It's a Hollywood cliche', the aspiring young actress dreams of life on Broadway with a thousand people watching and the spotlight shining directly on her. I have to wonder how many girls really want that spotlight, and if they think they do, how they would really feel to be in it.
I've only been in the spotlight a few times in my life, and to be honest, it's a bit frightening. It's not the light, it's the darkness, the darkness that thickens all around you when that spot is shining directly on your face. It's the things in the darkness you can't see, like the edge of the stage, the critics with their judgements, those are the things that you fear while you are blind to them.
If you look around, you can see a little, clearly for a yard or less on either side, then perhaps dimly another few feet, but that's it, that's all the space you have to move. Imagine having to dance in that little spot of light, having to trust that you haven't become disoriented and moved too close to the orchestra pit where one false step would be a crippling fall.
With time, with experience, with long practice you can get used to the spotlight. You develop a sense for how far you can go in any direction, you learn to enjoy the warmth on your face and the one on one relationship with that distant light. Indeed there can come a point where a person is completely at home in that narrow light, can perform without a fear or a flaw under its brilliant power day after week after year.
Me, I'm not there yet. I'm working on it, but sometimes I still fear those things in the dark. I can't see them, couldn't prove with my eyes if there is a single critic out there, but I still think they are there and it gives me a little case of stage fright.
I'm not giving up the light though, I'm going to focus on it. I'm going to let that light warm me until it has melted away my final fear. I'm going to walk just as far as it illuminates for me. I'm going to trust that when there are real dangers the light will reveal them to me. I'm going to sing and dance and pour out my heart and trust that somehow the light will carry what I have to offer into the hearts of those in the dark.
For I was born to be in the spotlight, and so, dear friend, were you.