‘I once went to….. where I saw……which completely changed the way I think about….’
We all have stories lodged in our brain: isolated fragments that we return to that define how we interpret the world. In one of mine, I’m in the early years of primary school & my class are all together. The teacher is asking ‘Who wants to be in the school play?’ I really wanted to be in the play, but I was painfully shy and I longed to put my hand up, but didn’t.
I regretted it, because the memory stuck with me and became a metaphor for ‘feeling the fear and letting it take you over’, so when the preacher gave us all the above question, I began to alter it…
‘I once went to’ at this, I inserted the name of someone who is active in the church and the local amdram society. ‘where I saw’ I changed this to ‘where they said’ and remembered the gist of what they’d said: ‘You can do this’. They asked me to be part of a murder mystery; that childhood memory came back, but now I heard ‘You can do this’.
‘which completely changed the way I think about’ I added ‘acting’. I could do it: I wasn’t very good at it- few are when they try something which they’ve never done- I remember completely ‘blanking’ when I did the first rehearsal without a script: the empty stage seemed massive and the lights were so bright.
But ‘You can do it’. I could; I can. I am unlikely to be brilliant, but several productions and twelve or so years later, I’m still doing it and people laugh when I do comic parts.
That childhood memory still comes back, but this time I’ve got my hand up and I’m cast and something that scares me no longer does. I’m content.