Resolution or Revelation?

This New Year’s I’m making more of a revelation that a resolution.
For Christmas I played Scrooge in a production of my play What in the Dickens Happened to Scrooge? At the end of Act One I pass out center stage. During dress rehearsal, at the beginning of Act Two, I entered in darkness to take my place of collapse. Unfortunately, I forgot there were some stairs right in front of me so I took a tumble over them and crawled to my spot just as the lights went up. The only person who saw me fall was an actress right behind me waiting for her entrance. The rest of the play went on without a hitch. Even the director didn’t know I had fallen.
I was so proud of myself for being a trouper, afterwards I pulled up my trousers to show blood dripping down a swollen scrape on my shin to anyone who would look. The actress told how she saw me fall, roll and crawl but she didn’t realize how bad it was. One actor offered to bandage it and take me to the emergency room.
“No, no,” I said. “It hardly even hurts now. I’m glad I was able to make it through the show.”
I got so many “oohs” and “Are you sure you’re all rights” that I was on an endorphin rush all the way home. Then in the privacy of home I realized that if I had really been that much of a “the show must go on” type of guy, at the end of the rehearsal I would have gone straight to the dressing room, taken off my makeup, changed clothes and gone out front to give my fellow cast members a hearty “good job!” then limped to the car without saying a word about my leg.
It was at that moment the revelation came to me that I was nothing but an attention hog. (There’s another word that sounds like hog that might be more accurate but, this is Facebook and one must be polite at all times, mustn’t one?)
On one hand I could tell myself, “Of course, I’m an attention hog. I’m an actor. I’m a storyteller. I’ll sit under my tent all day in hopes of telling a story to a handful of passersby who might stop for a moment. I post stories on my blog in anticipation of getting a thumbs up or even a little heart.”
On the other hand, this teaches me to control my impulse to interrupt when people tell me about their lives. I want them to know how a similar incident happened to me, thereby turning the spotlight on myself. (By the way, I really do love staring straight into a spotlight.) And, believe me, every time I’m in a group when someone talks, I want to talk too. I think it’s genetic. Davy Crockett was my great-great-great grandfather, and he was known for telling tall tales.
Anyway, the best conversationalist is the person who can look into the eyes of a person telling their story, smile, nod and not say a damn thing.
I don’t know if I could keep a resolution to shut up, but at least I realize I should shut up. That ought to count for something.

One thought on “Resolution or Revelation?

  1. Rosalee Peterson

    Loved this. I, too, need to shut off. It’s like a switch goes on in my mouth and out pours the words.


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