The Stage

Behold this world: a stage.

Upon this stage there are many characters, going and coming, giving speeches and exchanging dialog.  As the play progresses new characters arrive, and old characters fade into obscurity.  The cast is large indeed, and the playwright struggles to keep the audience enraptured.

A new act begins.  For several  scenes, rumors have circulated.  Rumors of one who kicks against the goads of the establishment, and follows the unpopular path of the hidden truth.  The crowd swells.  Too long have they been forced to view the establishment, forced to see the templates other characters hold within it:  “Good”, or “Evil”, or “Selfish”, or “Independent”.  They hunger for something new, something exciting.

And now, she appears, from the right side of the stage; she is rumor no longer.  The crowd cheers.  The savior of their boredom and anticipation has appeared!  How gracefully she moves across the stage; what strength, what purpose!  She is no damsel in distress, no harlot of the night which bears her breasts.  A soldier is she, with a strong back and a steady hand.

But the crowd murmurs as the scenes progress.  Her tragic history is revealed:  poverty, family death, the oppression of society’s castes.  She has crawled her way to the top of the hill and earned her place amongst the ranks of the proud.  Doubt travels through the seats of the audience:  it is the classic story of “Rags to Riches”.   Too classic.  They realize that there is nothing new to her tale.  A heartwarming tale, yes, and they have not yet heard it in this play, but they know it all too well from other plays.

They boo.

Not an organized boo; not a loud boo.  It subsides before long as her part in the story wanes and more familiar characters take the stage again, and soon the boo is forgotten.  She is assimilated into the larger picture of the play, ceases to be “the new character”, and simply becomes a character like the rest.  The show goes on.

What of this actress, though, an astute critic asks of his colleagues the next day?  Her voice was sweet, her tone firm, her face pleasant.  She played her part well; method-acted with the best of them.  She became her character, and moved the audience to emotion.  They did not boo her; they booed her character.  They booed what her character represented, and by proxy, they booed the playwright.  But they did not boo her.

It is not the fault of the character that the story they are trapped in is bad.

 

{Something I wrote while thinking about something else, and ending up becoming something else.  I’ll write the first something else tomorrow, probably}

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2 thoughts on “The Stage

  1. Hi! Sorry, I’m replying with a message about something almost entirely unrelated (though the piece is quite nice, I must say). I’ve been wandering about trying to find out how to reach you and some people on THP IRC suggested I find you on /blue/ which sort of led me here. I found ‘A Fairy’s Tale’ on the recommended fics page on TVTropes and I’m absolutely loving it. It’s perhaps one of the best touhou fanfics I’ve read in a long time, and I’ve read quite a few. I just wanted to tell you how much Fran and her cousins have brightened up the past few days. Thank you for AFT, and thank you for seeing it all the way through. I’m still reading through it so I may return with more concrete feedback when I finish. Also, congratulations on your resolution for 2013. I wish I could make a resolution as bold as that. Best of luck with it!

    • Well hello! Sorry it took me a whole week to finally respond to this; I kept pushing it to the back of the To Do list and just never ended up doing it. I appreciate that you’re enjoying A Fairy’s Tale, and honestly I’m flattered that some no-name low-key guy like myself actually managed to get a recommendation on a popular site like TVTropes. AFT was a pretty big undertaking, but I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself leaving it unfinished; notice the number of times I took a hiatus and then came back to keep going. I really couldn’t be happier with how it turned out for the kind of story that it was, and it always makes me smile when folks like you show up seemingly out of the blue to congratulate me on something that’s been finished for two years now; makes me feel like I really had a lasting impact on THP as a whole. Please continue to enjoy AFT, and feel free to poke around this site as well. From the looks of things I’ll be writing any number of random snippets, and you might end up finding a few you really like even if you don’t like them all.

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