Life’s a Stage

I like watching plays[1].  For one reason, every action and every line on stage is done by an artist’s interpretation. A play may resemble a story in real life but its presentation will never be something close to real life.  Theater follows some conventions that are not applied in reality. We don’t sing when we talk to people like those in musical theater. When we talk to ourselves, we don’t speak out loud, the way an actor delivers a monologue.  Of course, concerts are also an artist’s invention that gets instant reaction from audience. But in theater, all elements on stage are intertwined. The panels on stage, the lights hanging, the actors moving on certain directions, the props, and the costume are not separate elements but all fall in a collaboration. And this leads me to compare life like theater.

Shakespeare All the World's a Stage
Photo from http://www.unabashedlyprep.com/

Life is like theater. It is not a series of random events. It is an organized chaos. When a crowd quarrels on stage, they do not look in disorder. It involves  some blocking and choreography. All these; fingers pointing, eyes squinting, walking from downstage to upstage are building a story. A story is a series of interrelated events.

The Choice by Chancel Repertory Theater
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Everything that is on stage is there for a reason. Actors are taught to enter the stage with a reason. Actors don’t show the audience that they enter on cue. Professional actors do not show movements because those are part of their choreography. They dance because they are happy. A prince enters the stage because he is going to meet his princess. Sometimes, an actor does not know how to execute what the director wants him to do. When he dances on stage, all the audience can see are dance routines. He has the moves but he does not have the mind of the choreographer. He does not know the reason he is speaking his lines or doing a movement.  In occasions like this, the actor perhaps might be shortsighted on what the director wants to achieve on a scene. He does not know  the story or perhaps he does not know how he can contribute to the story.

In life, we may be like this actor. We cannot do what is required. We question circumstances in our lives. We just have to trust our Director above, who sees the entirety of  every scene in our lives, that everything we do will fall in the right place. For we are merely players as Shakespeare said. Sometimes, we are poor in wisdom that we cannot see the bigger picture and the bigger reason. We just do not have the mind of our Director.

Treat life as a stage. Do your part or do some parts. Have faith in your Director that all the things you do will work accordingly. Whether you are working on the sounds and adding lights in stage, singing in a chorus, God is weaving a beautiful story in you.


[1] (My professor Theater 100 in college said, “You don’t watch a ‘play’. You read a ’play’ and watch a ‘performance’. Perhaps for academic purposes, this is how they use the word ‘play’ but for some publications like guardian, the ‘play’ is the play we know”)

Snapshot of Bona

Snapshot of Bona:

It is a show that can make you laugh as you watch actors deliver witty lines naturally. It has much entertainment value as you pick some insights.

PETA Bona

Why watch

The play is about a fan obsessed with a wannabe actor.

Because at some point in our lives, we have been like Bona, a fan whose loyalty is sometimes irrational and disillusioned.

I always pee every time I watched Eugene Domingo’s show 😀

50 Things I Learned about Musical Theatre

Last summer, I joined Trumpets Musical Theatre. It was a good learning experience. I do believe what we learned at the four corners of blue or green room can be applied not only on stage, but in all aspects of our lives. After all, life itself is the real stage. As Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” I jotted some important pointers implicitly and explicitly given by our instructors Jenny Jamora, Red Concepcion, and Nelson. I know some of these are pretty obvious but we tend to forget these pointers once in a while such as memorizing lines and understanding the songs

  1. Musical theatre is about heightened emotion
  2. A song is also a  monologue
  3. Singing is a release
  4. Big movements and big voice
  5. Never forsake the clarity of words
  6. When you are acting a character, you are not really acting but you are the character. That is to be truthful.
  7. Know your character- what she eats, drinks, how she walks
  8. There should be layers in acting
  9. It does not make you less an actor, if you don’t sound or act like the original
  10. When you do movements such as raising your hand, do it organically
  11. Always have a high energy level
  12. Have the same energy with your co-actors. Pass and share the energy you have
  13. Before you enter the stage, you should be able to connect the previous scene or the previous circumstances in the play
  14. You should be in character before you enter the stage
  15. Artists are neurotic
  16. Trust your co-actors
  17. Listening skill is a must
  18. Bring a note and pen during rehearsals. Take down notes
  19. Understand your script and understand your song
  20. Learn to see images with your voice
  21. When you’re on stage, you have to be triple focused, as compared to rehearsals
  22. When you’re on the stage and it’s not your time to speak or sing, do not stamp your feet. It shows weakness
  23. When you’re on the stage and it’s not your time to speak or sing, sing  in your mind what your co-actors are singing
  24. Always do a warm-up before the show or rehearsal
  25. Pray before the show or before the rehearsal
  26. Do not change your costume without the director’s permission
  27. Do not change your choreography without the director’s permission
  28. Do not doubt yourself
  29. Be a child
  30. Take away your analytical mind
  31. Do not judge yourself (even after the performance)
  32. Your voice is unique. Nobody in this world has the same voice as yours.
  33. Practice! Practice! Practice!
  34. Practice how you are going to wear your costumes on stage
  35. When others are practicing their scenes, keep quite. Just watch them. You’ll learn a lot just by watching them.
  36. Memorize your lines. No matter how short or how long they are
  37. Study your notes (musical sheet)
  38. When you practice musical notes, associate a note  with a thought
  39. Do not think how high or how low the notes are
  40. Look for the composer of the musical sheet
  41. Trust the composer
  42. It’s an advantage to know how many beats are there in a quarter note, whole note…
  43. Do not eat on theater
  44. Learn to pronounce the letter ‘r’
  45. Learn to do motorboat with your lips
  46. Yes! Yes! Yes! Be positive
  47. Do not talk at the backstage with or without your microphone
  48. When you’re at the backstage, do not mind others’ costumes or props
  49. Be familiar with  stage directions: upstage left, downstage right…
  50. Have fun