Long-standing goal from first year finally met in acting debut

Jacob Tarr has doomed me. Our assistant sports editor and I were in the newsroom together when two fateful words parted from his lips:
“Good luck.”
Given that I’m making my acting debut in the Schuster Theatre’s “A Lie of the Mind” Thursday, I could have done without the sentiment.
Still, the show must go on, even in my accursed state.

Alex "Q" Bieler, assistant sports editor

As a film and theater enthusiast, I’ve long been intrigued by the notion of acting. I didn’t start seriously considering it until my sister was brilliantly cast for the “My Angry Vagina” sketch in the Vagina Monologues. However, due to a variety of excuses, I’ve never actually tried out for a role until “Lie.”
In an amalgamation of exhilaration and terror, I tried out for the Sam Shepard play. Knowing that it’s likely my last semester at Gannon, I walked in as the only first-timer at auditions, a flannel-clad giant among the thespians.
After I whipped out my best “I will drink your milkshake” reenactment, a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I finally tried. The part may not come, but at least I gave it my best effort. Then the casting e-mail came, with the 18th line simply stating “Baylor – Alex ‘Q’ Bieler.”
I blankly stared at the computer screen for a while. Slowly, the reality of the situation trickled into my mind.
I was finally going to be an actor.
Now, two months after receiving that email, opening day is here. Once again, that feeling of exhilaration and terror sweeps over me. After multiple rehearsals, numerous hours spent memorizing lines and 100-plus days of not shaving, I’m finally ready to make my debut.
At 8 p.m. Thursday, I will no longer be Q – and that’s just fine by me.
For three hours, I can stop worrying about my routine schedule. Baylor doesn’t care about song currents or Interpersonal Communication homework. Instead, Baylor acts as a means of escape – providing a few hours away from the doldrums of the real world each day.
Every so often, I find myself speaking like Baylor. In normal conversation, I’ll randomly drop a line from “Lie,” not even realizing until after I said it. I now have two families – one in Cleveland and one in Montana.
In two weeks, “Lie” will end. I’ll go back to normal everyday life. Classes will still go on as usual and it will continue to snow, knowing Erie. However, even after the play stops its Schuster run, Baylor will never leave me after all we’ve been through.
After all, I am Baylor.

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