Monday, August 20, 2007

Milestones and Playing for an Audience*

I bumped into myself the other day–the child me that is.

On Tuesday I went to a concert in the park with my wife and her parents. It was a typical small town affair held at our bandshell with a bunch of enthusiastic amateur musicians sharing their joy and talents. The audience paid intermittent attention to the music while they ate pie and ice cream sold by one of the local community groups. The reason I mention it here is the little girl.

A tiny blonde, maybe 5 years old, she was standing on the grass between audience and band and very obviously pretending that the former were there to watch her and the latter to provide her with background music while she performed a silent play. At the end of the first number when the audience clapped she made a big show of bowing to everyone there. I remember being that little girl–okay, so I was a boy, but the intent was the same.

Some time when I was very young, call it 5, I started telling stories to anyone who would listen, mostly myself in those days. I don’t remember a time where I didn’t love the stories or having an audience. Somewhere along the line I learned that there were people who got to do it for a career and I never looked back. That led me into theater at the ripe old age of 11 where I stayed until I got my first computer and wrote a novel at 22 right after finishing a BA in theater.

I’ll be turning 40 on Sunday and yet in so many ways I’m still that kid playing make believe at the concert. The business side of the business can be a royal pain, but the storytelling and playing for an audience are still a blast 35 years on. So, to that little girl–go for it, kid! You never know where it might lead. Someday someone might even pay you to entertain yourself, oh and the audience too.

What about you, gentle reader? What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing something that the five year old you would approve of? If not is that a good thing or a bad one?
*originally posted at

1 comment:

lydamorehouse said...

I wanted to be Han Solo.