My theatre teachers always told me that it takes twenty years of training to be a real actor. They also said that most Shakespearian characters shouldn’t be played by anyone under 30. They didn’t think a person under thirty could truly grasp the true complexity and understanding of most of Shakespeare’s characters.
What they meant was that only time and experience could give a person all of the tools necessary to feel and act out the breadth of emotions and to know the depth of the types of characters that make up our world. And it’s true – there are certain moments in time that I have experienced over the years that I could not have known existed as a teenager (as much as I thought I knew everything) – and there are moments and feelings I won’t know until they happen. For example, I really have no idea what it’s like to truly fear for my life, or to love a child more than I love myself. I can think back to times when that feeling could have been similar, and I can try to expound it in my mind 100 times – but I don’t really know…not really. Not until I live it.
Shakespeare developed characters so strong and so dynamic that it literally takes age to figure them out. I’m looking forward to understanding Shakespeare.
Age is a wonderful thing. I’m excited to understand more.
Jaques. All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
As You Like It (2.7.143-70)
I saw this quote on Twitter the other day: “Worry about your character, not your reputation. Your character is who you are, and your reputation is only what people think of you.”
This goes hand in hand with what Cate said in the previous post, and is a bit similar to people pleasing, but is really about integrity.
I’d like to think I’ve always known this – that my mother taught me this growing up, that it’s more important to be who you are than to care what others think. We get caught up in thinking that what other’s think matters – but I’ve found that the right people will know who you are, and the people that don’t weren’t worth knowing.
Some say reputation is all you have, but who you are is all you have. You are all you have.
But it doesn’t really sink in until you realize that you have no idea what happened to those girls who made fun of you in middle school nor do you care; that you got to where you are based off your hard work, your family’s love for you and your belief in yourself; and that your life is so rich and full not because of your reputation, but because of your character and the path you chose to take.
The following is a guest post by a good friend of mine. This lady – you guessed it – is about to turn 30, and had a little something to say about the topic. In addition, Cate Conroy is a marketer with a running problem and is currently tackling a list of 30 things to do before 30 including skydiving, crashing a wedding and touching an iceberg. http://www.cateconroy.me/
You only get to live your 20s once. I spent a good portion of it worried that I was somehow doing it wrong.
All my life I’ve been keenly aware that you don’t get do-overs. This has left me wondering about my life choices and whether I was spending my time in the best way possible. After all, I’m not getting that time back.
At 22 I worried that when I chose to move to the middle of Southern Illinois for a job as a local news producer that I would wish I’d spent that 9 months in a different way. Same thing when I moved to Toledo, Ohio for 2 years. What if my contract ended and I realized I’d spent a good chunk of my early 20s in the middle of nowhere?
Of course, I had a great time. The people I met changed my life and the work was both strange and incredible in ways that left me with stories about driving into the station at 3am the day after Thanksgiving because of a building explosion.
Same goes for my love life – I was always worried that I was dating the wrong person. I didn’t want to turn 40 and realize that I’d spent my 20s dating all the wrong guys. But now that I’m 29, I wouldn’t trade those dates (both amazing and absurd) for anything.
In retrospect, it is fairly ironic that I wasted so much time worrying that I was wasting my time. I consider myself lucky that I’ve reached a point where I realize that we don’t get do-overs, but that doesn’t mean that worrying about making the wrong choice will help anything. Instead, I now know that there were (and are) no wrong choices. Unless you’re choosing to fly Spirit Airlines, that is almost always the wrong choice.
OK, so I know that I thought I would get through all of these 30 reasons before I turned 30, but looks like that didn’t quite happen. I did indeed turn 30 two weekends ago! (Don’t worry, I’m still accepting birthday wishes if you missed it Ah well, I guess life happened…literally. I will get through these, and may have a couple of guest contributors as well!
So, what does marriage have to do with it?
I’d like to think that the older you get married, the more chance you have of your marriage surviving. A couple who gets married in their thirties have more of a chance – more than double the chance of surviving compared to those who get married in their twenties, according to Match.com. The bride and groom have made an informed decision based off 30+ years of dating all the wrong guys/gals, making all the mistakes they needed to make, and finally finding the one (we hope) that they can spend their lives with based off more than just lust.
I also have more of an idea of what attire to wear since I’ve been to so many.
So yeah, if you’re not married by the time you turn thirty, take pride in that! You’re making sense!
I am the first to fully admit I have a people pleasing problem. The triple P’s, they call it (not true at all actually – I just made that up).
In fact, forget it. I’m not even going to finish this post to prove I am over the triple P in this last week of my twenties. You’re just going to have to guess what I would’ve written.