What to do with the light

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“Find your light, darling” is a catchphrase used often in theatre work, especially during technical rehearsals. Those of us who were born with dark skin tones are probably more conscious than others of the need to work well within the glare of light, for our performance work to be appreciated in its fullness. But when we step into the light, what are we to do with the attention?

Miles Davis spoke in an interview once about “attitude”. I believe he was referring to speaking one’s truth. Is there any point in hedging one’s bets about the way our points of view are going to be received? Some of us want attention for attention’s sake. In cases of that sort, there is the possibility that we might be lucky enough to be able to give the people what they want to see or hear, but there is also the risk of coming across as clueless about why we need to be noticed.

Doesn’t it make sense to reflect about what we have to contribute before we court attention? There are several recent cases of people who don’t seem to have the wherewithal to see themselves, but who just can’t resist the opportunity to do some cartwheels and somersaults in front of as many of us as possible. Soon they run out of antics to keep our attention and they are stuck in the public eye, sauntering through a range of foolish gestures.

Was Reality TV created for people with these inclinations? When Andy Warhol made his famous quip about everyone being famous for fifteen minutes, he was probably referring to our need to be acknowledged for being here. Warhol made several films that are probably forerunners of the Reality TV genre –with people just hanging around, aiming to be seen, even though they had nothing to tell us.

Perhaps we should all be searching for the light within ourselves. I sense that we can all be luminous if we’re in touch with our inner flames.