"This is the teacher talking. Now, I've been here with you for three years. I know that being here…" he planted his feet firmly on the stage with an echo, "…standing on these boards is your passion."

But what really is my passion? Is it really to be standing on the stage and becoming another person? As a freshman I was so eager to act. I auditioned and I wasn't cast. I was upset, but everyone knows freshmen don't get cast, so it was almost okay.

I came back sophomore year and auditioned again. Again I wasn't cast. This made less sense to me. I knew the director knew who I was, I wasn't just another nameless, faceless student. I was put in a minor role in a scene cutting for the Fullerton Theatre Festival of 2007. I then decided to prove my devotion to the theatre by doing tech for the next production (after not being cast).

Junior year I auditioned for the fall play and made it all the way to the final callback before I was cut. It frustrated me that I came so close and I still didn't make it. I built and shifted sets for that play. Then it came time for auditions for the musical. I signed up for my time slot and then realized that those two shows from behind the curtain had changed me more than I thought.

So, as I stood there and nodded at the director and drama teacher, I was forced to wonder: What is my passion? I stood there, knowing that I would be performing a monologue at the Fullerton Theatre Festival for 2008 and still a battle waged inside me. What did I love more? Being out there on the stage, looked at by hundreds of eyes, blinded by the scorching lights, yet adored and given all the glory? Or did I prefer the dark side, where I didn't slave to force myself into another person's body; where I formed a family with my crew and went unspoken and unnoticed.

I couldn't decide what I loved more. In that moment I didn't know what my passion was and I knew whatever spark of certainty the director saw in me had been an act. My turmoil betrayed me to myself, for no matter what I love and what I chose, the lights or the blackness, the stage will always beckon me, the Pretender.