The Magic of Stage

actor-alone-on-stage

Once upon a time there was a young boy who was living an ordinary life in a small town along with his family. Every morning waking up, going to school, coming back to home and completing the homework were the only things that were a part of his daily routine. He was the one who used to come under the category of extreme introverts in his family. He used to feel scared on facing people and almost loses his voice on being asked to speak in front of them. His inability to interact with people was also hindering him to perform his best at school. He was not able to answer anything if a question was being asked to him in the class. It wasn’t that he didn’t know the answer but what he didn’t know was how to speak the answer in front of the teacher and the whole class. His parents were also worried about this behaviour of their son but they felt that it’s just a matter of time and with age he will be able to generate the self confidence that went missing in him. Time kept on passing but there wasn’t any change that was visible in the boy. He was still the same guy who had the fear of facing a large group of people; forget about uttering a word in front of them. Somewhere he adapted himself to live along with his fear and just hoped if some magic would happen one day to change things around him.

One day while returning from school, he noticed a group of people gathered on the roadside. On reaching closer to the place, he observed that there was a street play being performed by some youngsters of a theatre group on ‘Health & Hygiene’. The importance of hygiene in our daily lives was what that was being showcased in the street play. But it wasn’t the message of the play that took the attention of the boy. It was the way those young guys were communicating the message to their audience with a lot of power, conviction & self confidence. Even after returning to home, the faces of all those actors kept hovering over his mind. He kept on wondering how those young people were saying their lines without any kind of fear, hesitation or reluctance on their faces. Their voice was so powerful that it could be reached to a person standing far off. Their body language was so firm and smooth that the boy started recalling the time when he could feel the shaking of his legs when he was asked to recite the table of 3 in his 1st standard. He was extremely overwhelmed by the performance of the young actors and wondered if he could also be one of them. Few days later, he saw a poster of an evening workshop for kids by a famous theatre company on the wall of his street. For once, a thought came to his mind of giving this workshop a try. May be this is the platform through which he can overcome his fears. May be this is the magic that he was waiting to happen. But as it is common saying that one step forward is enough to create a road map to your destination and a step backward is enough to hold yourself and move away from your destination. The thoughts of what his friends are going to say started prevailing on to his mind. He felt that his parents would never give him the permission to engage in something like this.  All the positivity that he was initially feeling about himself vanished in a moment; he avoided the poster and started moving towards his home. That poster remained stuck on the wall for some more days before the rains washed it away but the boy never dared to look at it again.

Years passed by and the boy turned to his adolescent age. However things never turned around for him as he was still hiding from his fears that were lying deep inside him. There were lots of things that were going inside him which he wanted to convey to the world. He was just a mere spectator whenever his friends were having any discussion regarding any of the trending topic. Though he had his opinions regarding the current affairs, politics, economy, sports, entertainment and all the related stuff but was never able to identify the means through which he can convey those to the people around him. Somewhere he also felt that his opinions doesn’t matter and won’t be able to change anything so it’s better to remain silent. However, in our society a person is identified by the action he performs and the kind of thinking he possesses about the rest of the world. Because the boy was not able to communicate his ideas, did that mean that he was not having his own identity in the society? He was struggling to distinguish himself from the people around but certainly was also not willing to get lost in the crowd.

One day there was an annual fest organized in his college and the boy was sitting relaxed in the audience because he knew he could hardly participate in any of the cultural events. The anchor announced that there will be a small game that would be played where random people would be selected from the audience and they will have to speak on a topic for 2 minutes that they will be provided with. The boy from the word go knew this game is definitely not meant for him but what he was not aware of was that destiny always have its own way. After three rounds of performance by people randomly selected from the audience, the finger of the anchor pointed towards the boy. For a moment, the boy was completely frozen up and didn’t know how to respond. He was extremely reluctant from his end and did his best to avoid what according to him would have been the most embarrassing and humiliating moment of his life. But somehow his friends and the rest of the crowd pushed him to at least give it a shot. This was actually going to be his first encounter with the stage that too in front of a crowd of more than hundred people. Stepping towards the stage, he could feel the pumping of his heartbeat and the sound of his  breathing at top speed. When he turned towards the audience on stage, he could see all eyes were towards the only person on stage that was him. The anchor gave him a bowl full of chits out of which he had to pick up one to find out the topic on which he had to speak. His hand was shivering while picking up the chit. He picked up the chit, opened it to find out that the topic was ‘Corruption’. The topic wasn’t difficult but what was difficult was to speak on the stage in front of such a huge audience. The boy was handed over a mike by the anchor and even he noticed his shivering of hands. The boy was trapped in the middle of something that might have been a fun game for the audience but it was a struggle that he was facing throughout his life. The boy realized that he has only two options in front of him. Either he could simply say sorry and run away which he was doing so far in his life or he could lift up the mike and place it in front of his mouth, cross all the boundaries that he has created for himself and speak his heart out. May be this was the magic that he was waiting to happen his entire life. For the next couple of minutes, he noticed that all the eyes kept looking at him as they were paying attention to what he was speaking on stage. The moment he finished speaking and kept the mike down, he observed that the hall burst into applause, the entire audience was cheering for him and a few even gave a standing ovation. The boy just stood on the stage and didn’t know how to react to such a tremendous response. He almost travelled to his own magical world where he used to have a similar dream of speaking in front of a large crowd since childhood. It was a moment for him where his dream literally came true.

After he came down from the stage and took his seat after shaking hands with the audience members and his friends, he tried to regain his senses and re-winded the entire episode in his mind to find out what actually happened in the last 5 minutes. Yes he had good content but what was something that impressed the audience was the level of confidence and the command over his body while he was speaking. The boy realized that the confidence that he was searching in the outside world was always hidden somewhere inside him. It was just that he was not aware of it. It was that moment that triggered the orator within him. Few days later, again he noticed a poster of a theatre workshop being organized in his college. But this time, it didn’t took him a second to register for the workshop. The boy went on to perform a lot of street plays and stage plays representing his college in various inter college festivals and even became a face of theatre in his college. Even after getting a job, the boy remained connected to theatre for the rest of his life. All of this happened in a single moment of self realization. It happened in a moment of magic that happened on stage that transformed his life.

P.S.: The above story is inspired from the life of not one but several individuals and the only purpose of writing it was to convey how we create our own fears and try to hide ourselves behind the self created boundaries. It simply takes a moment to break the shatters and identify who are you inside. Its just that some people wait for that moment to happen while some create that moment for themselves.

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