Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Welcome Guests: Landon Metts
An Unlikely Performance
Once the applause ended, the onstage cast released from their positions and resumed the busybody nature assigned to them. It was time. There would be no going back now. I wondered where she was watching from as my right foot led forward by sheer habit at the silent prompt. I moved past the cover of curtain and the stage lights hit me. I was exposed to the eyes of the audience. In a feverish half a second, I became petrified. I don't know my lines! I thought. Then my mouth opened and the character came forth quite undeterred by my petulant fretting. It was quite an odd moment. I felt myself split into two people: the engaged actor and the frantic spectator. Previous practices and dress rehearsals had taken my full consciousness and there was no room for any split-mindedness. And yet here I was performing in front of all of these people, a Business Major who realistically had no place in such a role.
I thought back to the tryouts. It was a shot in the dark. I had only hoped to get a side role to get closer to her. She was so out of my league. My name had been called and I headed to the middle of the stage and there she was, right in front of me with a clipboard in hand. Her name was Daphne and she had undertaken with a friend to direct what would be the highest grossing play in our college's history. She was gorgeous. Without her hopeful and encouraging expression, I don't think I would have been able to do it. I remember finishing my rehearsed song, thinking that there was no way I could have made the cut. Days later, I had to check the list twice when I read that I had been cast as a lead. And here I was, two months later, daring to become the character on opening night.
I had no idea if Daphne would ever share the feelings I had for her. With each line, song, and dance I hoped that despite my inexperience, she might give me the time of day. But this night was what it all came down to. All of her hard work, the endless hours amidst classes, and the strain of trying to negotiate with different academic departments to pull it all together was enough to keep her busy. Too busy to notice me. It was then that a thought occurred to me that momentarily interrupted the flow of my performance. Whether she noticed me or not, here I was, standing in front of hundreds of people doing something that I had never had the opportunity to do before. All because of her. And my heart changed. For, no longer was my heart held hostage on what might be but rather I was released by the realization that she had given me something, given all of us something, that we would never forget. It didn't matter who we were or where we came from. It didn't matter if we were seasoned drama veterans or stammering novices, either way we were the show. And in that amazing moment all of the fear, all of the anticipation, drained from me. I was the character but beyond that, I was hers.
Now, twelve years later, as I watch our two children vivaciously play in their imaginative world I can't help but feel that it was in that opening night that I truly fell in love with my wife, Daphne. It was that day that I learned about the true character of love. It is something we do not negotiate with but rather something that we give ourselves over to in the greatest form of submission.
Links to the guest writers' posts...
1. Brandon Caldwell
3. Landon Metts
4. Jeff Noble
5. Jennifer Mitchell
6. Mark Hipes
7. Nicole Holden