In high school my friends and I would sometimes declare a Musical Monday, where you had to sing everything instead of say it. (Our teachers never seemed to be as on board with this as we were.) But we were convinced that life would be more fun if it were more like theater.
And apparently Neil Patrick Harris agrees:
“If life were more like theater,life wouldn’t suck so much.”
Really? Thinking a bit more about this idea from my adolescence and statement from this year’s Tony Awards, I’m not so sure.
To be honest, this sounds like what we try to turn life into: small soundbites of adventure and carefully crafted quips and quotes, all put on display for the voyeuristic audience of our narcissistic world. All the world’s a stage.
Only we call it “Twitter” or “Facebook.”
We turn life into our own personal and digital theaters, displaying the side of ourselves we want the world to see. We see a camera and we pose, doing our best to make it appear authentic, impromptu, and candid. But if we don’t like the way it turned out we restage the shot and take it again (and again and again if necessary). Perhaps reality television is closer to real life than we could have ever anticipated.
Life is more like theater. And this doesn’t make it suck any less. It just allows us to hide it or disguise it or remove ourselves from photos/scenes we’d rather not be tagged in.
I’m not issuing a call to technophobic arms, but simply asking for an honest and authentic look at what we already have. Life is already a story. We don’t have to work any harder to turn it into one. But perhaps we ought to work harder to live out that story rather than worrying about how the blocking and staging of each scene will appear on Facebook or Twitter.