Monday, 9 June 2014

Much Ado About Nothing

Recently, I was supposed to be playing in the band for a charity production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". Last minute changes meant that there was no live band, and no-one to play Jacob. As I already had the dates in my diary, I allowed my arm to be twisted... 

So, was it a big deal, or wasn’t it? It feels huge, and it feels trivial, all at the same time.

Those whose passion for as long as they can remember has been performing, probably won’t have a clue why anyone could possibly be worried about being on stage, singing a few lines solo in front of an audience. But that’s something I’d never have believed I’d ever do. If I’d had time to consider it properly, I’m sure it would have felt like a huge mountain to climb, even though in reality all I had to do was don a costume, wig and beard, shuffle on stage, sit in a rocking chair, nod sagely and sing a few simple lines. Hardly an Oscar-winning performance; hardly a performance at all, really. So what is there to be nervous about? 

And therein lies the key to the riddle – much to my surprise, no nerves materialised. There simply wasn’t time. In any case, nerves would be a borrowed fear, something whose origin comes from outside self. I “ought” to be nervous, because that’s what’s expected. But the moment the question was asked – would I do it? – alongside that instinctive urge to say no, there popped up a totally unexpected person inside who actually rather fancied the idea, seeing it not as a trial but as an adventure. It makes me wonder who else is hidden in there...

It must have been that little spark of excitement that tipped the balance and made it possible to see beyond any worries and reframe it all as an adventure. I’m too old to pass up the opportunity for an adventure.

The bottom line is that it was no big deal after all. The role was tiny, the audience – though hugely appreciative and filling the hall – was small, and expectations all round were of fun rather than professional polish. 

There are any number of ways of splitting humanity into two camps; one such way is to divide it into those who revel in performing on stage and those who shrink from the very idea. I thought I was one of the latter; now I’m not quite so sure...

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