If you think the headline of this post is arbitrary, then you obviously haven’t seen Neil Patrick Harris’s Opening speech for the Tony awards 2011. Side Note: It’s getting a little predicable that NPH breaks into song every award he hosts, but I for one am not complaining.
But no seriously, while it’s all very well for us to do high jumps and leap about madly, here’s just my two pennyworths on life being a stage and all of us actors (somebody famous said that; I’m not sure who)
For one, we wouldn’t wait so much, unless we were waiting for Godot. Half our days, years and lives are spent waiting for something whether it’s for something as mundane as a bus or a train or something large like the realisation of a cherished dream. If you listen to Sharanya and I, our days are divided by our actual, desultory lives and waiting for something awesome and magnificent to happen so we can ride the wave of brilliance and land up on the shores of a whole new world. If they wrote a play about our lives it would have to be one of those make-believe, fantasy ones where we wake up afterwards and say “Aw Shucks”.
If life were more like theatre, there would be more epiphanies. We’d follow our actions with lessons about the actions; we’d watch a fellow actor do something or say something that would impact our lives forever. We’d come to horrible, gripping realisations (“I’m a dime a dozen, Pop, and so are you.”- Biff Loman) or say things laced with irony and backstory (“Deliberate cruelty is unforgiveable and the one thing I have never, ever been guilty of.” – Blanche DuBois). We’d exclaim more and better (Stars hide your fires).
If life were more like theatre, we would never have to live down our mistakes and move on. We’d never let bad blood stay curdled and congealed and quiet, we’d excite it so it would bubble to the surface and gush out, making everything infinitely more dramatic. Estranged fathers and sons stay estranged and stony in real life, the prodigal son doesn’t really ever come home but he may end up crashing into a Ferrari and sending the bill to his old man, a best friend turned foe will never really confront you at sword point in the street and when you’re jealous, you won’t really strangle your girlfriend in her sleep. As characters, we’d all have to be deeply damaged (again, Blanche comes to mind) or crazy, or happy or confused or deliberate or severe and we simply can’t be the confused mudge we are now. The worst thing? There’d be no denouement, no flourishing The End, no applause, no velvet curtain and no getting out of character to a sweet three minutes of audience appreciation (may or may not include roses thrown onto the stage). In real life, there’s just life which follows life which again follows life and it’s a vicious cycle until it ends when we die.
But seriously, like NPH says, wouldn’t it be grand?