Yes, I’ve already written about acting for an Audience of One, but since I’m currently involved in a community theatre production of Miracle on 34th Street, I thought it would be timely to revisit this thought. Once again, I find myself in the throngs of busyness, trying to keep the house clean, making yummy meals for the husband, and not letting my productivity at work slip, while endlessly rehearsing lines in my head, becoming “Doris Walker”, and keeping my head above water during this holiday season. It’s been a fun six weeks… hence the lack of postings on this blog.
I previously stated in An Audience of One that my favorite part of the show is the monologue. As Doris Walker, I am playing a part that I’ve never truly experienced, that of a stuck-in-her-own-shell, realistic, somewhat hardened divorcee with a ten-year old daughter. It has been a task trying to identify with the feelings that Doris displays throughout the show, but it has been a delightful challenge. My husband saw the show last weekend and remarked, “It was so odd; I know you, but I didn’t know you!” As an actress, that was the sweetest thing he could have said.
As I said before, acting demands excellence; to be a successful actor, you have to effectively communicate thoughts and emotions to an audience. The audience must not only watch events as they take place, they must understand why characters respond to events as they do and feel emotional connections to the actors. In my opinion, it is easier to establish an emotional connection with the audience around Christmas time. Everyone is looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of buying, wrapping, sending, giving, and eating during this most wonderful time of the year. They’re trying to fill the need, supply the desire, find the perfect present, and get the gifts to Grandma before the 25th. It is such a privilege to offer brief moments of magic through the looking glass of the stage.
Looking Beyond the Stage
Once again, I wish to look beyond the stage, beyond the audience, and through the twinkling spotlights. I wish to turn this blog into a lens of introspection with a question: In all our busyness, do we truly take the time to stop and thank God? We just baked our pumpkin pies, carved our delightfully seasoned turkeys, and ate our fill of canned cranberry sauce. We just paused as a nation to offer thanksgiving to God for the initiative of lonely pilgrims desperate for religious freedom and a new beginning. Our hearts were just filled with the love, laughter, and family togetherness of the holiday. We just experienced Thanksgiving.
And yet, what has December become? In my life, this year is full of rehearsals, performances, and photoshoots. For you, it may be shopping, church cantatas, gift wrapping, travelling, or other methods of creating “holiday cheer.” Can we really say that we have continued in a spirit of Thanksgiving through these few weeks since November 24th? Are we living our holiday season for the Audience of One? Can we truly say in all our busyness, we continuously thank the One who has provided the ability and means to even celebrate Christmas?
Looking Beyond the Holiday
More than just pausing to be thankful, do we honestly remember what Christmas truly means? It is the remembrance of the divine moment when Hope was born. Christmas is more than pretty presents, sparkling tinsel, and caroling in the snow. It is the epitome of living for an Audience of One. Through Christmas, we begin to understand the One for which we live. By remembering Christ in Christmas, we acknowledge our inability to do anything apart from our Saviour, our fallibility, our inherent selfishness, and our breathtaking, undeserved future.
As much as I pour my energy, time, and thought into the character of Doris Walker for Miracle on 34th Street, I should radiate Christianity. I should go about my busy holiday planning and shopping as a Christian. I should be a vibrant light, a true testimony, a willing servant to others. I shouldn’t focus on the “getting” of the season, but on the giving. There shouldn’t be a difference between what I say in the store (to get that last “perfect” gift on Christmas Eve!) and the way I live what I believe. I should exhibit the true Christmas spirit through living my life for my Audience of One.
Just as I cannot see the audience when I stand in the spotlight, I should live my life this Christmas with only my Audience of One in view.