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the show must go on

September 6, 2012

Walking down the street near where I work today I recognise someone who works for the same organisation. He is with his partner and he is holding their newborn child.

Their future stretches out in front of them as wide as the smile on his face. It is just their beginning.

Sunday 24 June, 2012

It is rare that I am moved to tears. I have just witnessed the most incredible performance. A dozen 10 yr old kids dressed in jungle themed outfits take the stage as part of a competitive Eisteddfod. The music starts and so do they.

Then the music stops.

Silence. Everybody knows for certain something has gone wrong.

They look at each other. Then from out of nowhere a voice sings the next line. It is a song and dance number so that is what they do. They sing and they dance – without the music – all the way until the end.

When they stop the usually polite crowd of parents erupts into long and sincere applause.

Their singing was average. Their dancing without the music was ok at best.

Their commitment to their performance was breathtaking.

Friday 25 May, 2012

Opening night of Same Time Next Year. Act 1, Scene 2. This time there are just two actors on stage when the words stop.

Silence. Out of the hundred or so people in the theatre there are only five who know for certain something is wrong.

The guy in the lighting box and the Stage Manager who are following the show with their copy of the script can see the words that are supposed to come next, the Director (who doesn’t need a script to know what is supposed to come next) … and the two actors standing on the stage. Still.

Silence. The actors know that between them they do not know. As they had agreed they kiss in the silence and step apart. Between them they still do not know.

In the audience now the silence is absolute. They have stopped (and so has the Directors heart!) almost at the beginning.

Then out of nowhere the actors find the words. The show goes on. All the way to the end.

A day in September, 2012

There is nothing special about any particular day this month – no opening night, no eisteddfod – except that on this day a friend of mine has been ‘made redundant’ after working for 23 years for the Queensland Government. She is not the only one this month, not the first, and sadly she will not be the last.

For her, I know the music stopped. For now there will be no dancing.

For her, I know it will be hard to find the words because she does not know what she is supposed to say next . For now there will be long stretches of silence.

For her, I know it is the end.

But I know her.

Somewhere a voice will sing the next line (and there is a chance that she will be the one singing it!)

Out of nowhere she will find the words.

She, like me, knows that the show must go on. Today, this day in September, is just our beginning.

And we are committed to keep going.

All the way to the end.


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth Stubberfield permalink
    January 16, 2013 4:32 pm

    Paul, you have such a wonderful way telling stories…. I read it through 3 times, thanks for the inspiration!

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