We all go through different stages in our lives. Think about defining moments (buying your first house, having your first child, graduating from college, your first “real” job, etc.). Looking back, all of these things marked a very clear transition between the person you were before and the person you became afterwards. They demonstrated that life is completely different after they occur. Stages can be beautiful, terrible, and horrifying all at the same time. The most interesting thing about stages is that none of them are set up just for the sake of having a stage. They are all meant to enhance the job and performance of the actors.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that life is against you. We tend to see how the stage is set up and are absolutely dumbfounded by how terrible it is. Our day-to-day activities are filled with how we wish the stage were different, how it could be better set up, and what we should do to fix it. We don’t enjoy acting on stages that we feel are less than we deserve. But consider the audience…
Audiences love to be entertained. No question. Large groups of people are so easily enticed, it’s not even funny. But we can talk about football, fights, and strip clubs some other time. The point is that set designers often go all out. The idea is to enhance the performance but, as a member of the audience, it is easy to get lost in the construction and beauty of the stage and completely miss several scenes during the production. When the setting is horrible, you have no choice but to focus on how the actor behaves and responds.
We can easily look past the wonderful job that the other actors are doing when their stages are seemingly set up so much more perfectly than ours. We can fall into the trap of wanting other stages that are set up for other actors and disregarding the performance entirely.
Forget the stage you’re in. God set it up and put you in it for a reason, so go out and perform. Worrying about the stage isn’t your job nor is it in your realm of control. Worrying about you and how you respond is not just controllable, but it’s your responsibility. Looking at others either makes you upset about your own stage or grateful that your stage is better than another actor’s. But if that other actor is performing well relative to his or her stage, that makes you mad, anyway!
Do yourself a favor and act well, regardless of what stage you’re in. Life goes by much more easily when you worry about you and not everyone else. It’s just life. Enjoy the production.