The art of performing, or more specifically acting today, is an intriguing art form that has lasted through centuries. Performing on stage, as I have completed my GCSE Drama a couple months back, has brought a few interesting thoughts to my mind.
Picture this: you’re under the lights, harsh and bright. The audience are mere blurs before you. Perhaps you see a wave from your friend, or maybe a parent yet now you’re in the zone. You perform your scripted piece with every ounce of your being – those few minutes on stage seem like hours, stretched beyond infinity and you are the character you are playing. Your being and their fictional soul have seamlessly fused together. Then, the moment passes and the lights have gone. You’re no longer in front of an audience, you’re getting into the car to go home for dinner. Now, you must hear the dull chatter of a dinner table, clinks of plates and of glasses, knives scraping the plate. And it still feels like you’re on stage. Every movement you do must be controlled and deliberate because people are watching you. Or rather it seems almost as if it’s a sudden jolt back to reality. You’ve been ripped from your fantasies for too long.
Then again, your life is a stage in some way or another. Your actions indirectly affect another’s because like it or not, people do watch and maybe even look up to you. Your peers, siblings and parents, all supporting roles in your performance – remember to keep it that way, and never feel bad about taking the spotlight. This stage is now somewhat elevated due to social media, and the responsibility for one can almost be doubled, if not tripled for some.
But unlike theatre there’s no chance for you on this real world stage to mess up, say a wrong word or forget to make an appearance. In life, make sure you try your best to make this perfect performance, and it is understandably difficult, because you play both the director and actor/actress. You call the shots to say words that speak life or death, you make the choice to enter one’s life (or stage) or not. In life there are no opportunities for second chances. But perhaps like theatre, we should live our lives, full and captivated by sound, lights and atmosphere, live every moment to the utmost fullest because one day, we will all get off stage. The walk off stage for me usually ends with the best moments running through my head like a highlight reel of a nailed flip my friend did, or a specific emotion that spiked the audience as a monologue was performed.
Make your life performance so great, that even when the lights fade to black and the audience start clapping that your head is reeling through your entire show.
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being in seven stages” – William Shakespeare, from the opening of ‘As You Like It’.”