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The Actors

There are four Actors on the stage. All are playing their parts in order that each can hear that sound of applause, of laughter, or that stifled sniff of tears for the tragic character they play. Each is trying for the sound of acceptance. That sound that says “I like you and I like what you are!” Each actor is the same as the others. Each is hiding that person with-in. Each actor feeling that he or she cannot let anyone see that person with-in because that person will be rejected. Nevertheless, each actor is different. Each has his or her own reason for looking to be someone else.

 

One actor is a strong handsome young man who is always loud and angry. The delivery of his lines is raging. He has a hard time toning it down. He just cannot seem to portray a meek and quiet person. It seems that the only emotion he is willing to let out is anger. He will not let go and dig down for the needed emotions. Why, why will he not get those emotions out? If he could it would add to the role that he is playing. Why? Because he is afraid to let any of his other emotions out because he might start to cry and shrivel up and die. But, why, you ask. What would bring this masculine young man to tears? Ah, but notice, he spends a lot of time at school. When he is not in school he tries to be any place but home. For home is where the violence, the drinking, the fighting, and the screaming is found. The home has taken its toll on this young actor, and the only escape he sees is in the guise of someone else. Anyone else, but himself!

 

The second actor on the stage is a beautiful young woman. She is at the top of her class. She is a star athlete, as well as the lead in all the stage productions. Everything that she does is perfect! She is responsible and popular. Her parents are always involved with all of her activities. She just has a perfect life. So why does she want to escape from it? Maybe, just maybe, her life is not so perfect! The pressure she feels to always be the best, and to always be perfect is getting more and more unbearable. There is no letting up. From the time she gets up till she goes to bed late at night everybody want more and more from her, and it has to be perfect. She can’t even escape in her dreams because her dreams demand that she be perfect. The pressures of these expectations are taking their toll on this young actor and the only escape she sees is in the guise of someone else. Anyone else, but herself!

 

The third actor is a quiet young man. He is very shy and never really talks to many people. However, when he gets on stage he can perform the most beautiful soliloquies from Shakespeare, from memory. Saying each word with perfect diction and phasing. As he says his lines you feel as if you are hearing the most beautiful song there ever was. Surely this young actor does not need to be someone else. Then as you try to talk with this young man, if you can get him to speak off the stage, you quickly find out why. You tell him how wonderful he was and then you start to see his face contort and you hear “th-th-th-th-th-th-ank y-y-y-y-y-ou!” He is a stutter! Trying to put together his own words is impossible for him. People have called him all sort of names and had no time for him to complete what he was saying. So he withdrew with-in himself. Then came that day when he was handed a soliloquy and he started to read it out-loud. He did not stutter over any words. When he was finished he looked up at the teacher and said, “th-th-th-th-th-th-ank i-i-i-i-i-i-s bea-bea-bea-bea-bea-uit-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-ul!” He found that when he used other people’s words they came out clear. If he speaks what is on his mind and what he truly feels he just can’t get it out! So, he uses other peoples’ words. He just cannot say what is on his mind. He cannot think and speak at the same time. The pressure of trying to communicate what is inside has taken its toll on this young actor. And the only escape that he sees is in the guise of someone else. Anyone else, but himself!

 

The Fourth young actor is an average young lady. She is of average appearance and clothes. Most people don’t even take notice of her when she is in a group of people. When she talks she speaks so softly that most people don’t even hear her. She likes boys but has no strong romantic fantasies, like the other girls, about them. She has wondered if she was gay, but she doesn’t have any strong romantic fantasies about girls either. When she does get invited to parties, or goes to other gatherings, she is the consummate wall flower. She never feels like she fits in. She is always asking herself, “Who am I?” “What am I?” She has tried talking to professionals to no avail. But then one day she dropped in on a drama rehearsal. They needed someone to fill in on a part. The part even had a few lines. As she showed up each day for rehearsal the character she was playing took over more and more of her being. It was like she put the character on like an old coat. She felt its warmth embracing her and becoming her. She found out that when she is on stage people saw her. Her voice projects letting everyone in the audience believe she is the character she is playing. The audience stands applauding her and praising her. But, still questions arise, “Who am I?” “What am I?” This constant questioning is taking a toll on this young actor and the only escape she sees is in the guise of someone else. Anyone else, but herself!

 

Four young actors are on the stage. Each is the same. Each trying to hide the pain he or she has inside. Each is trying to hide the person is inside. Each is feeling the toll that the pressure of hiding brings. Each seeing the only escape is to be someone else. Anyone else, but THEMSELVES!

James Krauss
February 15, 2011

 

 

Up-dated February 15, 2011
James Krauss designer and Webmaster