stratis
Rose was really good. I could tell why she cared about this Idol thing. And not only that, I could TELL she cared about it.
So many people romanticized acting, saying that you could leave yourself and be a whole new person onstage. Well that wasn’t how I did it, at least. Why leave everything you know about the world if you could find bits of the character in yourself? That was what could give you the sincerity in your voice that called others to listen. It was how you found a balance between overacting and talking like a robot onstage. Lucia wasn’t really doing traditional acting, but I could still see her in the performance.
Unfortunately, I learned another thing from the performance. It wasn’t for me. As fun as it looked, I wouldn’t want to be an idol. I needed the quick costume changes, the transitions from long, sitting dialogue to big dance numbers that hurt my lungs. I needed other people up there, not just back-up dancers. I needed any holograms onstage to be cast by a feverish tech crew above the audience, not magic or whatever else Rose was using.
But what did it hurt to try. She was my roommate, and she really cared about this. And I had tried to rob her. I kept forgetting about that part. Hopefully she had, too, because she could totally have me do pretty much anything on sympathy. Or if she threatened to tell. Yeah, maybe it was good to keep her happy.
So I strolled around backstage, trying to avoid the others who had come to watch, and looked around at all the costumes. They all looked so doll-like. I couldn’t imagine wearing one onstage, much less dancing or jumping around it one. In this is from a girl who had worn an apple tree. And many, many corsets.
Hearing footsteps on the other side of the door, I carefully looked around the corner. Walking with her back turned away from me was Rose. She was singing quietly under her breath, the same song she had done on stage, now in her normal clothes. I know she had lived in Japan, but it was weird to hear her singing a song in anything other than English, especially to an audience that, whatever other languages they spoke, probably knew English. It was so hard to connect to an audience when they had only the emotion in your voice to go by. But it really worked for her. Her voice told a story, and the tune was interesting, if not the words. Maybe it would be fun to put together some performance as an idol.
Giving up on the costumes, I walked back out to the stage Rose had performed on. It was relatively small, with wooden planks painted black and an unimpressive orchestra pit. Still, it felt good to look out on all the empty seats. Soon, I would have to audition. At a school for arts, not just my average high school with some talented kids. The judges would look up at me from down there. They would smile and something encouraging while I dug my nails into my palms and tried to get my breathing under control. I would force out a smile, and nod at the pianist. They would smile, and start to play. And then….
“Are you guys almost done here?”
A tall boy with dark chestnut hair stood in the door way, looking at me. His voice wasn’t rude, but not quite timid. Rose bustled around the curtains, took in the boy waiting on all of us, and pivoted towards backstage. “Sorry, guys!” She called. “The next club needs this space. I hope to see you all next meeting, and find me if you have any questions!”
I hurried into the house quickly, hoping she wouldn’t remember me staring from onstage like I was in the middle of a solo, or something. Robber, roommate, awkward, ignoring, I didn’t need ‘insane’ on my list.
Suddenly, I felt bad about leaving our conversation. She probably hasn’t meant to brag, and maybe that was normal where she was from. And I had to live with her, anyway, so I had better be able to stand at least a conversation with her. Eyes darting around the room, I found her quickly. “Hey Rose?”
She looked up from the costume she was struggling to hang up. “Yeah?”
“Um, are you going straight back to our room? Cause we could walk together.”
Stupid! Who asked where the other person was going? You started walking together, picked up on where they were going, and either split up or stayed together. Stupid!
“Sorry, I’m going to a practice room first.”
Was that really her plan? Or did I do something at lunch, or right now? Oh, why couldn’t I just live alone!
It wasn’t really, but that’s social interaction for you.
I made my way past the heavy wooden doors and walked for the stairs. Reaching my room, I saw that the mail had come. A few envelopes rested outside our door. Rose had a few, probably from friends or family. I didn’t look, though, not after this morning.
One of the letters was for me. I hadn’t expected any for a long time.
How is school, darling? Hunter was going to go before his tests, so we’re so proud you managed to get in. He’ll be out once this is all cleared up, and ready to join you at the academy. We hope you’re finding plenty of friends and staying out of trouble. Don’t get too stressed, you were good enough to get in here, right? We have to go the Hunter’s hospital, but good luck!
Show them all what you can do!
Mom and Dad
I sighed, gently folding the letter across my stomach while collapsing on my bed. Hunter. Half of my first letter away from home was about my mentally-ill-but-still-better-than-me big brother.
When I was a little girl, I had thought he was the best. I was going to be just like him when I grew up. As I got older, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to manage that. But now was different.
I still had to live up to him. He was still incredible at everything, loved and adored by all and all that. But all little siblings had something to look up to. Some more than others, but that was just how it went. No, I had to be like him in everyday….except for the panic attacks. Except for the long arguments about nothing and everything. Except for the heartbreaking tears, the screams of being cursed with a life he couldn’t handle. I had to be all the good parts of him, and outshine the bad. In a way, going to the academy was the best part. I couldn’t see the sympathy mixed with fear in my neighbors’ eyes. But my parents would still reach me wherever I was, and Hunter could never leave me.
So the nerves before shows, the insecurities about auditions, the sliver-shaped dents my nails left in my palms, hidden if not gone. I would be all the things Hunter couldn’t be. The insane kid couldn’t be the favorite, right? Maybe they would see that if they ever realized that he actually was insane. ‘Hospital?’ He was in an asylum! He wasn’t just sick! They hadn’t had to come home from school to him on that last day, the one where the ambulance came…
I needed out. Distraction, singing. Even reading posters for clubs I would never join was better than this. It was like I had PTSD, except the only war I ever fought was with a boy in a hospital bed, strapped down for his own safety, oceans and oceans away. Perfect. Everything here would be perfect. I was in the Academy, for goodness sakes. I had been waiting for this my whole life, and now I was really here. The people here were like me, caring about the same things and working just as hard as me. I fit in here. I was good enough to be here. If I just really started trying, taking notes, recording my performances, studying more. I could belong here!
Pep talk put of the way, I stumbled into a practice room and let my voice slide into harmony with an invisible partner. If I kept saying it, it would all be true.
I guess I forgot to include this in my bio, but Marina is based off of me (personality-wise only). The brother story is exaggerated a lot (the asylum part, I mean). This was done first off because I write in public and too much family life is not something other people need to see me thinking about too much in depth! The other reason Hunter is in a mental hospital at this point is because I didn’t want just the older-sibling-you need to-live-up-too cliche. Which, now that I think about it, is stupid. I changed my life to make it less cliche? Why are some cliches so criticized? Yeah, a lot are demeaning or just annoying, but some exist because they’re accurate. Like saying giving you main character a face is over-used! Is it just well-written real life mocked for being accurate?
Well, rant aside, I hope you enjoyed it! I’ll try to update my solo RP soon!
SAFE!!! I just can’t get over how well your writing flows!!! No awkwardly ended sentences or loose ends, all perfect!!!
This is really good! I really like Marina. Her personality has the perfect balance of flaws and talent and stuff.