I have loved acting since I was a little girl. One time in Sunday school we needed someone to play Mary the mother of Jesus in a Christmas play. (I think we will agree to call it a play now for the sake of this story, otherwise, what it was remains a subject of mystery to serious researchers all over). The play director, again let us agree to call her that, called on us, implored us even, to volunteer for this huge role. I watched the teenagers in our midst cower away towering over the corners trying not to get noticed. No one volunteered. I wondered why, but not long enough. Who did not want to star in such? I did not want to be overly eager to get the role, and so I tried to balance my act, you know, to get myself noticed in such a way that it would look like I did nothing towards it. You know how you raise your hand, make sure they notice it and then put it down fast enough to hide from your peers. Then when you are picked, you paste on an expression of surprise because who would have guessed that of all people in the room you would be picked! Your talent has been noticed, without you even trying. You have been discovered.
And so we did the play that had cheesy lines. Mediocrity galore.
But that is not the point of this story. I would love to say that that moment there was a defining moment. That I stood in that stage and saw myself as a professional actress. Everything else stopped to make sense outside the stage. I would also love to say that the play was the first time I realized my immense love for the stage. Then I would say that I love acting because it enables you to embody another character in those moments or that I love it for the moment of applause just after pulling off a good act or that I love the process of mastering a role or the people you meet while at it and the exposure. I would also love to say that I am not a girl.
The thing is, sometimes you can love something and not know why.
One of the questions people ask me is why I do what I do. Well that is after they ask what it is that I do. Sometimes I want to smack them in the face and request for some originality. On the days that I don’t, I wonder what it is that I should answer them.
‘I do it for the money’
‘I am just passionate about it’
‘It’s the opportunities that have presented themselves to me’
I mull over every single response wondering which one is appropriate. Or true. And then, unable to offer a satisfactory answer, I walk away wondering why the world has to be black and white. See the thing is, sometimes, it is the passion, sometimes, it is the money and other times, the opportunities.
I have sat across people who are convinced that they want to quit their jobs because they do not feel passionate about them as they expected. I have been those people. I have sat across others who only work because they need the money. I have also been those people. Others, who I am yet to sit across, but hear of their existence, are only driven by passion, all the time. These people are a rare commodity.
Do you guys eat food for breakfast? Do you poop? Have you ever written a Face book status that you are ashamed of? Are you even on Face book? Do you like people who text with ‘x’ instead of ‘s’? Something like ‘xaxa’. When you see a lion along Mombasa road, what goes on in your minds? Do you feel the heat from the sun? When will you return to Mars? Also, can we meet before you go back?
Each of us has those days. When the ticker beats only to supply oxygen and not passion, when the rainbow consists of only black and white, the things that make life exciting lose their excitement, or you just do not have time to feel. In those days, bread still costs 50/-, cars still move on fuels, Gotv still needs to be paid and you know you cannot use a kidney. Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could pay for things with our organs
‘Hey, how much is that book?’
‘It is 800/-. Can I wrap it for you?’
‘Aah, do I have to pay it all at once?’
‘Yes madam, (why do those guys in bookstores call us all madam. It is the equivalent of auntie from a donda) will you use cash or Mpesa?’
‘Am sorry ma’am that is not acceptable’
‘Whaaat!!!! My kidney is in perfect condition! I do not eat meat, I am vegetarian. Also, it is way more expensive! And all that for what, that torn Elizabeth Eliott book?’
‘It is not torn ma’am…’
‘I will see what I want to see’ (Stomps out dramatically)
Where was I? aah yes, those days. So what happens when the reservoirs of zeal run dry? Do you just wallow in apathy waiting for a time when things will be different? Do you just quit and move on to other things? Here, we rarely offer solutions, we just like to ask questions, so go ponder on those for a while.
This post went a lot different than I expected. If it had gone well, I would tell you about an event, ‘whose love story’ happening on the 26th of March at Trinity Baptist Church, Donholm. I would tell you that it will be a skit series event with drama, dance, music and poetry in between the skits and I would invite you to be there. But you know it has failed to co-operate.
So, see you later!