Monday, September 17, 2007

roles

Joanne and I went on a date last night. After a week of playing many different roles, we were overdue for playing our most important one, that of a married couple still madly in love after 23 years. So when balance is needed we often find a way to get back into one of our favorite Seattle neighborhoods. We were taking in a movie and dinner at her favorite place. The movie, “Becoming Jane” was actually a good investment for us, despite being a fairly obvious female attraction. Anyway, as the credits scrolled at the end of the film, one particular role stood out very near the end of the cast of characters. It was simply listed as “Wine Whore”. The reaction from those of us lazy enough to still be sitting around near the end of the credits was immediate. “Wine Whore”? That’s just funny. As my wife shared, “just imagine telling grandma…Hey I’m the wine whore”. How does one prepare for that part?
As humorous as it was at the time, I guess you had to be there, I’m still contemplating that this morning as I sit here in my seat of caffeinated inspiration. I wonder if that is going to be her big break. I imagine her putting that proudly on her resume. It sure beats “extra” and probably pays a bit more. Will she be type cast in that role from now on? What kind of future is there for her in future films? Did I already see her in any of the “Pirates” films? What would the film have been like without a “wine whore”? It’s a role. It’s a legitimate one to be sure, but hopefully not one that is worn for life.
If one subscribes to the notion of life as art, then a parallel starts to come into focus. I have to then consider the roles that I have played or maybe am still playing. The greater question for me then becomes, when the cosmic game of “Scene it” is played out in the end of time, and the category is “Identify the actor” what will my scroll down resume of credits look like? And maybe more importantly, which role will I be most easily identified with?
I have played many, although I’ll have to confess, never the “wine whore”. I have been or currently am still playing roles such as son, brother, husband, dad, pizza delivery guy, youth pastor, computer tech, pastoral artist, friend, and far too many extras. Some of my roles have changed over time. Some have been refined, some need to be. Some are those that I’m not proud of and would not want to be type cast in. Some I would see as golden statue worthy. To a conscious movie critic, there are some roles that seem to be created for certain actors. These are the ones that get paraded each year on the red carpets. I wonder what mine would be.
A role has certainly been created for me and me for a role. Of this I am sure. Even without my level of faith in the Creator, I cannot deny the evidence of witnessing a fellow actor that is so well suited for a role that even golden statues cannot reward it. Golden streets are more likely. It’s not coincidence. It’s not accident. It is a role written by the Writer himself, with a particular actor in mind and the performance of a lifetime is the result. It’s a beautiful thing to witness. It’s certainly more inspiring than “wine whore”.

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