The man says it best. We are all performers in this great act called life. Each are born into our parts/roles and with that comes the blending between the character and the person. Some of us perform beautifully throughout the entire act with decades of accolades and standing ovations.
These leading men/women never seem to miss a line, dress impeccably, walk through life
with ease and simply steal the stage at every opportunity. Others simply coast through one performance after another, never standing out, just playing walk-ins with an occasional speaking role. We have co-stars who eagerly support the leading roles and have no problem being upstaged by them. Directors, Producers, Stage Hands, Comedians as well as the audience all participate in maintaining the stage.
Some performances have long runs while others are short-lived and burn out before they had a chance to be noticed and appreciated.
Are these roles given to us at birth? If someone was born to play a hero are they permanently typecast and strongly identified to where they can’t play anything else? The world stage is filled with damsels so that the hero will never be out of work but will burn out eventually by walking through life saving others.
Then we have the co-star who either learn to coexist or go through their lives competing for the leading role.
The walk-in’s are always interesting as they yearn to be noticed and cannot focus on anything else. They have one foot on the stage and one out the back door and just need someone to recognize them and their unique talents.
But can the person who sits in the audience, as I did, suddenly gain a role and play a part in society? The answer is …….yes, just as long as they become noticed. So how does one get noticed?
My belief is that we all carry many roles within ourselves. Wouldn’t you agree?
For example, there is nothing like finding out that your daughter has been bullied to summon the Sigourney Weaver in you! I’m sure those who are reading this can surely relate! I have played the hero, the damsel, the follower, the leader and mylatest role in which I should be given an academy award…. the bitch ( a role I prefer since menopause hit or at least until I cast out the ghost of Joan Crawford ;) ) After 48 years I have found ways to maneuver from one role to another and sometimes with great ease, but I didn’t start out that way.
I began my life as a simple audience member admiring all of the remarkable people around me. I observed life as a shy child that hid behind trees while walking to school for fear someone would talk to me. I watched the actors and actresses in my family succeed and fail around me, so not being noticed was just fine with me. I remained an audience member until I was finally noticed by a star in high school and at 18 we were married and it was then I began my co-starring role as wife. At 21 I learned to split my role between wife and mother and at that point I no longer sat in the audience observing, I was now forced to participate in this play called life.
My first role as wife had a short run and I went on to fall in love with many other leading men. There were hero’s, comedians. bad boys, mama’s boys, little boys (mentally only), and even a few audience members. Many of whom deserved a standing ovation for their performances, and I played my parts well too. When with a hero, I became the damsel. When with the comedian, I was the laugh track. When with the bad boy, I played the tragic martyr. When with mama’s boy, I coddled and took care… but couldn’t compete with his mother. When with the audience member I was exhausted from the taking the stage, day after day.
By my mid-forties I had experienced many leading and supporting roles and I found myself exhausted and for the first time in 20 years filled with stage fright. BUT THE SHOW MUST GO ON.
And go on it did.
“And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages”
I found myself at the sixth age in my life and I finally found my leading man, my hero. I no longer play the damsel and instead of being saved we save each other. I have often heard the saying “life is not a dress rehearsal as we only have one shot at it” however, I do believe we each have opportunities to rehearse our parts. After all without preparation for a particular role you would surely see failure correct? Every actor/actress/director/producer and audience member in my life has allowed me to rehearse for the final role. Without them I would not have the stage presence and courage to “get on with the show”. The sixth age is where we discover ourselves and plan out our final role, the seventh age.
So, if Shakespeare is correct and the first through seventh age is in fact, the full circle of life, then do I become an audience member again?
And the answer is yes. Our final role, the seventh age is a time where we once again observe and watch as those around us perform their roles. We clap, laugh and faithfully attend each show. We blend in with other audience members and are hardly noticed until one day our seat at this comedy/tragedy play called life, is no longer occupied.
So what have I learned throughout the six ages? I learned that we judge and treat people for the roles they play and the masks they wear. We assume expectations based on the characters that are played. For example: All wives are self-sacrificing, all husbands are strong, all mothers love unconditionally, all leaders lead and followers follow. We typecast the very people we love and as a result we become hurt and disappointed when they don’t play their part right.
We all go through life in a quest to find the role that is perfect for us, and at times we must responsibly try on a few of them.
So which role do you play? Are you rehearsing your way through the years or have you perfected your part and ready to perform? Do you wear the mask of tragedy or comedy? And lastly….when was the last time you removed that mask or have you worn it so long that it is now permanently placed?
Exit stage right…………The curtain closes
-Kim With a View
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://chicswithaview.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/kim.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]aka @kp1962
Life Can Begin Again![/author_info] [/author]