Today, we are thrilled to be featuring an exclusive sneak peek at Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg. Below, you’ll find a note from Elizabeth plus an excerpt from Take a Bow, in stores April 1st!
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When I was little, I was the star music student at my little private grade school. I always got first chair and the solos. Then I went to public high school. It was so weird for me to go from being the featured soloist to third chair, but I wasn’t as good as the other students. I was suddenly the tiny fish in the big pond. This was my inspiration for Sophie Jenkins.
Sophie was always the star in Brooklyn, the most talented singer without question. But then she gets into the NYC School of the Creative and Performing Arts, where super talented is the norm. While she was the most confident going in (as you’ll soon read), when you meet her again senior year, you’ll see the toll that it has taken on her.
I don’t want to say that Sophie is my most controversial character, but she is definitely someone that people will have a strong reaction to. I will say that it was really fun to write from Sophie’s point of view because we are such different people. I found myself sitting up straighter, typing away with purpose.
Sophie really shows that he road to fame is not easy… and that there are some people who will do anything to be a star.
It’s all going according to plan.
This audition is just one more box to check off on Sophie’s Plan to Superstardom.
Basically, the list so far has consisted of me performing at every possible talent show, wedding, sporting event, bar mitzvah, birthday party, etc., in the Brooklyn area (check!), getting Emme to write me a can’t lose original song for my audition (check!), and getting into CPA.
Of course, once I’m accepted, I’ll have my work cut out for me. I’m not that naïve. So once I get in I need to become the star pupil, land the lead in every play, get the most coveted spot at the Senior Showcase, and then get a record contract by the time I graduate.
I will have a Grammy before I turn twenty. Even if it kills me.
I’m not even nervous. Are you kidding me? I LOVE being on stage. I LOVE the glow of the spotlight. It’s the waiting that’s killing me.
I look around and notice a few other contenders for the vocal department at CPA from different talent contests that I’ve done . . . and won. They’ve got nothing on me and they know it.
All the singers (at least in Brooklyn) are jealous of me. While they’ll all be auditioning with songs from West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music, I have an original Emme Connelly song written just for me.
For a second, just a second, my stomach drops. I hope Emme gets in. Her audition is in a couple weeks for the music composition program. Although her acceptance (or rejection) won’t really affect my Plan. She’ll still write songs for me. It would just be easier if she would also be at my school. Don’t get me wrong, she’s talented enough to get in, but being center stage really isn’t her thing. She gets nervous.
Not everybody can be a natural.
I hear my name and enter the auditorium. I can’t wait to show the panel what I’m capable of. I’m ready to move on with my Plan and be the star that I know I am.
This is just one small step.
Excerpt from Take a Bow, published by Point/Scholastic, copyright © 2012 by Elizabeth Eulberg. Used with permission.