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Local rapper brings heart back to beat

Local rapper brings heart back to beat


Local hip-hop artist and fashion enthusiast Preez Magnificent, 23, tailors his music to fans but stays true to his tune.

From his humble border-town beginnings in Bisbee to the lyrical crusade he undertook to promote love, and protest SB 1062, this rapper knows words can be double-edged.

“Yo, words can be used to create or destroy. Sometimes I feel like politicians play us with words that have no meaning like ‘debt ceiling,’ isn’t debt negative?” Magnificent said. “It’s an oxymoron, like downstairs ladder.”

Fed up with the tempestuous drama that engulfed Arizona after representatives presented the “religious freedom” senate bill and over-priced lattes, Preez sprang into action.

The artist says that the amount of inequality and turmoil in this world inspired him to write a new album titled “Local Love and Protest.”

Magnificent blends his border-town beats with calm Jamaican reggae and Cali hip-hop. His goal is to break down musical and social borders while constructing the greatest album to come out of Arizona.

Producer J. Wildcard, 23, is Magnificent’s counterbalance and brings to the table an eclectic range of superfluous style of sounds. Wildcard is a man of many hats, but tries to avoid hat hair while in the studio.

“I was a thespian in high school myself, and after coming out to my parents I knew I wanted to do musicals. That evolved into creating music,” Wildcard said.

“Sometimes I have to remind my partner-in-rhyme that we’ve got to make it about the people.”

One of the tracks on the album, “Come Out Da Closet,” tells the heart-wrenching story of what it’s like to live in fear of coming out from the shadows. Preez hopes to inspire those who live in fear to step out of the darkness.

“I say just come out to the light, except for my albino homies,” Magnificent said. “I advise they probably avoid it.”

Empathy is one of the many tools Preez uses to spit fire into the mic. The cascade of his lyrical flow is enough to dazzle listeners into pondering life’s quandaries, but according to Wildcard, music is not Magnificent’s only endeavor.

“Preez has his heart in the right place, but he fancies himself a fashion designer lately,” Wildcard said.”
Magnificent is an amateur designer but hopes to go pro with a line of fashion and accessories for all.

He is heavily influenced by sports driven fashion and is currently developing the world’s first line of sports maternity wear.

“Yo, just because your lady is pregnant doesn’t mean she can’t look sexy in a Suns jersey, and I can make that happen,” Manificent said.

“Local Love and Protest” will drop worldwide on April 1.


Preez Magnificant displays his love for equality in Downtown Tucson. (Sebastian Barajas/Aztec Press)


STOMPING GROUNDS: Circle K is king of convenience

STOMPING GROUNDS: Circle K is king of convenience


Its 3 a.m., you are hungry, thirsty, and tired. Your car also needs a quart of oil, your cat needs food and there is a new movie on DVD you really want to see.

Why isn’t there a store on every corner of Tucson that can solve all those problems while only slightly overcharging in the process?

Well, there is. Circle K, located about a half mile or less from where you are currently reading, has everything the average consumer needs with only a modest markup. But how can you put a price on convenience?

By enabling consumers to purchase 144 oz. sodas and lukewarm hotdogs while pumping 40 gallons of fuel into their SUVs, Circle K is an embodiment of the America lifestyle we all know and love.

Dante Hicks, who has worked in convenience stores for more than two decades, explained the exciting life of a Circle K clerk.

“I have been robbed at gunpoint twice this year so far, and I get to eat all the nachos I can handle,” Hicks said.

“Hey, did you pay for that candy bar?” he yelled as a 13-year-old kid ran out the door. “Man, I’m not even supposed to be here today.”

Randy Lyon, who has been standing in front of a Circle K asking people for spare change since 2008, said he wouldn’t panhandle anywhere else.

“People that come into the store almost never spit or curse at me, unless it’s a hot day, which it usually is,” Lyon said. “But the Reptilians haven’t found me here yet, so Space Jesus must be happy with me.”

“I answered your questions, now where’s that 50 cents for beer you promised me?” he added.

So the next time you need some late-night munchies and are too impaired to drive to a fast-food restaurant, stumble on down to your local Circle K.

Buy some Slim Jims, the biggest ICEE they have, and tell the clerk a random life story as you pay with quarters.

You will fit right in.

Pg08-Circle K

Circle K stands as a beacon to weary travelers seeking a port in the storm. (Andrew Paxton/Aztec Press)

Creed resurrects music

Creed resurrects music


Where were you when critically acclaimed rock geniuses Creed unleashed their monumental single, “With Arms Wide Open”? Ask any true music aficionado this question, and not only can they tell you the exact spot, they can tell you how many times they listened to it on repeat.

“I remember I was flipping through the telly,” the legendary Paul McCartney said. “When he rose up his arms and unleashed that powerful voice, I knew. This was the bloody future of rock and roll.”

“The Beatles never could have reached those heights. It was a humbling moment of self-realization,” he added, tears running down his cheeks.

A global cry of joy will shake the music world like a thick guitar riff on April 1 when Creed releases their new masterpiece album and allows their fans to bask in its glory.

“Creed the Redeemer,” a 50 track tour de force, is like some beautiful migraine slowly beginning to tingle in your frontal lobe until it’s a full blown, pounding ache throughout your soul.

Take the impeccable energy of The Rolling Stones, extraordinary vocal range of Christina Aguilera, Kanye West’s irresistible flow and imagine that in the flawless body of Beyoncé.

That almost comes close to describing “Redeemer,” but there are no words or descriptions grandiose enough to sum up the impressive, awe-inducing volume of work.

“Open Your Arms Wide Now,” the first single, is the power ballad of the future. It is clear the band has mastered every genre of music.

Elements of folk, surf rock, pop, jazz, punk, hip-hop, and metal all build into a maddening chorus.

From the brilliantly crafted chaos, Stapp’s voice bounces through like a plump and smiling cherub.

Many of today’s most prolific music critics and entertainers were so moved by Creed’s opus they retired after one listen.

Rapper T.I. tweeted, “I just wish this track was longer. Twenty minutes wasn’t enough.”

U2 singer Bono said, “I haven’t cried that hard since the last time I looked into the face of a starving child. I am a failure.” He then ran off screaming into the void.

Creed has accomplished what would seem an impossible feat with their new album; somehow they have topped their own greatness.

In a recent reader poll by Rolling Stone Magazine, Creed was unanimously named, “The Band that Will Save the World,” and named front man Scott Stapp, “The Ultimate Boy Next Door,” crushing Harry Styles from One Direction by a three-to-one margin.

Scott Stapp has redeemed the unwashed masses and given us all a reason to dream again. We have been reborn through Creed.

Prepare yourself for the album of your life; prepare to cry tears of joy; prepare yourself, if you can, for the monumental artwork called “Creed the Redeemer.”

Arizona governor changes tune

Arizona governor changes tune


Arizona governor Jan Brewer has decided to resign from her position, effective immediately.

Brewer was sworn into her governorship January 2009 after Janet Napolitano resigned in order to become the Secretary of Homeland Security. Brewer has apparently mimicked her predecessor but in a contrasting pursuit of a music career.

“I’m so over politics or dealing with discrimination guised as laws and drawn-out, stab-me-with-a -spoon legislative meetings,” Brewer said. “Right now, music fuels an uncontrollable fire in my creative loins.”

Brewer became governor when Arizona was facing the second largest budget deficit in the U.S., which was partly caused by Napolitano’s ill-fated campaign promise to lower temperatures in the desert state.

Through fiscal conservancy, such as not letting state employees take showers and limiting their restroom breaks, Brewer slashed Arizona’s $1.6 billion projected budget gap down to an estimated $303,497 shortfall in five years.

One of Brewer’s latest victories in championing the people of Arizona came on Feb. 26, when she decided to veto SB 1062.

As her last legislative action, Brewer courageously enacted SB 1200, which mandates that all state employees learn a basic DJ skill-set by the close of this year.

“After those long special sessions Jan and I would talk about the results, but also about our hopes for the future,” said Andrew Wilder, Napolitano’s DJ-turned-communications director. “Naturally, I would play some music that is really speaking to me, but I certainly had no idea my tunes would affect Jan the way they obviously have.”

Brewer said now that she has been introduced to electronic dance music, there is no turning back to a high-pressure desk-job. Dubstep has apparently taken complete control over Brewer’s soul and she plans on running things next year in Miami.

“I have come to a point in my life where the only thing I want to veto is some muppet DJ’s track selection,” Brewer said. “By this time next year, I will not be rolling out legislation, I’m gonna be rolling out massive dubplates at the Winter Music Conference.”

Although Arizona’s former leading lady is about to get dirty, Brewer said her greatest literary inspiration, Mark Twain, will ground her in an honorable class.

“The first day I actually heard Dubstep, my soul pulsed with a blistering new frequency,” Brewer said. “But that twisted sound conversely brought me back to Twain’s most poignant words, ‘The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.’”



Compiled by Shana Rose

Year of first April Fools’ Day

Number of deaths caused annually by pranks gone wrong

Fake body parts purchased annually for pranks

Annual amount spent for elaborate pranks

Percentage of people who quit their jobs as a prank

Percentage of women who use pregnancy as a prank

Percentage of the population that has never pranked anyone on April Fools’ Day

Percentage of fake advertisements on display

Number of celebrities who faked their own deaths in 2013

Average number of pranks pulled every hour

*The Internet
**Your mom
***Who cares?

Hip-hop holograms haunting Pima

Hip-hop holograms haunting Pima


The creators who brought Tupac “2Pac” Shakur back from the grave at Coachella 2012, San Diego-based business AV Concepts, will soon be bringing their “Dead Hip-Hop Tour” to Pima Community College.
The tour is sponsored by Andre “Dr. Dre” Romelle Young and is scheduled to make stops at universities and colleges that are adding hip-hop classes to their curriculums.

The hip-hop and rap legends will be making a stop at Pima on April 1 at the Proscenium Theatre, West Campus at 7 p.m.

The Tupac hologram will be joined by other deceased stars including the Jason “Jam Master Jay” William Mizell, Russell “Ol’ Dirty Bastard” Tyrone Jones, Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace and Aaliyah Dana Haughton holograms.

“After re-establishing myself at Coachella, I knew had to keep it going,” the Shakur hologram said.

“I can’t believe what the music game has come to after I left. ‘Bitches love Sosa’ this, ‘Wonton Soup’ that. We’re coming back to save hip-hop and rap,” he said with a glow.

PCC will be adding HIP 101 and 102 in Fall 2014. Classes will be taught via Skype by some of hip-hop’s influential artists, all personally picked by Dr. Dre.

HIP 101 will be taught by Clive “DJ Kool Herc” Campbell. The class will be covering basic knowledge of the four elements of hip-hop: rap or “MCing,” turntablism or “DJing,” break-dancing and graffiti art.

HIP 102 will be taught by Joseph “Grandmaster Flash” Saddler and this class will go more in-depth with DJing and MCing.

“I’m shocked that Pima would even offer classes like this,” sophomore Kevin Johns said.

“This has nothing to do with my physics major, but I don’t care. I think our generation needs to be reintroduced to this genre.”

Angelica Pickles, an intern publicist for Dr. Dre, agrees.

“Dr. Dre wanted to reinfluence the young generation of hip-hop heads,” Pickles said.

“What these kids are listening to now is garbage. We are hoping that students aspiring to be artists in the music industry will take what they can from these classes,” she said.


Dr. Dre is bringing his “Dead Hip-Hop” Tour to PCC on April 1.

Pima growers go international

Pima growers go international


After scoring a historic upset at the National Indoor Championships, The Pima Community College Hydroponics Club is headed to the 2014 International Cannabis Cup in Holland.

The club took home the gold medal after defeating more celebrated teams from Oaksterdam University, the University of Colorado, and Harvard Medical School.

The Nationals were held in Denver on March 15, and were won by PCC’s entry “Pima Paralysis,” a hybrid of “El Chronquistador #2” and “Tombstone Tombstone.” The silver medal went to Harvard Med School’s “Medicinal Madness” and the bronze to Oaksterdam’s “Oakland Haze.”

PCC’s team was a longshot, but it appears that a combination of increased Border Patrol activity and competition from medical marijuana dispensaries has started a hydroponics renaissance in southern Arizona.

Buzz Yeager, PCC hydroponics club president, agrees.

“I’ve got to give props to the local growers, they’ve really stepped their game up recently. ‘Tombstone Tombstone’ is out of control, and blended really well with ‘El Chron,’” Yeager said.

The captain of the defending Oaksterdam team, Mylo Jorgensen, was surprised by the results but had no complaints about the judging.

“We thought we were going back to Holland, but we got complacent. We’re going to have to go back home and develop a new hybrid if we want to compete with Pima and Harvard in the future,” Jorgensen said between coughs.

Head contest judge William Jefferson seemed pleased with the unexpected showings by the upstarts.

“It’s good to see some new blood winning the contest. We really enjoyed the body high that you get from “Oakland Haze,” but “Medicinal Madness” and “Pima Paralysis” really were the stickiest of the icky,” Jefferson said.

“Pima in particular blew our minds and we wish them all the best in Holland,” he added, flashing a thumbs-up and a toothy smile.

The International competition will be held in Amsterdam on April 20. In order to raise funds for the trip, PCC’s team will be holding a joint bake sale with the Recreational Chemistry Club on April 1, on each of Pima’s campuses.

The Recreational Chemistry Club is raising funds for their annual trip to Disneyland. They seem to have been inspired by the Hydroponics Club’s victory.

“All we usually do is explore the Magic Kingdom in altered states of consciousness, but now we’re thinking about entering some contests to see how our creations stack up with other clubs around the country,” said chemistry club Beth Gonzalez.

The 2014 National Psychedelics Competition will be held in San Francisco on July 30, with the International Competition to follow in Zurich, Switzerland on Nov. 1.

Both teams are proud to represent Pima and hope you will help them reach their destinations. More information about the bake sale is available at 555-3784.

Mirror neurons echo empathy

Mirror neurons echo empathy


Pg07-Brain illustration

(Aztec Press photo illustration by Nellie Silva)


What does it mean to be human?

Since the dawn of self-awareness, the answer has evaded inquiring minds, but recent developments in neuroscience have provided a piece to the puzzle that is human consciousness.

Behind our mind’s eye exists an intricate network of brain cells possessing science-fiction-like functioning. These brain cells are known as mirror neurons.

Located within the neocortical regions of the brain, our mirror neuron system is part of the most recently evolved portion of the cerebral cortex concerning visual and auditory motor-skills within mammals.

University of California San Diego neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran speculates these neurons’ evolutionary role coincides with the dawn of self-awareness.

“This could be the neural basis of introspection, and of the reciprocity of self-awareness and other awareness,” Ramachandran wrote in a 2009 essay.

This connection between motor skills and emotionality acts as our perceptual link to empathy.

The science of empathy

By virtue of imitation, mirror neurons have equipped modern minds with a telepathic capacity for connecting, observing and understanding.

This serves as the mind’s functional form of empathy.

Whenever we perform an action, watch an action being performed or imagine an action’s performance, the same mirror neuron regions of the brain are activated.

If the brain can attain another’s perception, it can begin to understand, and learn from that point of view.

The brain game

We connect through imitation on a daily basis, in watching movies, music, dance, sports and other activities. If we know the game, our brain plays along, acting as if we are the one in action.

Whether we are observing, imagining or performing, our brain interprets it all the same.

As of 2005, FMRI scans revealed the mirroring system of neurons communicates with the emotional limbic system in the human brain.

Astonishingly, 2009 EEG recordings offered insight into mirror neurons’ electromagnetic nature and the interdependent neural frequencies that communicate with the frequencies of other’s brains.

Therefore, if the mirroring network of neurons connects to emotions within our own minds while communicating with the mirror neuron frequencies of other’s minds, we experience the emotions of another as if they were our own.

The human connection

Of all the traits setting humanity aside from the rest of the animal kingdom, empathy is our greatest biological anomaly.

Empathy at its core directly contradicts the brain’s primal survival instinct.

While it is evident through existence that emotional connection is an innate necessity within humankind, this drive could be argued as an egocentric need for recognition.

It is the self-sacrificing side of empathy that truly perplexes our survival instincts, which is where mirroring neurons come into play.

With greater insight into mirror neurons as electromagnetic conductors of empathy, the anomaly of self-sacrifice can be understood through unbiased telepathy.

Imitating emotions

If the brain imitates emotions, as it does actions, biologically our minds can convolute the emotions arising within us, with those emotions being experienced by others.

This emotional confusion is quintessential intimacy.

Empathy overrides selfish instincts as emotions of another can be experienced as our own.

Of the near 100 billion neurons firing within the human mind, these mirror neurons are profoundly unique in their brain placement and functioning.

Found on either side of the brain, mirror neurons sole purpose is the neural processing of social information within humans.

Until now, consciousness had long been considered an internal expression of personal identity.

All for one

However, at our neurological essence, we are creatures of imitation.

Every aspect of “being me” comes from mirroring another’s behavior.

Previously, neuroscience limited neighboring neuron interaction between the cerebral hemispheres of one brain.

What made these neurons so exceptionally unique was their associative form of communicating, which indicates one’s mirroring system does not differentiate between self-awareness and the awareness of others.

We are in fact, harmoniously hardwired to connect within one conscious reality

Consciousness has been perceived as a sense of identity within each individual brain.

Mirror neurons confirm collective consciousness between all minds.

There is no “one for all.” We are one being, expressed simultaneously as interdependent entities of a conscious force.

AZTEC FICTION SERIES, PART 5 Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘The Show’

AZTEC FICTION SERIES, PART 5 Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘The Show’


It was now or never. The curtain was about to go up on the most important night of Phoebe’s life. Lucy had yet to show, and everyone was anxious. It wasn’t like Lucy to miss an opening night.

Phoebe watched James pace. Three different people were on cell phones, trying to find the wayward Lucy. David and Phoebe had taken turns dashing back to the dressing room. No one had located her.

James was cursing his decision to send Lucy’s understudy home. Phoebe chewed on a fingernail. They couldn’t do the show with no Joanne! Her worst nightmares were coming true. Her show business dreams were slipping away.

David peeked through the curtain at the audience. “The natives are getting restless,” he whispered. They were already 20 minutes behind schedule. If Lucy wasn’t found soon, James would cancel the show.

Phoebe bit her lip. “Where is she? I didn’t think she’d actually ruin the entire show over my punching her!”

David put a hand on her shoulder. “James called Maryanne, the understudy, but she can’t make it. Weird how no one can reach Lucy, though.”

“It’s like she disappeared from the face of the earth,” Phoebe said. She sighed and leaned her head on David’s shoulder. “It’s over, then. We have to close before we’ve opened.”

“She’ll be here.” David sounded unsure, and James confirmed the fear when he announced the words Phoebe had been dreading.

“I’ll tell the audience. We’re canceling the show.” He looked around at the cast. “You’ve all been wonderful, and I’m truly sorry it turned out like this.”

There were disheartened murmurs from the cast. James slipped between the curtains. They could hear his words clearly. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience. It is with great sadness that I must announce…”

“Wait!” The entire cast turned, and James stepped back through the curtain.

Lucy dashed onstage. “My car broke down, and I killed my cell battery trying to call a tow truck and my dad.” She was in costume already, and looked around at the cast. “I couldn’t let you guys down, so I walked the last three miles to get here.”

James smiled. “Well, better late than never. Get into your places. I’ll let the audience know.”

Lucy caught Phoebe’s arm. “No hard feelings, Pheebs? After the show, we need to talk.”

Phoebe nodded. “After the show, Luce.”

The cast dashed to their places as James explained to the audience that they had been having technical difficulties, but the show would now proceed as planned.

Phoebe smiled as the curtain rose. Finally, her dream was coming true.

The End

AZTEC FICTION SERIES, PART 4: Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘Opening Night’

AZTEC FICTION SERIES, PART 4: Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘Opening Night’


By a stroke of luck, Phoebe was still in the cast, though she was on what James called “actor probation.”

Her saving grace had been how close they were to opening. James didn’t think anyone else could learn the part in time, and she had no understudy. However, if she messed up again, she was out with no reprieve.

Tech rehearsals went by without much incident, beyond one inexplicably blown-out spotlight. Before the cast knew it, final dress rehearsal was upon them.

The dressing room was filled with cards and flowers from the various cast members’ families. Phoebe’s own space held a vase of white roses from her boyfriend, Michael. She felt bad, because she had more or less blown him off during the last month and he still treated her like a queen.

David sat behind her, finishing her hair while she did her makeup. His own face was expertly made up and he was already in his costume, while Phoebe still sat half-dressed in her jeans and bra.

“Everything will be fine, honey.” David smiled at her in the mirror. He was referring to the fact that Lucy had been barely tolerable since the incident. Phoebe had expressed concern, as Lucy refused to be onstage with her for any scene other than “Take Me or Leave Me.”

James had supposedly talked to her, but Lucy was still being a diva. Luckily, Lucy had an understudy, so Phoebe had had someone to practice with. She was worried, however, because Lucy had bluntly said that the understudy would not be going on for her when they opened.

Phoebe nodded, absently. David smiled again. “It’ll be fine. Lucy won’t let the show be ruined just because she’s mad at you.”

Phoebe returned his smile. She finished her makeup, then reached for her shirt. “I hope you’re right, David. If she ruins the show, I’m going to do a lot more than damage her nose. They’ll have to kick me out of school for what I’ll do to her.”

David sounded sympathetic. “I know, honey. But everything will work out. You’ll see.”

Phoebe finished getting dressed. “David, you’re an angel, you know that?”

“Duh. Why do you think I’m playing Angel?” He took her hand. “Come on, Pheebs. We’d better get onstage.”

Phoebe followed him. Tonight, Lucy would show her true colors. If they weren’t good, the show would be over and Phoebe’s dreams ruined.

See the next issue for Part 5, the conclusion.

AZTEC FICTION, PART 3: Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘Cast Dynamics’

AZTEC FICTION, PART 3: Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘Cast Dynamics’

By April George

As weeks passed, the cast drifted into cliques. The director, James, could preach cast equality but the groups became painfully obvious.

Lucy, Doug and Eddie were the career theater kids. They had been in plays since they could walk, were majoring in theater and didn’t really like the college policy of allowing non-theater kids to do anything harder than sing in the chorus.

They liked to hang out on the theater docks, listening to show tunes and debating whether Patti LuPone had ruined Broadway.

Other cliques included theater wannabes (they smoked French-style, wore all black and tried to hang around with the career theaters), the smart but creative kids (psychology majors who desperately needed to fill a hole in their souls) and the “I’m just doing this to make my parents happy” group.

Phoebe was a career theater kid, but was only grudgingly accepted into their group (and only because she and Eddie had dated the semester before).

Onstage, she and Lucy were dating. Offstage, they didn’t get along but Phoebe decided it was easier not to rock the boat. The only actor she really got along with was David, the tiny red-haired dancer playing Angel.

About two weeks before opening, as they began technical rehearsals, Phoebe found herself on the docks, running lines with Doug, Lucy and David.

As Phoebe coached Doug on his lyrics, she noticed Lucy tormenting David mercilessly for the millionth time. Poor David looked like he was about to burst into tears. Something snapped inside Phoebe.

Standing up calmly, Phoebe set her script aside and walked to Lucy. The brunette looked up as she saw a shadow over herself, and met Phoebe’s eyes. “What’s the matter? You want to help torment the little loser too?”

Phoebe locked a smooth smile on her face. “I’ll leave the tormenting to you, Lucy. But I’ve wanted to do this since the show began.” She turned to leave, then spun and punched the girl in the face. Blood poured from Lucy’s nose as she screamed.

Satisfied, Phoebe put an arm around David and began to walk into the theater. However, she was intercepted by James, who had seen the entire incident. His face was drawn. “Phoebe, my office, now. We’ll have to discuss your future in this show.”

Phoebe’s heart sank. She had just been defending her friend. Would that act of friendship cost her her dream role?

See next issue for Part 4.

AZTEC FICTION SERIES, PART 2:  Adventures of a College Drama Queen: 'First Rehearsal'

AZTEC FICTION SERIES, PART 2: Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘First Rehearsal’

By April George

A week had passed, and Phoebe was still in shock. She’d gotten the part.

After worrying and losing sleep, telling everybody there was somebody better than her for the role, she was sitting in the theater, in a circle with the rest of the cast, holding the script with her beloved Maureen’s lines highlighted in purple.

To her left sat Doug, the miniscule blond playing her former flame, Mark. To her right sat Lucy, the fiery brunette playing Joanne, Maureen’s lover in the month before the opening scenes of the show.

The director, James, sat in the center of the circle, addressing the group.

“Everyone, welcome. After a difficult process, you’ve all been selected for roles in this year’s production of ‘Rent.’ You’ve been chosen for your roles based on several things. A few of you were cast as the character you auditioned for, but many of you were cast because I saw something in you that was right for your part.”

James pointed to Doug. “Now, why don’t we each introduce ourselves? State your name and who you are playing. We’ll start with Doug and go left.”

The blond actor stood up. “Hi, I’m Doug. I’m playing the role of Mark.”

To his left, a lanky actor with black hair raised a hand. “I’m Eddie, and I’ll be playing Roger.”

On and on the introductions went. Everything blurred together in Phoebe’s mind until she felt Lucy stand and introduce herself. Phoebe brushed her long red hair from her face and stood. “I’m Phoebe, and I’ll play the role of Maureen.”

James nodded. “Thank you all. Now, we have no time to lose. We open in just under a month. Why don’t we start our read-through?”

They all opened their scripts. Doug looked nervous, but Phoebe could understand that. He had the biggest role in the show. Doug started his opening monologue, over the music that James had set up to represent the band playing.

After a few minor incidents (the girl playing Mimi was badly off-key, in Phoebe’s opinion), the read-through was over.

James sat back in the center of the circle. “Not bad, for the first time.” He handed out disks. “This is the musical side of the show. I want you all to listen to it as you learn your lines. We’ll meet here again tomorrow at 6.”

See next issue for Part 3.

AZTEC FICTION SERIES, Part 1, Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘Casting’

AZTEC FICTION SERIES, Part 1, Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘Casting’

By April George

The alarm blared far too early, the flashing red numbers declaring “7:00.” Phoebe climbed out of bed. If today wasn’t so important, she would still be asleep but she had to be on campus early. The cast list would be posted.

A week earlier, the college drama department had held open auditions for the annual musical. This year’s selection was “Rent.” Phoebe had dreamed of being in the show ever since she’d seen it live in high school. She’d spent years preparing for her dream role as Maureen, the high-strung drama queen.

For her audition, she prepared Cassandra’s monologue from “Agamemnon” and chose the song “Gentlemen Aren’t Nice” by Emilie Autumn. She thought those two pieces showed the depth and range needed for the character. From the opening line of her monologue to the closing line of her song, she thought the audition had gone rather well.

Now the day of truth was upon her. She wanted to know before anyone else if she’d gotten the part. The early start had an added bonus anyway. She was falling behind on her schoolwork. She’d invested all her time in the audition, then on worrying about whether she got the part. She could use the extra hours on campus to catch up.

Michael, her boyfriend, met her in the drama department. He smiled. “The list isn’t up yet, but I’m sure you’ve got the part.”

Phoebe bit her lip. “I’m not sure. I mean, the audition went great but there’s probably someone better .”

“No one is better than you.” Michael nodded toward the cast board. The director was pinning up the list.

Phoebe raised an eyebrow. “Let’s see if I got it.” She slowly made her way to the board and scanned the list.

See the next issue of Aztec Press for Part 2