Published on August 8th, 2013 | by Karin Jenkins0
All the World’s A Stage
“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.”
~ William Shakespeare
This speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play, and catalogs the seven stages of a man’s (or woman’s) life from infancy to old age.
This month my life is literally a stage. I will be performing (wait for it – shameless plug coming!) in the musical at the Little Theatre of NSB, “Bye Bye Birdie” along with my husband, David, and a huge cast and crew of amazingly talented people.
I thought this might be a good time to talk about looking the part we are playing in life.
When you wake up in the morning and start to dress and do your hair and makeup, do you ever stop and think about who you are and what part you are playing that day? Are you a stay-at-home mom? Perhaps you are a professional businesswoman. Will you be meeting with clients or customers or patients? Maybe you are a teacher who is setting an example for your students on appearance and appropriate attire in the classroom, whether you mean to or not.
As an actress or actor, we not only learn our lines, music, choreography and blocking, but if we really want to be believable to our audience as the character we are portraying, we need to do appropriate hair, makeup and wardrobe before every show – not just some shows. When we step onto that stage, we know exactly who we are – head-to-toe and inside and out.
As an actor, we can play a variety of ages – aging up or down with makeup and wigs, and different personalities and backgrounds in a two-hour time frame, but in reality, we need to identify and change with every stage of our life through the years.
So many times I hear women say they have used the same colors in their makeup or hair products, or worn the same dress or pair of pants, for the last 20 years. We are not the same people we were 20 years ago! Our skin tone changes, our hair color and texture changes. Heaven knows our body shape changes. The fashion styles definitely change and so should we. You are the star of your own life stage, so start acting like the leading lady (or man) that you are.
Figure out who your life character is. You may choose to play several characters, most of us do. Just be careful of who you choose to play and when. We wear many hats – meaning we play many roles throughout our lives.
For example, when I am home alone, I may choose to wear my “soft pants” and a T-shirt, no shoes and no bra. My hair is pulled back in a ponytail and I am not wearing any makeup. I will be playing the role of “Slobby, Sort-of-Sleazy, Frumpy House Frau.” Do I want my neighbors or clients to meet that character? No, no I do not.
When I am at work, I am dressed professionally, usually wearing a lab coat over my work clothes. I do my hair, my makeup and I dress up because I care about making a good impression on my clients. I want to show them I care about what I do, as well as how I present myself. I have to put in the extra effort if I want my clients to trust and believe me in my starring role of “Outstanding Esthetician and World Famous Makeup Artist.” You gotta “walk the walk.”
When my sister, Julie, and I were growing up, our parents would never let us dress in sloppy clothes for school. They would say, “If you dress sloppy, you will do sloppy work.” Once in awhile we managed to get away with T-shirts and jeans and found out they were right. When we dressed sloppy, our work and our attitude toward our work, was not so great.
How you choose to present yourself to your life audience is going to directly affect how you are received. Will you get a standing ovation and thunderous applause or a boo as your audience leaves your show before you are even done with your performance?
Looking the part for the role you choose to play each day of your life takes some effort and planning. At times it takes some really hard work (hair care, makeup application, clothes shopping, wardrobe choices, exercise, etc.), but when your life show becomes standing room only and you take your daily personal bow (before your nightly black out) for a part well-played, it will make you even more prepared for your starring role on stage tomorrow in your own, personal spotlight.