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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

A televised edition: episode four—talent show

Penny O’meara
A day when I was pretending to be a tour guide for my friends in a corn field; I was on my own little stage.

My hands are melting.

Well, they might as well be; my palms are nearly cupping my sweat.

I’m on a stage, thousands of eyes boring into me. My failure is their comedy, and my success is their entertainment. At this moment, I live for others, and my emotions are irrelevant; people are cruel.

“Just pretend everyone is in their underwear.”

No, I will not.

I will not pretend that everyone is in their underwear because in that case, those people are humiliated—so humiliated that they can only focus on themselves. If I am standing on this stage, their eyes must be on me.

Despite their chattering causing a tremor that sends vibrations searing through my feet up to my knees, and despite the sound of my teeth anxiously tapping against each other in a nervous chatter, I am smiling.

My confidence, ebbing and flowing, surged enough for me to make eye contact with the judges, meeting their faces with a charge of excitement—an unexpected spark. Calling what I have a talent may be a stretch, but I have years of hard work imprinted as scars on my back; scars that the audience cannot see from my front-facing smirk. They can only see what I show them now through a smile grit with concentration.

My confidence, ebbing and flowing, surges enough for me to make eye contact with the judges, meeting their faces with a charge of excitement—an unexpected spark.

At last, the audience’s relentless and superficial chatter dies down to a soft murmur. They never fall silent; it’s frustrating yet expected. I sit in the near-silence for a moment as starting too soon would ruin the effect of my act. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and allow myself to act on muscle memory. I am only partially self-aware as the moment speeds by in a blur, my brain unraveling and stretching into each of my veins.

And suddenly, it is over. I am standing still once more as my mind recollects in my skull. I have a ridiculously large grin on my face and am near laughter, attempting to decipher whether I’m exhausted or giddy. As my senses return, my now barely functioning legs escort me off of the stage. I am hit with a wave of nausea, and I collapse into my seat in the audience, dissipating into the crowd that I was attempting to engage just moments before.

Once my stomach settles and my eyes clear, I am refocused. Reset. Redetermined. My eyes narrow at the suiter on stage, and I walk the line of envy and disinterest. My turn. Let me go again. I immediately wish to be back on the stage that had pumped me full of intoxicating adrenaline. I have to restrain myself from making my finale into an intermission and begin Act Two. I’m a once-a-week-wonder, so I remain as still as I can.

For now.

Because, before long, I will once again be smothered by raging ambition juxtaposed with quaking fear. In seven more days, I will be inhaling the fumes of opportunity with a mission. I’ll have my stardom for several seconds more, feeding a passion inside that is ever-growing.

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About the Contributor
Eva Harshman, Editor-in-Chief
Eva Harshman is a senior who is thrilled to be entering her fourth and final year on staff as Editor-in-Chief. Apart from writing for The Central Trend, she enjoys riding her Thoroughbred, Thirsty, spending time with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows for hours on end. She is also an avid competitor in Odyssey of the Mind alongside her teammates who also happen to be her best friends. Although she tends to stick around the people she knows best, The Central Trend has broadened her horizons beyond compare. Being a part of Room 139 has taught her so much; she has met so many people thanks to The Central Trend.   Favorite type of story: Editorials Pets: A bunny (Georgie), a dog (Leon), and a horse (Thirsty) Dream vacation: Tokyo, Japan Favorite books: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie MBTI and Enneagram: ENTP-T 8w7

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