I was watching episodes of The L Word on Netflix. Purely for research purposes, I assure you ;). In one particular episode I found that I was struck by one of the extras in a scene. She had beautiful red hair and for a period of maybe two seconds you could see her face so clearly. Her smile was beaming and her rosy cheeks and face were bright. I imagine that somewhere she told her friends about the casting. She told them about the episode, and they had a viewing party. They gathered together with drinks and snacks and love to support their friend’s career which was on a steady rise. They applauded and whooped and hollered when her scene came and to this day, The L Word is known as her show.
I’ve had both friends and family who were extras and we did the same thing. Went to the movies to support them in “their” movie and told all our other friends about it proudly. I smiled fondly when I rewound and saw how clearly the camera focused on her face for that small amount of time. I couldn’t help but feel a bit happy for her as I watched the scene again.
I realized that I often felt that way about my own life. Standing on the side lines and looking at the main characters doing their acting upon the stage of life. Watching as they make their entrances and their exits, but waiting for that moment when the camera catches my face in the light. Calling my friends when it does and having a party when it finally happens. Hoping to find another moment to be caught in the spotlight.
Each person has the right to be a main character in their own life. Each person has the right to be a complete superstar of their own fate. To own what is given to them with the grace and dignity that is worthy of any academy award. Every person deserves to light up their lives with the brightness of their smile and make millions breathless with their charming nature.
I’ve wanted that for others, but have somehow denied myself that common courtesy. Maybe for some time I thought that I was unworthy of such a part, or that maybe I wasn’t prepared for the amount of work that the leading role would entail. But really, it is my birthright. If I am not the star in my own life, then I leave it to someone else to be while I watch for the sidelines trying to make it in an impossible situation.
I feel as though I owe it to myself to put myself out there and write my heart out. To audition for the lead role in my life no matter how afraid I might be of how everything will turn out. To love fearlessly and to trust in my audience and those who have loved me from day one to stick by me through the criticisms and the ugly tabloids of life. I have to have faith that in the end, the star quality that is in each of us is meant to shine, has been brought to this Earth because we each have a unique gift to give. It’s time to invest in myself. Time to believe in myself.
It’s time to stop being an extra.
“All the world’s a stage,
and all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
and one man in his time plays many parts.”