The director lazily licked an eye after yet another hopeful began mumbling his way through Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy. Why do they always have to massacre Willie's work so?

"NEXT!" he roared, causing the poor skink on stage to blanch and skitter off stage, only to be replaced by a box turtle. Oh, for the love of... He must've come straight from some godforsaken backwater in the Pine Barrens. Seriously, why even waste the bus fare?

He composed himself and addressed the stage. "OK Buddy, what's your name? Where are you from? Tell me why I should hire you, and quickly, we're on a schedule here!

"Terry", the turtle replied. "My name's Terry, and I'm originally from the Delaware River Valley. Uh, I've done some waterfront theater in the Philadelphia area, and thought I'd try my luck here. Acting on Broadway is something I've always wanted to do, and I, uh, I think I've got what it takes to be your leading man!

The director rotated an eye toward his assistant, whispering "Five bucks says he does the opening monologue from Our Town". "Deal!" the dainty blue tree frog chirped quietly back. He cleared his throat. "OK, so Philly's an easy town to do community theater in, but it ain't Manhattan! Let's see what you've got. Clock's tickin'!"

The turtle began describing a quiet morning in Grover's Corners and the director's assistant could barely stifle a loud croak. "Told you", whispered the director. "Alright, alright, that's enough, thank you! NEXT!"

The turtle looked flummoxed, and pulled his head back into his carapace a bit. "But they loved my work in Camden, what was the problem?"

The director's eyes whirled and he sighed. "Look kid, we're very busy here alright? I don't have time to be your drama teacher. You're a box turtle for goodness sake, go do something more suited to you, like teaching elementary school or something. We're trying to cast Hairspray here, not The Crucible! NEXT!!!"

"Sir, please, I don't have train fare back home. I can't even find a job busing tables on Staten Island. I need this job, and I know I can do--"

The director turned bright red, and his eyes whirled in all directions. "WILL SOMEONE GET THIS RIDICULOUS REPTILE OFF MY STAGE? NEEEEXT!!"

The turtle implored: "Please sir, you have to give me a chance! I'll do anything, I'm kinda round anyway, I could play Edna Turnblad! Or I could do lighting, I worked the lights in High School! Please," he said as his eyes started to water, "just give me a shot! Could you give a little turtle a shot?"

The director stood up slowly, eyes closed as if preparing to strike an errant dragonfly, drawing in a long breath as if to shake the very heavens with a roar....

The turtle clattered to the floor of the stage, his extremities pulled in tight, his shell rocking forlornly on its plated belly.

The director stopped himself, and exhaled in frustration. "Somebody take this guy to Chinatown. Maybe he can catch a cheap bus to Philly. NEXT!"

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