In 2017 my school showcased “The Queen of Persia” a play/musical, based on the book of Esther. That was the first play after about 20 years of having stepped away from the whole play scene. I auditioned and I got a supporting role: Tala, Esther’s best friend.
Tala: An innocent Persian girl who cooks at the Palace. She becomes Esther’s best friend. Honest, simple, enthusiastic, a bit slow, and an air head. But completely sincere and lovable.
Its been nearly 20 years since our last play.— Name can't be blank (@Zothileee) April 12, 2017
I was overjoyed to have made it into the cast but I have to admit that I was a bit underwhelmed when I read up on my character. I thought “Tala isn’t memorable, Tala says a couple of lines, isn’t even a MAIN character, she’s supporting… and I’m pretty sure she isn’t even in the book of Esther.” I came to the conclusion that my character was “nothing” after looking at the fact that Tala’s name was the sixth or seventh and was preceded by Esther, Mordecai, Haman, Xerxes, Vashti and Memucan and on top of that the other character descriptions were eye-catching and to me that screamed MEMORABLE.
“Big heart and personality.”
“Big voice and personality”
I was a bit disgruntled so I threw all logic and reason out the window for a moment. I thought “I wasn’t cast as one of the memorable characters, well I’ll show them that I could have been better off as someone else. I’ll be the best (every character except Tala) they’ve ever seen” Then I looked at the other characters and the people selected to portray them and it dawned on me that no mistake was made, they gave us roles that they believed we would excel in. I could have never pulled off Xerxes, Esther, Mordecai or any of the characters I had deemed superior to mine as effortlessly as the people who were selected to be those characters
This all happened in my mind, I didn’t voice this to anyone, lest I looked like an ingrate. I then came to the resolve that I may not be the wise one like Mordecai, Esther the protagonist, nor did I possess the sass that Vashti had but I was definitely going to be the best Tala the stage had ever seen. I was going to be the most sincere, lovable airhead of the century. It would be an insult to the people who worked exceptionally hard to organize the play if I were to go up there and try to be a Memucan when I was entrusted with the role of Tala, the whole play would fall apart if even just one character didn’t play their part.
That experience taught me that we have all been assigned different roles in life and you can only win by being yourself, well the best version of yourself. It means if you’ve been handed the Tala card you should be the best Tala the stage has ever seen. I got into character, I wore my hair different, I had a very interesting gait, I swayed when I spoke, twiddled my thumbs, practiced my lines in front of the mirror and in the end, I was memorable. It’s not the cards you’re dealt, its the steps you take afterwards that determine whether you rise or fall.
The following Monday my geography teacher, religious studies teacher, biology teacher, maths teacher and even my French teacher congratulated me for my performance on stage.
I would have looked like a clown if I had tried to fill the shoes of another character and neglected mine and as a result I would have let everybody down.
After recalling my former distaste 1 Corinthians 12 came to mind.
1 Corinthians 12:12, 19-22 and 26-27 (I used KJV and you can just take a look at all of the verses from verse 12 onwards on your own)
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
In our walk with God we will be assigned different tasks and given different abilities but at the end of the day, we are one unit and we’re all rooting for the same team. Be the best eye, ear or foot the world has ever seen, play your part.