Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Uncomfortable fun

When’s the last time you stepped into something fairly uncomfortable?  And no, I’m not talking about skinny jeans or platform heels.  That’s just ridiciulous.  I’m talking about stepping out of your comfort zone and spicing things up a little, maybe taking a break from the chicken noodle soup of life and straight into a hot tamale.  
For me, we’ll say it was late July.
For those who know me now, you might be surprised to find out that I was indeed a very shy child.  I hated doing anything in front of anyone, blushed at the drop of a hat, and was perfectly fine staying at home instead of out socializing because I was afraid no one would like me or I’d do something stupid or generally embarrass myself more than I did usually, which was fairly frequent.  Ask my parents.  They’ll shake their heads and tell you it’s true.
I dabbled in theater in high school but was always content to work backstage or hide behind my instrument in the accompanying pit band.  I had one role onstage, but was beyond nervous the entire time and hoped that no one could see my gigantic sweat stains from the audience.  But recently my children decided to give community theater a try, and as I sat there watching them on stage, I couldn’t help but think to myself that they were having way too much fun.
Fun I wanted to have.
I think I even got a little jealous of them.
So I gathered my nerves and auditioned for the next production the theater company was putting on, and by some miracle of miracles, was given a part in the play.
From there on out it has been a wild ride.  I kind of see it as one of the funny videos you see on TV where there’s a little kid or an old lady, and she steps onto a trampoline.  At first, she is quite tentative.  She slowly steps and slowly bounces, and through a series of nerve building jumps, ends up bouncing as high as possible and maybe even throwing in some backflips, and never wants her turn to end.
I had no idea that doing this play would be “backflip” fun, but it is. There are lines and props and costumes and lights and some really great people up on stage and behind the director’s table.
In a world that seems to be dominated by wins and losses, it’s refreshing to see people come together for neither a win nor a loss, just plain teamwork.  On stage, there are no points.  No one calls a foul or gets benched.  We all just work together to make it the best show that we possibly can.  And besides that being generally a cool concept,  it also makes the whole bit of trying something completely new a little easier.  And more wonderful.
I’m not going to encourage all of you to take up community theater, but what a world it would be if we all stepped out of our comfort zones a little bit. Pushed ourselves beyond our everyday life.  Tried something new and out of the norm.  I can vouch that my experience of attempting something completely different has been a delightful one, and thankfully my “uncomfort” is turning into “comfort.”  (This, statement, however, applies only to my general participation in the upcoming production.  It does not apply to my costume, which sadly includes high heels.)
I survived all six shows.  In heels.  And apparently a "trashy" dress according to one audience member.


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