“Come on Mari! There’s no harm in auditioning. And besides, you never know what could happen. The theatre is a magical place.”
Those are the words Alya had said to Marinette ever since Alya had joined community theatre. This time happened to be in Alya’s dressing room right after the final curtain call of Pride and Prejudice.
“You know I can’t, Alya,” Marinette began, but Alya cut her off.
“Girl, don’t you even try. Hawkmoth has been away for a year, so don’t even think about using that excuse, and we both know this would be the least busy time of the year for you.” The glare that was sent her way made Marinette ponder.
She had to admit that Alya was right. After a Peacock hero had appeared randomly, Ladybug and Chat Noir had gone into “hiding.” It wasn’t like they didn’t patrol anymore, because they did, but with Hawkmoth either fleeing or in hiding, there were know akumas, and no need for super heroes to be out and about all the time.
Which is why Alya had taken a liking to a local community theatre. It had all started with her inviting Marinette along to Alya and Nino’s date to see Adrien in a production. Which soon turned into Nino volunteering to help with sound and tech. And Alya then decided to start auditioning.
And Alya had the looks. The confidence. And the amazing ability to take on different personas.
And sure, Marinette had helped out here and there: making a costume because the ordered one was in the wrong size and there wasn’t time to send it back and get another, or helping paint a set on Saturday work days. But there was no way she was ever going to be on the stage preforming. She would help Alya with her parts and running lines, but she would never ever be on that stage.
Marinette realized she had gone quiet after looking over to see Alya shooting her confused glances while trying to remove her makeup.
“I love you Alya. But you would have to drag me to an audition to even get me to do it.”
Alya opened her mouth to respond, but a quick rap on the door and a mention of “tearing the set” made her scrub even harder on her makeup. Marinette watched, laughing, until a makeup wipe and a pair of faux lashes ended up in her face. Shaking her head, Marinette finished hanging up the dresses in the room, slinging them over her arm.
Alya followed her out of the dressing room, a makeup box and large duffel bag in tow. She flicked the lights out, and took the dresses from Marinette.
“Look Mari, we both know you would have a blast on that stage. And getting a chance to be on stage with Adrien? That would be even better for you.” Alya missed the way that Marinette cringed, a dusting of pink on her cheeks, very different from the usual tomato face she sported whenever Adrien was mentioned. “Look, I’ll see you next week at the movies, and after I finish helping break the set, I’ll send you the theatre’s website. Just, think about it, okay girl?”
Marinette nodded, and watched as Alya ran onto the stage where the rest of the cast and crew were. She had to admit, there really was something magical about the theatre. And maybe, just maybe, it could help fix what was between her and a certain kitten.
Nah. Marinette shook her head at her own thoughts. She would never do a show. No matter what Alya seemed to believe.
It was a week later, and boy was this theatre thing getting to her head. Marinette had tried to ignore it, to focus on sewing or drawing or anything! But that little website that Alya had sent her was permanently fixed in her brain. A mental pop up ad.
Tikki, bless her heart, had dealt with Marinette debating with herself, and had even offered encouragement. Marinette knew she should stop procrastinating and just click the link, at least check it out. After all, there was no harm in just checking it out.
“Nope. I can’t do this. Tell me all the reasons that I should not click on that link, Tikki,” Marinette said, throwing her phone onto the pillow in front of Tikki. Tikki only giggled and tapped on the phone.
“I mean, sure, it’s no big deal to see what show they’re gonna do next. And it could help me with knowing when I’ll be getting tickets. Yeah. I’m just looking so I can keep my schedule free.”
However, Marinette made no move towards the phone. She instead flopped back down on the bed and grumbled. Tikki only watched her, an innocent smile on her face.
A buzz interrupted Marinette from her internal debate, and she reached for her phone to check who had messaged. She put in her password and unlocked her phone-
Only to see that the website was already pulled up. And she could not tear her eyes away.
Featured front and center were pictures from previous productions, disappearing and being replaced by others every few seconds. They were so entrancing, Marinette stared for what felt like hours. Every picture that popped up began a new guessing game of what show it was from. She gave up eventually, realizing that she only knew a handful of those that were showing up.
Her smile only grew when she scrolled down to see an article about the closing of Pride and Prejudice, about what each of the actors thought and their feelings on the closing of the show. And the picture that accompanied the article was one that Marinette thought was beautiful. The Bennett sisters in costume lying on the prop couches, laughing about something. And Alya, also known as Charlotte Lucas, making weird faces at Rose, who played Mary.
Marinette continued scrolling, reading every little snippet and saving random pictures to her phone. She was positive Tikki was reading all of it too, perched on her shoulder.
There were plenty of pictures featuring Adrien too, and a couple of articles with quotes from Nino on the tech. And all of it was wonderful. Every word, video, behind the scenes story.
And then she found the article.
/Are you ready for the 2018-2019 season of shows?/
Marinette gasped, but continued reading. And right there, dead center, the big musical was featured in bold.
/The Paris Apple Theatre presents the musical that has won award after award, Disney’s Newsies!!! Be sure to come and audition August 3rd or 4th or catch the show this November!!! Click here to see audition information./
Marinette didn’t realize she had been holding her breath until Tikki poked her in the nose.
“Well,” she began, her voice only cheerful and encouraging. “What are you waiting for?”
Marinette didn’t let herself debate it. She didn’t hesitate. She clicked the link and began reading.
Marinette opened the side door of the theatre, and was immediately hit with a million different sounds. There were people of all ages, all inside the lobby with matching papers in hand. As Marinette found her way in line with the others to get her own set of paperwork, she took particular notice to the teens and kids like her.
A group of them had taken over the back half of the lobby and were stretching and doing back walkovers. A little boy was sat doing the splits and grinned when Marinette caught his eye, waving with a cheerful grin on her face. Marinette smiled and waved at him.
She failed to realize that she was now at the table until a voice interrupted her thoughts.
“Adorable, isn’t he? That’s Chester. He’s super excited for the production, and-“ the girl in front of Marinette stopped abruptly when she was poked in the shoulder by her comrade. “I’m sorry. Where on earth are my manners! My name is Aurore, and I’m the student director for Newsies. And this,” she pointed at the girl next to her, “is-“
“Juleka! Nice to see you again,” Marinette said, giggling at the way Aurore fake pouted and Juleka rolled her eyes.
“Nice to see you too Marinette. I’m the assistant student director. Now, are you here to audition?” Juleka asked her, and when Marinette nodded her head, she shuffled around in her papers. “You’ll have to fill these out, and when you finish, just hand them to me, Aurore, or any of the stage managers. The papers are pretty self explanatory, but if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask.”
“And your number is 19,” Aurore added, placing the numbered sticker on her shirt. “Break a leg!”
And with that, Marinette was ushered into the lobby with everyone else. There were a few people who glanced at her, but no one paid any mind to her.
Marinette found an open spot on the ground near the gymnast kids and began working on her papers.
Name? Oh that was easy. She scribbled Marinette Dupain-Cheng in the space at the top. Age, height, weight, appearance, and conflicts were easy. But then she made it to the part titled “resume.” Marinette glanced around, sure she had confusion written on her face, and pondered what it could mean.
“You must be very confused to have that expression on your face,” a voice said, causing Marinette to look up from her paperwork. Bright blue eyes met Marinette’s, and she smiled. Of course Chester would be paying attention to her. “Do you need any help?”
“Actually, I could use a little bit. Do you know what the resume part means?”
Chester cocked his head. “That’s where you put your resume. You know, shows and roles you’ve had, dance and voice lessons, special talents. That kind of stuff.” He sounded so nonchalant that Marinette felt her jaw drop.
“Well,” she began, “that makes a lot of sense. Thank you very much, Chester.” The boy began scooting away, and so Marinette called out to him. “And by the way, you’re going to do awesome! Break a leg!”
The grin that Chester shot back at Marinette made her own face light up, and it stayed that way until she got to the final part of the papers.
/Roles I am interested in:/
Now, Marinette had heard from Alya that you always want to put one or two that you would like, and then “any role offered.”
The two weeks after reading the requirements had been filled with listening to songs and singing along, not to mention watching Newsies on Netflix at least ten times. She knew every character and would be thrilled to play any if she was given the chance. But something inside of her made her write one name next to the “any role” she had written down.
Marinette didn’t know whether to be grateful or nervous that everyone auditioned in front of everyone. They had all been ushered inside the theatre, and thankfully sat by number, instead of in the clusters that seemed to form when all the people were still in the lobby.
Marinette looked around at the people that were by her. She had heard Chloé before she saw her, going on and on about how she would play every part. Marinette had to hold in the snort that threatened to come out at Chloé’s continued story.
One of the directors, stepped up on the stage and ran through how the audition would work. The kids 12 and under would go first, learning a dance, sight reading a bit, and they would have the possibility of staying and being asked to do a cold read. Marinette once again mentally thanked Alya for all of her theatre talk. Then, the director said would be the time for the teens and young adults to have their go, sing audition songs, learn a dance, sight read, and read from the script. After that, a few people might be asked to stay to read with the adults or as an adult.
Simple as that. Or at least, Marinette thought.
She payed some attention to the kids auditions, mainly to Chester and Manon, who was there as well. But mostly, she was thinking. Alya was auditioning tomorrow, which was one reason Marinette chose today. Yes, of course Alya was her best friend, but Marinette wanted to try something without having the embarrassment that would come along if she failed.
That and Chat. Well, Adrien. Chatdrien? They had revealed to each other right as school had let out for the summer. Because, she made the promise that when Hawkmoth was gone, they could.
And yes, they became closer, of course. Alya swore that he replaced her as Marinette’s best friend. But it was awkward. Because Chat liked Ladybug, and Marinette liked Adrien. It was a real pickle. A conundrum.
Adrien had started community theatre almost a year ago. How he managed it and Chat and modeling and everything else, Marinette had no clue. And of course Marinette had come out to see him, with Nino and Alya of course.
Adrien also happened to mention that he was going to be crazy busy on a patrol, and although he wanted to, he didn’t think he would have time to audition for Newsies. He also might have mentioned having a photo shoot today, the other reason for choosing today to audition.
Ugh. Why did life have to be so complicated?
“Hey! Hey! Hey! Ughh. Marinette!” a voice called, getting progressively louder. Marinette shook her head to clear it, and looked up just in time to see Manon launch herself into Marinette’s lap. “Did you like it? Did I do good?”
“Of course Manon,” she responded, smiling at the girl. “You were amazing! I know you’ll be in the show!”
“You really think so?” Marinette nodded. “Thanks so much Marinette! I’ve got to go. My mommy wants me. See you later!!”
Marinette waved to the girl as she left, and then looked down at her lap. Tikki poked her head out of the purse that rested on Marinette’s side, shooting her a reassuring smile and a wink. Marinette took a breath, shifting the sheet music that sat on her legs.
The director chose that moment to appear again, saying that they would begin in five minutes with the next round, and adding that call backs may be needed, and those called for them would be contacted.
Marinette forced herself to calm down, and to close her eyes. All too soon, the auditions began, and all kinds of songs were played and sang. Marinette payed way more attention this time, noting which girls sang the same songs, and which guys would be in the running for Jack Kelley.
There were, of course, both amazing singers and some that were most likely better at acting. Or nervous. Marinette listened to the eighteen people in front of her, groaning with many as Chloé announced she was singing “Popular”.
Marinette may have been new to the theatre world, but she knew from Alya that “you never, ever, ever sing a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g overused. Also known as Wicked, Annie, or Sound of music. Those and the popular princess movies.”
There were also those who possessed such talent that you could tell. Marinette watched a young girl whose name she didn’t quite catch sing a wonderful “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
All too soon, a boy who had sang something from Oliver stepped off of the stage, and it was her turn.
Marinette walked up to the stage, handed the pianist her music, and walked to the center. She took a breath, closed her eyes, and focused.
When she opened them, a simple introduction was stated, and she sang.
The dancing part was incredibly fun, as was reading from the script. Marinette knew she defiantly had less experience and poise, but she made up for all of that in heart and enthusiasm. So far, her favorite part had been reading as Jack Kelley, as there were too many girls and not enough guys. Her newsies accent was spot on, she had spent enough time impersonating the broadway stars in her bedroom, and Chester playing Les alongside her made her try even harder.
She was proud to say that she didn’t break character once.
Until Chester’s shoe flew off and hit the boy reading as Davey right in the face.
All too soon, it was over. Even though Marinette had thought that she would be fine without getting a part, part of her had realized that wasn’t the case. She had fun today, and she wanted to have that much fun almost every day.
So, Marinette made her way home, hopeful but preparing for the worst. And she proceeded to do what every theatre kid has ever done.
Sit and wait for the cast list, no matter how long it would take.
And nothing, not even baking that day, or designing, could keep her mind off of the show. She was stuck in this mindset, she caught the theatre bug. And boy was it not going to let her go.
Good thing she had patrol that night to take her mind off of it.
She and Chat had revealed after the threat of Hawkmoth was gone. And it had definitely taken some time to get used to the fact that the pun loving hero and the somewhat shy model she had a crush on were the same person.
But they had started getting along. Sort of. Chat and Ladybug were partners. They had to get along and be best friends. Because that’s what they were. And the fact that
The thing Alya and Nino didn’t understand was the fact that the two were close. And it was still weird to be best friends outside of the suit. That and Adrien was always busy, especially this summer. Which, Marinette had to admit was her reason for auditioning in the first place.
Adrien had told her he’d be too busy to audition, and that gave her the shove she needed to go for it. Because then Adrien wouldn’t see her being nervous and bad at rehearsals, if she made it, and would only see the final product of the show.
What she wasn’t planning on hearing when she went to patrol after her audition was that Adrien’s schedule had cleared. In fact, his father was almost forgiving him to audition. “It would be good for business,” he had apparently told Adrien.
So Adrien would be auditioning the next day. For the show. And he had no idea that Marinette had auditioned in the first place. What if he was mad at her for auditioning?
Marinette mentally slapped herself. He wouldn’t be mad. In fact, it would be fun to be in the show with him. Maybe they would be newsies together and could do a few stunts.
Yeah. They would make a great newsie pair.