In The Lights

Shakespeare's Globe, London (rebuilt 1997)

Shakespeare’s Globe, London (rebuilt 1997) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please excuse my absence folks. War Machine has been a bit persnickety of late. Also, I have been working more at the bookstore thanks to the holidays and left very tired when not working. My body is getting used to the schedule though, and for the moment the computer is behaving, so hopefully I can get a post or twenty in yet this week. Because I do so love writing for all of you. I love discussing weighty issues with you. I love pondering new ideas. I love sharing my art. Finally, if I am to be frank, I kinda like the attention.

That is why I enjoyed my time being involved with chorus and theater as a kid. I loved being in the lights, even if I was not center stage. I am a not-entirely unrepentant narcissist. At the very least, I love entertaining. I love to sing, or at least I used to.  I have tried my hand at stand up (now would be a good time for those of you who have viewed it to chime in and say how hilarious I was.) When our English classes would recite Shakespeare aloud I was the only kid not to shy away from it. “A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy” and all that.

It wasn’t just the times the attention was focuses on me. Yes I loved the opportunity to perform solos, but I also greatly enjoyed my time behind the scenes. I was on stage crew for three years of high school and took joy in every moment of it. I knew I was contributing to something special when I manned the curtains, or when I was made responsible for the lights. Aiding in set design, while not a strength of mine (unless you want stick figures in your background) was an act of creation and even if no one else knew of my contribution, I knew. We all knew. From the chorus instructor who led our drama club, on down to the ushers on the night of the show, we each had our part to play.

I miss those days. I miss singing and dancing for others. I know I have shied away from it these past ten years because my trans status. I cannot sing like a woman, as much as I would love to, but I have a beautiful, or had a beautiful, basso supremo that could resonate through a theater without benefit of a mic. I wish I could share that again. Or be Viola, or Mercutio, or my favorite, Horatio, once more. I wish I could be Mr. Percy Snodgrass, dancing and stumbling to center stage to do that shoulder roll before the girls sit on my knee, one more time.

I am a born entertainer. I so want to make you laugh, smile, cry, and cheer, whether it is with my characters in my flash fiction, my poetry, or with a performance on stage. I love to get a reaction. I prefer a sincere one, and one that leaves you happy even if at first it makes you cry. I have been afraid for too long to be true to myself that way, and need to get back into it. No excuses anymore. There are stages to build or to take. I have no immediate family of my own, not like my siblings. I have few responsibilities besides making the world a brighter place. I will continue to strive to do so with my activism, but it is time I also sought to do so with my love of art. So I will find a troupe, or an open mic night, or a band, and I will put myself in the lights again, if only in small way, and play, and sing, and dance  for you all. I hope if you don’t come to watch it is because you are dancing, playing, and singing for an audience of your own.



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