Pretending things are different


I acted in a play a few years ago. Acting is exhausting, especially when you also have a regular life (and go to all of the afterparties).

By the last show, the whole cast’s energy was incredibly low. Everyone was walking around bleary-eyed and lethargic. I saw a guy go onstage and do his scene, then come back into the wings, lay down on the ground and fall asleep. I have no idea who woke him up.

I stood just offstage waiting for my cue. I was at the end of my rope. I wished I had something to lean against.

So I started to dance. Nothing elaborate - just bobbing rhythmically side to side. I put a big goofy smile on my face.

The actress who was in the scene with me watched for a minute, then leaned over. “Hey,” she said. “What are you doing?”

I leaned in and whispered “I’m pretending I have the energy for this.” Then I went back to dancing.

She looked at me thoughtfully, then started to dance too.

Two minutes later, we were fired up enough to go onstage and give it everything we had.