Posted by: Leigh Reynolds | February 2, 2015

All the World’s a Stage

AllWorldsStageI remember when Patrick and I were first dating, I went to see him in “As You Like It”. I must have really liked this guy, because it was Shakespeare and I never understood Shakespeare. Oh, my high school teacher’s tried, but I faked my way through it. Now, here I was, on the front row of this artsy, Gorilla Theatre production of it in a coffee house. A really small space. I couldn’t nap in the back row, I was practically on the stage. I had to pay attention, pretend I understood…

But as the play began, and he entered the stage (and I use ‘stage’ loosely – it was the floor right in front of me), I was drawn in. Not because he was cute (which he was and is), but because he was good. Really good. For the first time in my life, I understood Shakespeare and I was mesmerized by this wonderful play and the tale it told.

Somewhere along the way, I completely forgot that I was watching my new boyfriend act. Because he wasn’t acting, he had become the character, Orlando. I’ll never forget it.

Some time later I had my first dramatic role and I learned a lot. When you are learning a part for a play, at first it is totally foreign. Someone else’s words, on a bound book, pages crisp and new. You crack it open and try to make sense of it. You dog-ear the pages on your scenes, highlight your lines, and wear in the book. Then the director starts to add in the blocking. You are just learning the lines, and now you have to remember when to cross left, when to come upstage or down, sit or stand. Still with the book in your hands, blocking notes written in the margins, you stumble through. Sometimes literally stumble.

Eventually, you need to look at the book less. Maybe you still carry it because you don’t trust yourself to go it alone. Or you know the lines, but can’t remember the blocking. Finally you go off-book, but you mess up a scene, or have to call out, “line!” and someone with the script tells you what to say, how to move, and helps get you back on track.

Somewhere along the way, if you are playing the right part, one you were meant to play, you stop memorizing and recalling, you stop trying and acting and you just are. Then the people in the audience don’t see you, the actor, they see the one you are trying to be.

Today I was practicing a song for church, Let Them See You In Me. It talks about stripping away everything else to just let Jesus come through…

Let them see You in me
Let them hear You when I speak
Let them feel You when I sing
Let them see You in me…

With every breath I breathe, I sing a simple melody
But I pray they’ll hear more than a song

My mind was drawn back to that night at the Gorilla Theatre. How all I saw was Orlando. How Patrick faded away. I thought about my first dramatic part and how my mother told me she forgot it was me. I thought about the process of learning a role and becoming the character.

Then I thought about who I am trying to be. Not on stage, but in life.

The lines I am learning come from the greatest book ever written, and they’re already highlighted in the red letters. The blocking I am trying to walk is being guided by the one who directs the universe, the maker of heaven and earth. Often I trip up, forget the lines, mess up the scene, have to call for help and go back to the script. I try and read it every day because this story is never-ending, the Words speak to me uniquely each time I read it.  The director adds you in to a new scene oh, so often. But Jesus always meets me there. Lovingly guiding me to who he made me to be, calming my fear, lighting my path and directing my steps.

I used to want the starring role, the lead part, the top billing. I craved the applause and attention. But I am learning that role is so empty and flat. Playing that part is a poor performance in a weak script. I want the creator of heaven and earth, the one who placed the moon and the stars in the sky, and who has plans to give me hope and a future, to direct this play and be the star.

I want to lose myself in Him. His will. His words. His way. I want people to forget about me and see Him

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Responses

  1. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Great way to wake up and start my morning by reading this.

  2. Dear SG,

    Best Swim yet.

    YSG

    Steve Wolverton
    816-853-4648

    Sent from My Surface2


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