Tonight at the local high school, my daughter begins a three night run of Suessical The Musical Jr with her Middle School Drama Team. This will be her third production with this troupe and the culmination of months of after-school rehearsals and at-home sing-throughs. Though she’s not the lead nor does she even have a specific character name, she’s embraced the “no small parts” philosophy and thrown herself into the experience. She’s passed on other after-school activities that interfered with rehearsals. She’s had days where she literally did nothing but homework, dinner and play practice between the end of the school day and her bed time. She’s been tired from some later nights. Sore from learning new dances. And just plain wiped out from the type of schedule grind that, frankly, a 13-year-old just isn’t use to. All to play a nameless Who (and briefly a jungle spider) for the next three nights. And… as a parent… I couldn’t be more proud.
So often in life, we fall into this whole thing where we give up or give less than we can simply because the ROI isn’t there. We commit to something in our lives right up to the point where we ask “what’s in it for me” and we’re not blown away with the answer. We decide that our time is “just too valuable to waste” on something that isn’t going pay us back ten-fold. If I’m not the lead, then why even try. If I’m not the star, then it’s not worth my effort. If the spotlight isn’t on me, then why even be on stage.
In life, like the stage, there are no small parts.
In life, we need to sing just as hard when we’re in the chorus. We need to act just as well when we’re an extra. The scene is still going even when the spotlight isn’t on you. It may be the background, but it’s still on the stage.
Give it everything you have. Carry your part no matter the size.
Don’t be a small actor.