Friday, April 4, 2014

Life Really Is A Stage

Ever since the fourth grade, I’ve been on a stage of some sort. In fourth grade, my older brother, Jack, was in the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” in his high school.  They needed a “kid” to play Randolph McAfee, a part that was my brother’s son.  I got to sing two solos and I have to tell you, I was bit hard by the acting thingy.  Loved it.

Singing has always been a big part of my life all the way through the years.  In fifth grade, I was selected to perform with four of my classmates in a barbershop quartet, billed as the “Wee Four Quartet.”  Dressed in our different colored vests, white shirts and bow ties complete with a straw hat, I have to say we were stylin’. Well, stylin’ for fifth graders, anyway.

In sixth grade, I formed my own band.  Yeah, we were pretty not so awfully good.  But, it did get me noticed by a group of older guys who asked me to play drums and sing for them, so I did that for two years.  Mostly a Top Forty cover band, we had a lot of gigs, entered contests, that sort of thing.  Fun times.  Great times.  And great memories.

Continued on into high school.  Plays.  Musicals.  Choirs.  Solo stuff.  Eventually a couple of commercials.  Weddings and funerals.  It didn’t matter to me because I did what I did and loved it. 

One time towards the end of my senior year, I performed as a front act on a benefit show.  Six songs with my accompanist- a great guitarist.  It was towards the end of the first song when I noticed a middle-aged woman in the first row trying to get my attention subtly, quietly, without too many people noticing her.  Had no idea what she was doing or why she was doing it until I took a bow at the end of the song.  Bright spotlight.  One of two guys on stage.  Dark slacks.  And my fly wide open with five more songs to go.  Hmmm . . . yup!

Life Really Is A Stage.  Our Stage.  A stage to make and create as we see fit.  Some of the props are ours, while some props are handed to us, given to us without our asking, without our wanting, without a chance to say, “No thanks!  I’d rather not!”

And while on that stage, while using those props, we build our own one act play.  Our Life.  We live it.  We speak it.  We act it out.  It’s ours and ours alone.  We share it.  We might try to hide it.  Sometimes we recreate the dialogue, the actions and the costumes.  Other times, we borrow or create and craft the dialogue and actions and costumes to fit what we are and do now.

But ultimately, it is our stage and our one act play.  While there might be other characters . . . a wife, a child or two, a boy or girl friend, other family members, friends, acquaintances . . . what we do on that stage is our choice, our life, our one act play.  Through happy times.  Exciting times.  Difficult times.  Sad times.  All times in between.  Some new experiences, some older experiences, but ours nonetheless.  All ours.

Life Really Is A Stage.  And, we hold that stage . . . our stage . . . for as long as we live.  Some, like my mom a long time- 99 years-, while others of us shorter, much shorter, or maybe one or two of us, longer.  We never know when we will step off that stage.  Tragically.  Dramatically.  Sympathetically.  Heroically.  Silently.  Eventually, each of us will step off that stage.

So, it is a matter what we do while we’re on that stage that counts.  Do we perform to the best of our ability, or do we perform with mediocrity?  Do we perform with gusto and enthusiasm, or do we perform lethargically and lackadaisically? Do we write the script, or do we allow others to dictate what we say and how we say it?  Do we act out our own one act play as the actor and director, or do we dance to someone else’s tune and act by someone else’s directorial style? It is a choice how we act, what we say, how we perform.  Our choice.  Ours alone.  Something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe