Friday 4 May 2012

Response to Image - The Audition - Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 35

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writers' fortnightly writing challenge, started and hosted by , and Donna Hole, where participants share their own 300-400-word text - story or poem - on a given theme. During the month of April, RFW has taken a break to participate in 'From A to Z in April' as did this blog owner. So the first challenge after this absence is a picture prompt provided by Denise. Scroll down past my text to read Denise' instructions for this Challenge No. 35 for Friday, 4th May 2012. We get a 600 word-limit this time.Yippee!

Here's my text: The Auditon: What's in a Name?

It was hot and humid when Daisy Martinsson waited for the audition. Exactly which play and which part was a secret. It was rumoured to be Romeo and Juliet, which was why it was mostly girls who stood and waited behind the theatre.

There was no shade on that side of the street, and Daisy had dressed in a mini-skirt, sleaveless top and sandels. From a wrinkled paper, Daisy read silently:  

O Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

Daisy's curly red hair became frizzy in the humidity. 

Deny thy father, and refuse thy name; 
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, 
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

I wonder if I will be able to stand out among the other girls? thought Daisy looking at two girls in front of her, one with dark curly hair and the other with a bleached-blond afro, with a very dark complexion and black eyes.

Daisy continued: 
'T is but thy name that is my enemy; 
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

Could Juliet have red hair? Daisy thought, as the dark-haired girl turned around,

'What are you reading?'  

'Just checking my grocery-list', lied Daisy, 'I need to shop after this. Have you prepared for this reading?'

'No. I'm sure they'll choose me for my looks!' she said laughing out loud.

Daisy thought: If they see any difference in us. Everyone is wearing the same short skirts and bare legs. It's more like a bathing beauty contest! Wonder which boy will be Romeo.

Finally, the door flung open and a fiftyish woman stepped out and distributed numbered cards. Daisy was number 17. The hot day dragged on and Daisy regreted not smearing sun-screen on her, now tender, red arms.

'Fifteen, please,' said the same woman, 'Would number fifteen please come forward. Alright! Sixteen, then!' A dark-haired girl pranced happily toward the door.

Who was number fifteen and didn't show? thought Daisy, I need to stay alert.
Daisy continued reading:

What's a Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot.

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part, 
Belonging to a man. 
O! be some other name:
What's in a name?

'Number seventeen, please! 'Would number seventeen please step forward?'

Daisy almost missed her call, but ran through the door and felt comfort in the coolness of the air-conditioned theatre. Daisy handed over her number-card, 'I'm number seventeen'.


'Daisy Martinsson, I mean, Daisy Martins.' 

'Write your contact information here, please', said the fiftyish woman giving her a form and a pencil and the script, 'Take this. It's the lines you will be reading for your audition. Go up on stage now, and start reading when the director tells you to.'

Daisy had just barely finish writing her name and address, when she found herself on stage. She looked at her lines that were printed out on a single sheet of paper.

'You may begin', instructed the director.

Daisy began:

'Hold, take these keys, and fetch more spices, nurse.'  

'A little louder, please.'

'Hold, take these keys, and fetch more spices, nurse.'  

''Thank you,' said the director, 'How long have you lived in Britain?'

'Seven years.'

'From Denmark?'

'No. Sweden. But I went to an English-speaking school there. Sigtuna.'

'I see.

'May I ask a question?'

'Make it short.'

'Which part is this?'

'Lady Capulet, Juliet's mother.' Turning away from Daisy he bellowed, 'Get number eighteen in here. Now!' 

Daisy walked off the stage and out into the hot, steamy air.


[Text copyright 2012 Christina Wigren All rights reserved.]

If you don't like this ending keep scrolling down to find a newly written sequel!

Here are Denise' instructions for this Challenge:
  • You must respond to the stimulus in some way.
  • From the image, choose who will be your viewpoint character.
  • Place your character/s in one of the following settings:
* a nightclub
* last day of high school/college
* at a carnival/festival
* a private party
* an exotic island
* audition for a part in the latest Romeo + Juliet production
* a combination of two or more of the above settings...

Get your thinking caps on for this one. You have over 5 weeks to produce your best copy. I thought about raising the word limit to 600 words for this one. What do you think?
As always, I encourage you to leave a comment here or email me with your responses to issues raised in posts. Please know that your input is most valuable in the decision-making process. My email:

Denise (L'Aussie)

Word count according to WordCalc:600; 'FCA'; Full Critique Acceptable.

Best wishes,

This is a fictional text written directly for this 'response to image'- challenge. 

I used Denise's suggestion of an audition for a part in a production of Romeo and Juliet

I am also inspired by a scene from the film, The King's Speech, in which Geoffrey Rush's character, Lionel Logue, auditions for a part in a production of Skakespeare's play, Richard III, and is turned down, inspite of him knowing all the lines and having played the roll before. The reason? Lional Logue came from Australia. The theatre director in this scene said that he 'did not know that Richard III was king in the colonies'. This film reflects the attitudes of British people in the 1930's and 40's. But the director of the film (from 2010), Tom Hooper, is half Australian, and one of the key players, Guy Pierce, is Australian. 

I have no idea what aspiring actors and actresses are up against today when auditioning for the theatre. My guess would be that impeccable speech must be crucial.

My character, Daisy Martins (shortening her Swedish surname, Martinsson to make it sound more English), has moved to the U.K. from Sweden. (I actually have a distant cousin who has done this, but I don't know how well she has adapted to life there.) Daisy is so young that the theatre-director may not have noticed anything about her speech. It is harder to change your speech when you are older. 


A quick new sequel:
 Daisy opened the door and was about to step out into the steamy air when she heard a young male voice say, 'I'm number fifteen, please let me through!'

An utterly stunning boy with a face that resembled Michelangelos statue of David was running toward the backstage door, waving his number card. Instead of letting the door close and locking herself and this beautiful boy out, she held door open for him and went back in herself.

'Oh, thanks, Love!' he murmured softly as he wizzed past her breathlessly and showed the woman at the reception his queue-number. 'I'm number fifteen!'

'Alright, we'll let you read, but don't ever be late again!' she growled, 'Take this and get up there!' Beautiful-David scribbled his name and address on the form-card, and took the paper with the audition lines from her hand.

Daisy's heart beat quickly as she stood in the dark air-conditioned-cooled foyer watching this lanky boy climb up on stage to audition. Daisy was determined to stay and listen:

O! speak again, bright angel: for thou art 
As glorious to the night, being o'er my head,
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned wond'ring eyes
Of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds,
And sails upon the bosom of the air.

'Thank you, Peter, we'll let you know. But so far, we don't seem to have that much to choose from, if not Romeo, you can probably play Tybalt or Mercutio or whatever..'

'So I'm in? I'm really in?' 

'Yes, Peter, it looks that way. Congratulations. But don't be late!'

Elated, Peter walked toward the exist, but instead of just walking past Daisy he stopped, looked at her and smiled the most sunny smile she had ever seen before.

'Thanks for helping me get back in! I owe you. Have you already auditoned?'

'Yes, but they don't seem to have a part for me. Not even a small one.'

'Oh, no! And you would make a marvelous Juliet! Let's go have a coffee! Do you have time for that?'

'Oh yes, please,' said Daisy almost wanting to cry out at the top of her lungs, 'Ja, tack!' in Swedish. Peter turned out to be a wonderful friend and played the part of Romeo well. And he never, ever, made fun of her English.

[Or I could delete this last paragraph and write an even longer story about how Peter takes little Swedish Daisy to all the sights in London or wherever they are, and Daisy finally does get a small part in a play, thanks to Peter coaching her. His English is sublime.]

I know. I am such a sucker for a happy ending. But now I have gone well over the prescribed word count! This sequel has 456 words!

First Commenter: 

L'Aussie Writer

To read other texts for Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 35, for the picture prompt please visit this site, click on the image below or scroll down to the linky:

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