The Big Show
In one production, I auditioned like everyone else. My music teacher, who was also the music director for the show, was so convinced that I'd get a particular part that she had me sing for people who visited our classroom.
We even rehearsed my songs.
One day the show director pulled me aside. I was expecting to be offered the part. Instead he said, "Bob, I owe a favor to someone. I need to give the part to another boy."
I had always been an "easy touch," a kid you could push around. If I had a quarter all my friends shared in the penny candy it bought.
I walked to school with kids no one else had time for.
I'd take the blame for something someone else did.
But at that very moment when the director told me that I would lose because he owed someone a favor, I became bitter.
I began hating music class. I complained that I didn't like what we were singing. My teacher didn't know why. She scolded me in front of the class and told me I had changed. She didn't know what I had been told.
When they announced the finalists I was given a minor role. My ego fought with the idea. My pride struggled with having to do something I didn't think I should be doing.
But I did it.
The part I thought I had was a romantic lead who sang some of the most beautiful love songs.
Looking back now I can see where my heart began to develop into being the "run on the beach with the balloons," "sail off into the sunset," "Old Romantic" I am today.
It turns out that the minor role I had was much more fun. I and a friend got to play opposite one of the leads, dance a few times and, as it turned out, I got to step into the spot light for a few bars and surprise even my brother who was in the audience.
In what I always refer to the "Disneyland in my mind," I always wished that life was like a musical. There would be great lavish scenes where everyone around you would break into dance, just when you needed to open your heart to someone.
There would be dramatic, heart breaking goodbyes complete with the most wonderful music, but always, always a happy ending.
As I have gotten older I have had to close a few of those rides in my "Disneyland." Reality has set in and I struggled to fit into "Fantasyland."
Don't worry. I still have those child-like "Goofy" moments. I just don't stay there as long as I once did.
I've learned something from all if that.
Life is really like a play and although we did not audition for the role, each of us were appointed by the Director to play a certain part in it.
The problem is we sometimes don't like the part we were given. Like me in high school we become bitter and arrogant. We decide that if we can't have the lead, we won't show up for rehearsal.
Then we wonder why we feel so lost.
Sometimes we don't even feel like we are a part of the "Big Show."
Everyone does indeed have a role. Some in front of the curtain, some behind, but all are necessary in order for the show to go on.
All contribute to the success no matter how minor the part.
If you are feeling lost, disconnected, why not show up for the rehearsal or call on the Director for a one on one.
By the way. It had bothered me all these years that my music director thought I had changed. I carried the image of that moment in my mind all the way through until last year at age 61.
By God's Grace, Miss Dorothy Turner is still alive. I called her one day and explained everything to her. I asked for her forgiveness. She forgave me.
Since then I reopened a few of those rides.
Come join me. Admission is free.
Oh, and "Places everyone!" The curtain went up again this morning on "The Big Show."
NOTE: My wife gave me a quote many years ago that I have held onto all these years. I have never been able to find the author of that piece until this very moment. I wanted to include a line for you to consider and to my astonishment, I just found the quote.
Here is what she gave me. A link at the bottom will lead you to a great read which includes these lines:
"If you can't be a pine at the top of the hill,
~ Bob Perks ~