Across the country in 24 hours or less

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Me smiling outside of the Catholic University’s theatre school. (Photo Credit: Debbie Watson)

Giovana "Jojo" Watson, Staff Writer

Dear readers,

I’m sure you’re all anxious to hear about my cross-country travels. Let me just preface with this:

IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST EXPERIENCES OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.

My dad dropped my mom and me off at LAX at about 7:15 a.m., giving us more than enough time to get through security, get breakfast, and find our gate. The flight there was easy, as we typically go to New York every other year, so it was no issue. I also took one of the best naps of my life on that plane, which is always a blessing.

Once we landed, it was about 5:30 p.m. EST, making it 2:30 p.m. back in California. We found our hotel, got some really good pizza, and decided to do some sightseeing because “…when in Rome, do what the Romans do.”

Mom and I drove around trying to find where I would be auditioning, which was on campus at Catholic University. Everyone we asked had told us, “You can’t miss the Basilica,” which is on Catholic University’s campus. As we turned the corner, we saw a massive dome that looked like it belonged on a movie set. Words cannot describe how beautiful it was.

My mom and I smiling in front of a Christmas tree outside of the White House. (Photo Credit: Debbie Watson)

After we finished losing our minds over the Basilica, we drove ten minutes down the street to the White House, Capitol Building, and the Washington Monument. Sadly, Byron did not take me out to dinner. Once we got back to the hotel, I had to drink about two cups of tea, take Tylenol, pop throat drops, and wear long-sleeved pajamas to keep my voice performance-ready.

This is the front view of the Basilica at Catholic University. (Photo Credit: Giovana Watson)

The next morning, my mom picked up some Starbucks for us and some more throat and nose remedies for me, just to be safe. I rehearsed my songs and monologues on the way to the audition. Once we got to the school, the nerves started to set in, but in a very good way. When I walked in, I was greeted by ambassadors. One happened to be named Giovanna like me, but with an “n” difference. When I walked downstairs to the waiting room, I saw a friend that I met over the summer on a Zoom college intensive, so we had a mini-reunion.

Before they started the auditions, a few of the professors held a short masterclass and Q+A, which helped take the edge off, (at least for me). Once those were done, students led us to rehearsal rooms, where everyone stayed until they were called up. I was the last person to audition for musical theatre that day, so I was a little bit more on edge. The audition itself went great! My first song was excellent, the professors laughed at my monologue, and my final song was great!

Mom and I on our way home from D.C. (Photo Credit: Debbie Watson)

After we said goodbye and thank you, my mom and I explored the Basilica and the surrounding town for a little while. After, we rushed to the airport. We just barely made our flight home, but it was smooth sailing from there! Once we landed back in California, we went and got In-N-Out, as any Californian would.

I am so excited to hear back from Catholic University, and I can’t wait to keep you all updated on my audition journey!