All the World’s a Stage

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for the preforming arts. Believe it or not I used to be a theater kid in high school; I would do the fall play every year and I also was part of a theater class for about six years. I only did one musical (because I was born with the singing ability of a 13 year-old boy who just had his tonsils taken out and is simultaneously going through puberty), but plays were always a lot of fun for me. I’ve always been the shy girl and being on stage was my way of being heard. I loved having the chance to transform into a different person and recite words that weren’t mine. I liked it because if I said something stupid it didn’t matter because it wasn’t me talking, it was my character. If I said something dumb then I was the funny one and I got some laughs and if I said something cool then I had a moment of being witty. It was freeing and all the fear I normally have speaking in front of my peers vanished all at once the second I stepped out from behind the curtain. It was like a breath of fresh air. My teachers and classmates were shocked that I actually had a voice. I remember my Spanish teacher walking up to me after a production and saying, “You can talk!” (Yeah, I was that shy).

So why did my love disappear and why  has it come back all of a sudden? Well, it never actually went away I just took some time off from acting after I graduated high school because I was trying to figure out college and what I wanted to do with my life. My hobby got pushed back, but recently I’ve started watching musical theater again via Youtube and after getting the opportunity to see live productions of Julius Caesar and Wicked in Chicago, that spark reignited. I rediscovered just what made me fall in love with the theater all those years ago when I was 9 and I saw high school kids perform skits at the library. I loved seeing stories come to life and I wanted to be a part of that. I knew instantly that this was my way to speak and I’d be speaking words that may actually matter to someone; words that might change someone.

I’m a firm believer that books can change lives. I believe movies can too and theater is just another extension of storytelling. Theater is unique though because you can go to the same play 100 times with the same performers, same script, same props, same director, same everything, but it will be different each night. With a live performance things happen. Sometimes a line is forgotten. Sometimes a cue is missed. Sometimes there’s a tech malfunction or maybe a line is said differently. Maybe a performance is off one night, but breathtaking the next. Live performances are unpredictable which makes them exciting and interesting. I like to think that those mistakes reflect real life. After all, I said these are stories coming to life and life is unpredictable full of little mistakes because it isn’t polished or edited. Even if you have a set plan and everything seems to be in order, little malfunctions still happen.

Those malfunctions are the best part though. How boring would it be if everything went exactly according to plan? Where would all the stories be? One of the best parts for me being in a play was laughing about all the little mishaps that took place. Of course, all of us wanted the run to go smoothly because no one wants their play ruined, but sometimes you just have to laugh at the unexpected turns. If not, then you’d drive yourself crazy and become bitter over something that can’t be fixed. Shouldn’t life be treated that way as well?

If the opportunity rises up, I’d love to get back on stage even if the role is small. I just want to be a part of the stage’s atmosphere and hopefully make a difference to someone with my 2 or 3 lines. For now, the plan is to watch and enjoy all the brilliant productions that are currently out there and continue to feel inspired by the talented performers and well written stories that they bring to life. I also just want to encourage anyone who’s reading this to check out some musicals or plays even if it’s just on Youtube.  I hope that these live tellings of stories will inspire you too or at least provide you with 2 hours of entertainment. If theater isn’t your thing then I’m sorry and I’m not sure why you’re still reading this, but thank you and I’m glad I was able to hold your attention! Theater is something fun for me and I can find a lot of meaning in it; even if I’m never on stage again, I hope that I’ll always get chances to experiences musicals and plays because they’re a huge reason as to why I’m even writing right now. Live performances were just another gateway into my inspiration to start telling my own stories and they always will be.

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