Imagine walking into a small room with a very large table seating eight people who judge your every move in order to decide the future of your career.
You have a script you've never read before and you must act out each line with the best of your ability. As if you're not nervous enough already, there is a camera recording every move you make.
This is exactly what I experienced when I auditioned for "Adina's Deck."
"Adina's Deck" is a 30-minute interactive television series pilot that deals with solving cyberbully mysteries. The project was developed, directed and produced by Debbie Heimowitz for her master's thesis at Stanford University.
Cyberbullying is defined as when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another young person using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.
Before my audition, I had heard a lot about cyberbullying, as it had become a problem at my grade school. However, I did not know how dangerous cyberbullying actually is. It has resulted in depression, anxiety, even suicide, among many young people -- especially preteen girls.
I always wanted to be in front of the camera, but until "Adina's Deck," I couldn't find my way past the stage. I have been involved in musical theater since the age of 6.
I wanted to use my acting talent to inform kids and their parents and teachers about cyberbullying, so I did my best at the audition and was told I would receive a phone call in a few days.
Over those days, which felt like months, I waited in anticipation, and I was so surprised to answer the phone and be offered the lead role in the pilot episode of "Adina's Deck," as Adina.
This was an experience of a lifetime, and there was no way I was going to turn down the role.
I immediately accepted the part. The next thing I knew, I was traveling back to where I had auditioned at Stanford, where we would begin rehearsing.
The first day of rehearsal was so much fun. I got to meet the other lead girls, Kelcie Stranahan, Stephanie Cameron and Ciera Trussell. We instantly became friends and had a blast together every day on the set.
Kelcie and I stayed in the same hotel during filming, and we spent a night looking at all the pictures we took on the set, while watching "Boy Meets World." Stephanie and I bonded by singing. On the last day of the film, we sang songs together from our favorite musical, "Wicked."
One day, we were supposed to film a scene in Adina's best friend's bedroom. It was supposed to be a unique clubhouse with retro décor. I was so impressed with how fast the crew emptied out all the furniture from a pool house and set up the bedroom. They filled the room with bean bags and taped a Jim Morrison poster on the wall. They also hung curtains all around the room and decorated it with vintage items. It turned out to be a very neat room.
We also filmed scenes at a middle school and a high school. This was fun because there were so many people involved in each scene. It was almost like school was actually in session, except for the fact that there were big cameras and microphones everywhere we went.
I had a fantastic time on the set of "Adina's Deck." The most difficult part about the transition from theater to film was that I tended to amplify my voice and exaggerate my movements so the "back row" could hear and see me perfectly. After many takes, I learned how to stop myself and I realized that cameras and microphones can pick up the smallest movements and sounds.
Filming also takes a very long time. I worked 10 to 12 hours each day in a total of two three-day weekends to film one half-hour episode.
I had fun every moment, and I am so happy that I am a part of "Adina's Deck." We are sending a great message to all the viewers and we had a good time while doing it!
For clips from 'Adina's Deck,' visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYBOqLksQ-Q&mode=related&search=.
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Amelia Varni is a sophomore at Modesto's Central Catholic High School and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom journalism program. Her stage roles include the titular little orphan in Sierra Repertory Theatre's "Annie" and Anne Frank in Playhouse Merced's "The Diary of Anne Frank."