Megan Lebo

"Just be. Its what the world denies you" – Brandon Heath

Month: April, 2012

To act is to be…someone else

Have you ever just wanted to be someone else entirely for a day?

Being you can sometimes get old, right?  I mean, you’ve been you all your life.  Your quirks are the same day in and day out, your insecurities lingering beneath your core like residue.  Wouldn’t it be great just to take a break from yourself for a while and be somebody else?

I have recently stumbled upon a way to press pause, so to speak, on my own life and switch screens into another story, another life, that in my current skin I would never get the chance to be.

Its called acting.

I have over the years heard stories of actors who literally become the character that they are portraying but I never really understood what that meant.  I think of actors such as Christian Bale and Heath Ledger among others who are (or were) known for their extreme methods of preparing for their roles and staying in character.  These extremes often resulting in the inability to separate themselves between the part they are playing and the reality they are living.

I have myself recently experienced this phenomenon, if you will, albeit on a much (much) smaller scale than the aforementioned professional actors.  I have in essence been given the opportunity to be someone who is so unlike myself (and yet at the same time I think we can all find elements of a character that mirror our own in some way, shape or form).

I have had very little acting experience, almost none really, and was a bit nervous about being offered to play the part.   This part was such that, if portrayed improperly, it could very well throw off the mood of the whole play.  I quickly learned what it meant when people said that there are no small roles in a production.  Every character paints a portion of a portrait from the lead actors to the one-liners.  That one line you have could easily make or break a scene resulting in a disconnect from the audience involved.

I initially struggled a bit with feeling like I wasn’t quite “getting it”.  All of these thoughts kept running through my head like, “what if, what the directors saw in my audition was a fluke?”, “What if I cannot truly exhibit the emotion of the character”, etc.  Acting can truly be an emotional rollercoaster as the inner battle between your role and your reality rages inside.  I know that to some this all sounds incredibly sensational but to an actor who cares about their craft its all very real.

I remember the night when the whole thing clicked.

When the emotion of a scene takes shape it almost becomes its own entity.  A life form emerging on the stage.  When the actors are all in sync the colors of what is happening become shockingly visible.

It’s a strange and slightly unnerving sensation to be so immersed.

During the height of emotion, as I lay blame at the feet of those around me, the director yelled, “Stop!”.  At that moment I was the equivalent of a balloon that had just been stuck with a straight pin.  It was like being jolted awake from a dream and suddenly realizing “Wait, that was not really happening.”

Out of nine performances I was only able to get back to that point twice.

Its all part of what I’m learning and part of what I’m loving about being an actor.  (I use that term loosely because I really have only just begun to start acting.)  I am learning what it means to be someone else for a spell.  To experience life in another era, another state, or another part of the world.

Its somewhat liberating and slightly indulgent to let go of your inhibitions and be someone else and not have anyone think strangely of you.

I have attained a new respect and a new love for this art-form.  Everything from the set design to the dedication of the actors to the vision of the directors.  It’s a beautiful craft that teaches, informs, and inspires!  And not just for the audience but for the actors as well.

Being in this role, playing this part, has shaped me somehow and I don’t know that I’ll ever be the same.  It’s a form of enlightenment.  A type of freedom.

I pray that God continues to grant me this joy of experience and storytelling, and that I can impact others through this art as it has so powerfully impacted me.

Advertisements

Tiny Hands…

I dreamt last night I held you in my arms

So small and quiet

I kissed your head

And I loved you

I loved you more than myself

Your hair was black and soft

Tiny hands against my own

I closed my eyes and breathed you in

One day I will hold you in my arms

So small and quiet

I will kiss your head

And I will love you

I will love you more than myself

Calling all heroes…

I have lived my entire life believing in fairytales.

No, I don’t believe in fairy godmothers or magical spells that put you to sleep or even true love’s kiss.  I don’t believe in trolls or frogs that become princes.  I don’t even buy into the idea that we will all live happily ever after with not a care in the world to ever again trouble our now perfect lives.

I just came from seeing the movie Mirror Mirror.  A slightly new twist on the classic story of Snow White packed with all of the familiar characters and story lines.  The wicked step-mother, the seven dwarves, Snow White, and of course the dashing young Prince.  While the costuming was spectacular (I absolutely love good costuming) and the characters were fun, this retelling was everything that could be expected from a story that has been told and retold hundreds of times.

With the general story line being the same as what has always been there was a slight difference that I picked up on and have actually begun to pick up on in other retellings of other popular fairytales.  I don’t think that many people pick up on this subtle change that seems to be permeating these beloved stories because it is a change that has been gradually seeping not just into fiction but also into our everyday lives.

It is a change that makes me want to scream, “WAIT!  STOP!  Go back.  That’s not how it happens.”

That change is the role reversal of the valiant warrior prince and the beautiful damsel in distress.

In so many movies and so many retellings they have reconstructed the story to where the young maiden or the princess is actually the one who ends up saving the prince.  Each heroine is portrayed as strong, independent, and perfectly capable of taking care of herself.  As a matter of fact she’s capable of not only taking care of herself she is also able to deal the final blow to the great villain that the young prince just couldn’t get to in time.

Our brave knights have been stripped of their armor and upstaged by the very women they are trying to save.

Ladies, have you ever dreamed of saving a man’s life?  Have you ever wanted to fight to the death to person who would harm the man that you love?  I imagine that if your anything like me your fantasies are played out very differently.  I frequently fantasize about Prince Charming saving my life in some grand and spectacular scenario.  “Ma’am, that car almost hit you!  If I hadn’t swept you off of your feet and pulled you out of the road you would most certainly be dead!”  Yeah, that’s more how I picture things.  Not the other way around.

My absolute favorite display of affection, whether in movies or in reality, is the man kissing the woman on the forehead.  It is a powerful gesture that not only says, “I love you” but it says, “I care about you”, and “I will protect you”.

Women want men to make them feel safe and loved.  And men want to love and protect.  It is who we are and it is how we were created.  It is not an issue of weakness versus strength.  It is not a matter of man versus woman.  We are equal parts with very different roles.

We see very clearly in Genesis 2 that God created male and female in His image as equal partners but He did create the male to be the head and the female to be the helper.

The world has told us women that to let men fight for you, and to protect you is a sign of weakness and inequality.  In this we have looked straight at our valiant Knights and said, “your services are no longer required.”  As a result our men have taken off their armor, dropped their head and their swords, and have turned around in defeat and rejection.  We reject their chivalry and then blame them for being passive.

For me, I do not want to rob any man of their chance to brave and to be chivalrous.  I am not going to steal the fight or the victory from the man who chooses to fight for me.  The man desires to woo and the woman wants to be wooed.  And although a strong woman may very well pick up the sword to slay the dragon in her heart she really wants to see the brave warrior to step in front of her to deal that final blow.

Yes, I believe in fairytales.  And I anticipate the day when my brave warrior, my valiant knight, my charming Prince, finally discovers me in the tower and carries me off into the sunset.

I am a Lady in Waiting.  All heroes are welcomed to apply!

Chag Sameach and Happy Easter!!!

Some people view Easter and Passover as 2 separate celebrations by 2 separate faiths.

Passover is the Jewish rememberance of God’s salvation and deliverance of the people of Israel from the slavery and bondage of Egypt.  It is observed to remember that solemn evening where the blood of an unblemished lamb saved a people from the angel of death that had come to destroy the firstborn of all of Egypt.

Easter is what is observed in the Christian faith.  While clouded by many unfounded traditions, at its heart is the rememberance and celebration of a solemn evening where the blood of an unblemished lamb (Jesus, Yeshua) saved us from that dark angel of death, which is sin, that seeks to destroy every man.

I find no separation between the two events and desire to celebrate this weekend with both my fellow gentile friends and my dear Jewish ones.  This weekend is a celebration of life!  Life that was given to us by God through the sacrifice of a spotless lamb.  There can be no separation of the two events for one is the fulfillment of the other.

So happy Easter to all who celebrate and Chag Sameach to all of my Jewish friends celebrating Pesach (Passover)!

—————————————————————————————————————————————————–

P.S.  There is a song that is sung during Jewish passover celebrations called Dayenu.  Dayenu essentially means “It would have been enough”.  It is a song that looks back and remembers all of the Great works that God has done for His people.  The text speaks of events such as their deliverance from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea stating that if God had delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians but not parted the Red Sea it would have been enough.

I have taken that theme and have written a song to remember, ultimately, that if today were to be my last that everything God has done for me would be enough.

Enjoy!