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To Be Or Not To Be

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“Jean, I swear to god if you don’t give me that god damn skull, I’m going to have to borrow yours instead”.


This was about the biggest threat Armin could muster. Even as he said it, he couldn’t help but smile. It just went against who he was to make threats. He found himself laughing at that.


Armin and Jean, Trost High School’s Theater president and vice-president, were all sitting in chairs at the front of the stage. The time had again come to hold auditions for their fall play. The fall play was always the play that brought in the most recruits, and as the school itself was small, getting people to join the theater department was no easy task. Of course, it would go a lot easier if their teacher hadn’t chosen Hamlet. Hamlet. Mind you, Armin loved the play, but getting people to join? Next to impossible in a high school production.


“Next!” Jean shouted. A short haired boy walked on stage. “What’s your name?” Jean asked lazily.


“Connie!” The boy replied.


“Alright Connie, show us what you’ve got.”


Connie nodded, closed his eyes to mentally collect himself, and started.


“To be, or not to be. That is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the…” Armin groaned to himself. Everyone, and I mean everyone, used this audition piece. Yes, it was the main attraction of Hamlet, but if everyone does something, it loses all uniqueness.


The next person to audition, a freckled boy by the name of Marco, walked on stage. Before he even began his speech, Jean had all of his attention focused on him. Marco started, “To be, or not to be…” and Armin had already zoned out. Seriously? Two in a row already? Come on people, have some originality. He was so immersed in his thoughts that he almost missed the name of the next person called out.


“My name is Eren Yeager!” Woah, he’d even said his last name. Let’s hear the third “to be or not to be” audition, and call it a hat trick. Armin opened his eyes. Oh holy cow. Holy freakin cow. This boy was gorgeous. His hair was brown, and though it was very, very messy…it worked on him. He wore blue skinny jeans, a blue and black plaid shirt, and converse. Armin had to stop himself from staring, and focus on what he was saying. He was just in time to hear the Audition.


Eren closed his eyes, then began. “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”


Okay, that did it. Armin decided right then and there that he would marry this boy. In all actuality, he knew this would never happen. Armin was a theater geek who had absolutely no qualities about him worth mention. He could have listed off about fifty on Eren and he’d only been in a room with him for about 30 seconds.


Once Eren had finished his speech, he had bowed, and walked off stage. The bow had resulted in a snicker from Jean, as no one had bowed so far. Armin already knew who he wanted to play Hamlet, so he zoned out for most of the auditions. He paid only enough attention to gauge a general understanding of the people’s acting abilities, so that he could cast them in supporting roles later.


After the auditions were over, Jean and Armin sat talking about who they wanted to cast. Jean wanted Marco to play Hamlet, saying he possessed a skill that was “rarely seen” in theater, and that his ‘to be or not to be’ speech had been done in a way that Jean had “never seen before”. Armin new it was crap, and that the only reason he wanted Marco to play hamlet was one of the reasons that Armin wanted Eren to.


When Armin expressed his idea for Hamlet to Jean, it seemed to upset him. “Did you see him? He seemed like a pompous little dick.” This elicited a chuckle from Armin, who just smiled at him. In the end, Armin won, and they decided to give Eren a callback for Hamlet, and Marco a callback for The Ghost, Hamlet’s recently deceased father. Armin also decided to cast himself as Horatio, Hamlet's best friend. Did he feel bad about that? Maybe a little...just a little...


As he was walking back to his car to leave, Armin found himself thinking, “You know, maybe this won’t be such a bad year after all.”