Thursday, August 30, 2012

Life's Stage

Every time that I hear the saying "life is like a stage" I can't help but think, one, how true it is, and two, how I used to devote part of my life to the stage.
After graduating College and realizing I really was still a bit lost career wise, I decided to spend the summer up north under the roof of our family home. I took up volunteering at the Red Barn theatre in Jackson's Point, it was Canada's oldest summer professional theatre. (Sadly this theatre was destroyed by a fire in 2008 and is no more) My volunteering quickly turned to a paid job and lead me to spend the next eight years working in backstage production. The organization of props, the dealing with actors, the laughter and excitement of the crowds coming to see the show, the lights, the settings for different performances, the chaos that ensued backstage...... these were all things that I grew (quickly) to love.
For a variety of reasons I felt comfortable in the confines of that old barn; sometimes more so than I did anywhere else, including our family home. I will never forget my days at the Red Barn. I had shed blood, sweat and tears there. All of the frustration and disappointment I felt, there, in my life, in me, was washed away when I got to work on stage.

In 2001 my mother had an accident, and I was, funnily enough, at the theatre. I had taken off the majority of that August to be by my mom's side in the hospital and to take care of things at home, but by mid-September I returned to help with the last performance of the season and close things down for the winter. As I did this I realized I would not be returning the next spring. I needed to find something a little more permanent, something that would give me a regular forty hour work week with regular eight hour shifts so that I could spend time with my mom, helping her deal with this acquired brain injury and begin the road to recovery.
As hard as it was to see things this way, it is what I needed to do, it is what I wanted to do. Like being on stage, my role was changing, the setting was changing, I was moving into the next Act.

I obtained a job at a local hotel where I remained for the next several years. I moved my way up in ranks to Front Desk and Accommodations Supervisor. I saw a lot of people come and go over that time period as well as the hotel being sold and placed under new ownership. Ownership difficulties is why it closed in November 2009.
Being in a small town you deal with the same shit you deal with anywhere else really, only because it is a small town with less population, you feel it more. The rumors, the gossip, the played out drama. (I recall at this point when I was younger, in high school, when my sister's friend would come over, plunk down on the couch and state "let me tell you about the latest drama.") Drama can be sad, but also quite foolish. Drama does not just occur on stage in the theatre or back in school where we were younger and maybe a bit naive, drama is part of life...... and there isn't just three Acts, there are dozens of them; and sometimes intermission is skipped over entirely.

I may not have a whole lot of close friends in my life, but I have met quite a few people in my life's journey. Schools, jobs, places I've lived, places I've visited, even online, and I've come to find that there are a lot of people who seem to like drama......... the foolish kind. Rumors and gossip seem to be everywhere. Our world seems to be more concerned with Kristen Stewart cheating on the love of her life or the latest between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and the kid that they share.I sometimes find myself weighed down by this drama; by manipulation and insensitivity and the fact that some people seem to simply want to stayed wallowed in misery.

The other week tragedy struck our small town when a sixteen year old girl was hit by a car and died. Even though I did not know this girl or her family, I felt bad. SIXTEEN! This story breaks my heart, and the really sad part about it is, sad stories like this are happening all over the world. But like the stage, "the show must go on". Roles will change, settings will change, and people will move into the next Act.

But then, I'm finding that there are multiple stages with different Acts being played out. Acts worth seeing, Acts worth taking part in. The title of this post is the same of a website I highly recommend checking out: Life's a Stage ~ Weblog ~ by Estrella Azul to me it is just full of happiness and fun with ton's of creativeness to be shared. There is also The World Needs More Love Letters; a scripted story definitely worth noticing, sharing and taking part in. There are stages that have been set or are in motion of being set by Non-Profit organizations to help others with struggles and challenges they face in our earthly society. Even though not always seen or heard (unfortunately) there are a lot of these well-to-do, with good intention, scripts being played out all around.

For myself, even though some Acts have been tough, I cherish the roles I've always had or have graduated into: Brother, Son, Care Giver, Uncle, Volunteer. If you haven't got it yet, the right role is out there for you, and there are some great ones still to come I'm sure. Don't give up and let the foolish drama get to you. There is always another Act, the show is never over.


  1. You have written this up so beautifully, Mark, you left me speechless. You have played many parts, very well as I take it from what you said here.

    It makes me so happy you like dropping by Life's a Stage so much, finding it fun and full of creativity. There are times when I feel burnt out and think of shutting it down, but then someone says something so sweet about it and I "recover" from those silly thoughts.
    Thank you *hugs*

  2. I love your blog, and getting to know you, so I've awarded you not one, but two awards today. Check out the blog post --

    1. Thank you for those two awards. I especially love the first "Liebster Blog" award. I was born in Canada but my mom's side of the family is German. My grandparents (Oma=grandmother, Opa=grandfather) used to take me and my sister to the Oktoberfest every year (schnitzel and bratwurst)and get us these big gingerbread cookies shaped as a heart with icing in the middle that said "Iche Liebe Dich" = I Love You.

      Thank You. ;)