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Lessons from the Stage

TBIF – Lesson from the Stage

September - Time

September – Time (Photo credit: listentothemountains)

TBIF – Labor Day Weekend

Common thought is this weekend marks the end of something….the end of summer.  To kids, the end of summer break.  To beachgoers, the end of summer tanning.  To winter-phobes, the end of good weather.

But the truth is – it’s not the end of anything.  It’s just the cycle of things.  Where one season ends, another begins.  There is no dividing line that we cross, no hurdle we must clear.  Moving through the calendar, day by day, is a flow thing – like blinking our eyes or taking a breath…it happens with or without our permission. 

It’s because we fear change, that we grapple with endings.  We see them as heavy, anxiety-inducing, worrisome.  Because we don’t know what’s on the other side, what’s around the bend.

When I was a musical performer, the closing night of a show always filled me with such melancholy.  Partly because of all the hard work that had gone into the production, but mostly because I knew that I was experiencing an ending.  The ending of the show – this cast, these costumes, this theatre, those audiences – that whatever was created until that moment would now cease to exist – forever.  All the elements that made up this particular production would never, could never, be reproduced again.  The never again part is what would get to me – if felt so…final. 

What made it feel so sad, is also what made the experience so special.  The fact that it was unique, a moment in time, was a wonderful reminder that all of life is that way – a journey and not a final destination.  It’s what makes life exciting and thrilling – that something new is soon to begin.  As odd as it sounds, it’s the knowledge that we will die that makes life all the more precious – because it is finite, there is an end.

Take this weekend and use your inner Buddha Balboa as a guide – be thankful for the time that has passed and look forward to the days still to come.  BBQ, hang with friends, have a swim, play with the kids, cut the grass, or do nothing at all.  It’s simply another day on your path. – BB

Lessons from the Stage

Al Hirschfeld Theatre, view to the stage 302 W...

Al Hirschfeld Theatre, view to the stage 302 West 45th Street, Manhattan, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lesson #1:  The show must go on.

We’ve all heard it – and every performer embodies it.  The ‘no matter what’ ideology, that the show must go on for the awaiting patrons.

It doesn’t matter if there is illness, or pains, or sadness, or fear – the show must go on.  There are no excuses.  You can’t just not feel like performing today, your audience awaits.  And they want a show and don’t care what you’re feeling or thinking.  It sounds kind of ruthless, but it’s really a lesson in strength and perseverance.  It builds strong character.

In the lay world, it’s the same thing.  We must keep going – there is no giving up or throwing in the towel.  We must see our tasks through, our performances finish.  It is this philosophy that can keep us afloat in our darkest moments.

We are all actors at one moment or another – and the show must go on. – BB