Monday, October 6, 2014

Daily Mundane #6 - Who Am I?

My husband and I have the most hilariously awesome story we love to tell at dinner parties.

Centered around a production of Les Miserables, we had gone to support a voice student of mine who had won the coveted role of Cosette. 
The show opened to a burly, 230 lb., 6' 3" Jean Valjean singing the usual Prologue Work Song in a decent baritone, setting the stage, along with the Chain Gang, for poverty, heartbreak and moral dilemmas.   
Within ten minutes, however, it was clear there was an issue with the lead actor.
Javert, the prison guard turned police officer, had taken center stage and was singing about a runaway cart.  We heard Valjean answering in song, though from off-stage.
Eventually, the orchestrations ceased, a confused looking Javert looked left to right then announced, "Boys & girls, we are going to take a brief intermission."  Intermission?!? We were only three songs in.

(Though we really got a kick out of the actor saying "boys & girls" to an audience of adults.)

Perhaps 7-8 minutes passed when the lights dimmed and the production resumed.
But instead of a burly, 6' 3" 240 lb Jean Valjean descending upon the boards, a 5' 9", 160 lb. Jean Valjean entered stage left, only to ask in song, "Who Am I?"
My husband leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I don't know...who are you?!?"

To this day, that moment makes us laugh so hard.

The one and only...the original Jean Valjean:  Colm Wilkinson
It turned out that the original lead dislocated his shoulder during the runaway cart scene and had to be taken to the hospital.  In his place, the assistant director donned a costume to finish the role.  Brave guy...
(The scene where Thénardier and crew are looting the deceased in the sewers was - unfortunately - especially amusing.  The replacement Jean Valjean had his script in his back pocket for the duration of the musical.  When Thénardier approached his still body, my husband again leaned over and said, "I really hope he doesn't take Valjean's script."  Ha!  Most incredible understudy story EVER!  Incidentally, my student was brilliant.)

Lately, with all the many projects I have going on...
Splitting focus...
Still trying to wend my way through career decisions...
I myself want to ask that fateful question, "Who Am I?"

Like that lightweight tenor standing in for the heavyweight baritone, I feel like I'm still relying on a script, pulling it out of my back pocket from time to time, checking to see what my next line, my next stage cue is.
What exactly is it that I should be doing?  What path should I be following?
Voice teacher?
App designer?
What is the answer?
There are times this question is truly vexing.

And why is it so difficult to discern?

Perhaps the answer to this question - 
"Who Am I?" 
- is plainer than all of the pondering makes it.
Perhaps it is simply that He has gifted me with many experiences through my life to give me opportunities.  Opportunities I probably ignored for years and am only now, decades later, bold enough to acknowledge.  It really doesn't matter, though.  In the long run, it is straightforward.

I am nothing.
I am everything.
I am anything... long as I am His.

{So grateful for this 31 Day challenge & 
the opportunity to acknowledge 
lessons all around...  
Thanks for reading.}

Image credit:  Lebrecht Music & Arts Images, 1985


  1. First, I LOVE this story! That is hilarious!!!

    Second, you are absolutely right. We can be nothing, everything, and anything as long as we are His. This is so important and sometimes so difficult to remember!

    1. I love that you GOT this story. It really was a hysterical moment! That poor kid!