"ONE MUST OBSCURE THE LIGHT, SO THAT ONE CAN TRULY SEE IT." - Mendaxicus
Unlike Carly Simon’s vain lover, I am not flying my Leerjet to Nova Scotia to view the total eclipse of the sun. Instead I will be in Guthrie, Kentucky, wearing goofy-looking cardboard “Eclipse Glasses” (ISO Approved, of course). Why I am in Guthrie is too long a story for this blog, but I will be “within the path of totality”, and will see one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. (If it's not overcast.)
Thinking about the eclipse has made me realize something interesting. I used to think that being a performer on the stage was like being the sun. I was the star, and the audience was viewing my awesome brightness. But maybe being a performer is more like the eclipse. Maybe I’m not the star. Maybe I’m the moon, moving in front of the star; enabling the audience to see it in a new and special way. The star is that communal experience, that we only experience in live performances or a house of worship. This communal experience can shape our lives and inspire us in so many ways. The performer is not the source of the light, but the lens through which the audience can appreciate and experience the light.
In my best moments on stage, I have truly felt that I was merely a conduit of some sort. A channel for something amazing and funny to move through me to fill the audiences’ hearts and minds with wonder and happiness.
Pretty heady stuff! But, that’s what a total eclipse can do to your mind. (P.S. – a little tidbit for those who actually read this to the end – today is my 64th birthday!)