This week, the stage play I am in opened for its first three shows. Closer at the Old Mill Theatre in Western Australia. The show itself has been a real test of some of my personal inhibitions, and prudish ideas. It has been a real awakening for me as an actor, and as a person.
In my last post, I revealed that I am, and have always been, and have no problems with being, a non-religious person, otherwise known an atheist. Yet I have “belief” that there is something more, as yet unexplained. There are messages to be found in the world, and I have had a sequence of interesting coincidences that have occurred in conjunction with this show.
With only three nights currently done out of 11 in total, for each night there has been a connection to my past.
On opening night (Friday) I was shaking hands with an enthusiastic individual who offered some great feedback. In an email later, they revealed to me that they went to the same high school as me, and had observed and felt bad with regards the bullying I endured. They also revealed undisclosed feelings for me at the time. Those feelings have passed now, and I would not have been able to respond in kind, but I was flattered and encouraged all the same.
I too had my own crushes during school. Due to my lowly status, and general reserved, shy nature, I never acted upon them in anyway. Well, apart from one or two rather embarrassing, hesitant attempts. I have in recent years been able to express these now old, and dimmed feelings, and have been met with coy appreciation. The ability to reveal these feelings, even many years after the fact, is a very relieving experience, so I can appreciate what it may have meant for this person.
The regret they held, and may still hold, that they were unwilling to intervene for me when being bullied, I feel is unfortunate. Those years are years which I admit to having blocked to some degree, but I would never hold accountable anyone else for what happened. Neither the protagonists, nor the spectators. First I can’t hold the fire that anger or vengeance would require. It’s corrosive. Nor can I hold resentment for being unprotected, or supported. Sticking your nose into a troubled situation is frightening. I have done it myself, and also walked away. I am guilty as the next guy.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
On the second night, the person that I consider to be my first ever friend came and saw the show with his wife. I have not seen him in many many years, and to reconnected was wonderful. I did once have a crush on his sister, who was closer to my age, but moving from the small town of my birth, to the world of the most isolated capital city in the world changed me too much. It brought back memories many years lost. It is incredible the storage capacity of the human mind.
Then our third performance was an afternoon matinee, and another fellow student from high-school. Now I knew of this person, but didn’t really have a lot to do with them, but we were able to chat about various things, along with her mother, and both were very complimentary with my show, but there was a sense of equality in that I felt a creative aspiration.
In later communications, I found (or was re-affirmed) that they had an interest in theatre, but were daunted by the effort and time required. Now this is something that I know holds many people back. It did once hold me back.
If this is a passion, then effort and time has less meaning. Passion is a nutritional commodity of its own. Unrealised, it stagnates and can be corruptive. Given regular exercise, it finds its own niche, and finding the time and energy becomes secondary concern.
With all that, I find it intriguing that these connections have come at the time they have, and in the confined clustering of one a day. I can’t help but feel there is a message here. Then I realise the name of the play. Closer. Closer to friends. Closer to my past. Closer to myself.
Coincidence is one thing. Clustering coincidences, while possible, seems a little to surreal.