Sunday, June 5, 2022

Takes One - Art & Story by Sandra Russell


Original Art by (c) Sandra Russell

Takes One
Original Art & Story by Sandra Russell

As we all feel powerless from time to time, it's not always in to remember or to even 'know' for that matter, how much we may have empowered another person's life? We don't always get the benefit of seeing how an intentional or even casual kind word or encouragement gets translated in the actions and future of another person.

I had the good fortune the other day to recall when one kind word actually did benefit the circumstance at the time but also changed much in my life directions later. A woman said to me; "I didn't know Steve".  She was speaking of a fellow from our theater group who passed away about a decade ago. I said, "Oh he was great." Later I thought about him some more and thought of the chain of decisions I made after auditioning (scared to death and only half- heartedly tried out for a small part in a musical). I was terribly shy, almost didn't want a part, I just needed something in my life to get away from stresses of my job, and family issues at the time. He was not directing the show, but he came up to me and said, "Please, don't go; if you can act half as well as you can sing, you have a part, and we need your voice."...Well I got a small part; since then I have been in over two dozen shows, some of them not even singing. I have won awards for set design, and have gotten over much of my shyness to speak to a crowd. In fact that was holding me back in many cases to finish my degree in art history. I was terrified to give presentations and would actually just stand there and tear up from fear.

No longer. I am done with that sort of self-consciousness. The thing to think about is what you need to say, how to communicate so your audience will hear what you are trying to say. I learned to "get out of my own way". Thanks Steve. You changed my life that night.

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