The Playwright

Are you who you are now? Or who you've always been?

I read an amazing analogy recently that I’ve been sharing consistently. It’s made a dramatic change in my life and I’d like to share it.

When I see someone in the middle of their shadow it’s hard to feel compassion and love for them sometimes. I can see the actions that have led to their situation. I can see how their current view of the hard times is unhealthy and is hurting them still.

When I’m in the middle of my shadow it’s hard to see the actions that led me to that situation. It’s hard not to identify with the feelings of inadequacy and fear and to think that this is all there is and will be from this point forward.

It’s even harder sometimes to see the compassion and love others are showing me.

Now, follow me on a tangent real quick. Promise we’ll come back to that.

I’ve seen a few operas and plays here in Salt Lake. The first one was The Christmas Carol. The actor that played the part of Scrooge was Richard Wilkins. He was amazing on levels I had never seen. I remember being so wrapped up in the performance that it was the only reality I was aware of in that moment. My back wasn’t hurting, I didn’t have a headache. His passion became my passion for a moment.

Fast forward to The Sound of Music. The actor that played the father was Mark Knowles. I didn’t know how much I loved him as an actor until he started playing the actual song at the end on guitar. It made it all so real to me as a musician that I had to come up to him after and thank him for such an amazing performance. He told me that he didn’t actually play guitar. He just learned and practiced that one song until he had it perfectly.

In both these situations, I was floored by the finely tuned passion of two individuals when it came to the craft they were sharing in that moment. To me, it encapsulated the whole experience for me.

But they were only small parts of the overall play. Charles Dickens wrote a Christmas Carol. The Von Trapp Family singers lived and offered their music immediately preceding World War II.

There’s a playwright behind each one of our lives. There’s a person that has lived for decades standing before you each time you meet someone who would be considered an elder in other nations. They have experiences that you wouldn’t dream of.

But when I’m stuck in the part I’m playing in the moment. And I’m tired of giving 100% of my performance for something. It can feel like that’s all I’ve ever been and all of who I am. When I see someone else in that mindset it feels the same. Way.

What I should have done was thanked the Von Trapp family for setting such an amazing example. Or Charles Dickens for imaging such an amazing drama. But Richard Wilkins and Mark Knowles did it for me. They saw the part of the story they wanted to play and took on that role with full force. Not allowing anything, even personal skill level with guitar, to keep them from offering the best performance for those that had come to experience something new.

So I guess this is my prayer. I would like to play a new part in my life. I am the playwright that is writing my script each day as I write these words down. I know how it feels to be tired, afraid, lonely, hurt and scared. I’d like to be reminded what it’s like to be strong, fearless, excited, motivated and intentional with every word I write and every thought in my mind.

Because then, when I see others in the middle of a hard chapter of their story, I can thank the playwright instead of judging the current scene of their play.

Thank you for reading. :)

Mitakuye Oyasin


Hale Centre Theatre missing its beloved Scrooge Richard-Wilkins

The Sound Of Music in West Valley is One of my Favorite Things