Very few people can say they ruined a wedding. I ruined Tony and Maria’s.
I was on running crew for our three night run of Westside Story. My responsibility was the two male mannequins that resided in the bridal shop. My job was to bring the mannequins on for the two scenes they were used in, and then walk them off. As I set the mannequins in their positions, I realized that they were both on the verge of collapse. From the wings, I watched as Jordan, who played Tony, picked up one of the precariously balanced mannequins. It fell apart. Jordan stood there, staring at the piece of cloth he now held in his hands and the remains of the mannequin laying on the stage.
As Jordan stood there unmoving, the audience cracking up, and the crew backstage looking on in horror, I realized something. This is life. Shakespeare said, “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” I disagree. It is so much more complex. Life is an intricate production that we are all an essential part in.
Actors are the face of a show. They have impossible lives with impossible circumstances. They are our celebrities and world leaders, scorned for doing everything wrong. They may seem incompetent, and sometimes they may need a dose of humility, but would any of us want their job?
Most of us work backstage. We make the show run, make sure everything is in the right place at the right time. We are doctors, waitresses, accountants, garbage collectors, and teachers. Sometimes we despise the actors for not doing any hard work, but we should learn to be their friends and tell them when they’re in the way of a set piece instead of simply pushing so hard that we run them over.
The audience may seem like a passive persona in this grand scheme. But those onstage feed off of the energy the audience provides, and the support of the hundreds, thousands, or millions watching is necessary. The audience is the follower in each of us. We all must lend support to a greater cause at least once in our lives.
The writers and composer have an idea, and they make it happen. Rarely seen, they live in our history, creating our current world through an example set long ago. They are our Jeffersons and Martin Luther King, Jrs., always present in our past as an example for our future.
If a single part of a production does not do its part, the show will go horribly wrong. We are all part of the wonderful production that is life, and we all must play our part. Sometimes we may think that just because we play a certain role, we are better than another person. But each role, each intricate part is as necessary as every other one. We all must do the best we can to put on a fantastic show, and make sure that we receive a standing ovation.
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