There is a struggle within me that has always been present. Even as a child it was there and through out my life you can see my differing answers to the same question. What is my place? What is my role?
Shakespeare said, "All the worlds a stage, and all the men and women merely players." Through out my life I've passed in and out of stage productions so the metaphor is familiar. But what is my part? Am I a lead? A chorus member? An extra passing in the background? Is my part advancing the plot line? Adding humor? Revealing the mystery that has been building?
In High-school and college I took the stage in several productions playing different parts, even taking the lead as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls. In How to Succeed in Business, my part was as a member of the chorus, but I spent hours developing the character figuring out how he should walk, stand, and even talk though he had no lines.
My favorite role by far was my first play, The Best Christmas Pageant. I was eight or so and my older brother and sister were excited to try out and get important roles. And me? I went to the auditions and tried out with all the other young thespians. On my audition form under desired role, I excitedly wrote my request: Stage-hand. At eight years old, I donned all black and moved props on and off stage. Watching the play from back stage and on opening night sticking my head from behind the curtains to watch the scenes unfold, seeing what I was part of.
The struggle within myself, present even at that early age, is still here today. Is my part on stage or behind? Something within me longs to take the stage and the spotlight. To feel the glory of the crowd seeing my performance and receiving their accolades. At the same time, another part looks to stay in the wings, waiting for the lights to dim before moving onto the stage, arranging things for the next scene, and quickly sliding off before the audience sees, to remain unseen unknown.
In these productions, the same struggle emerges. With each video that is released, I look for the praise of others. I watch the comments and track each view. At the same time, I dig into each production without anyone seeing the hours spent in preparation for each day of filming, the late nights spent editing, and hours sitting in airports.
The struggle continues. One day giving my lines on stage and the next playing the stagehand. One day in front of the camera in a video update the next editing. Each day the question must be asked, "What is my role? What is my part today?" Regardless of the answer, no matter how many times it is answered differently, there is joy in knowing that I have a part. Like that eight year old looking from behind the curtain, I smile each day I can peek behind the curtain to see that my part, small as it may be, is connected to something bigger.