I wish I could be 100% original but I am afraid that the play that changed my life has probably changed the lives of hundreds or possibly thousands of young girls around the world. Yes, I too, played Emily in the marvelous play Our Town by Thornton Wilder. I loved every part of this production, even learning lines. I was thirteen and a half and hooked by the magic of the play itself, the character, and handsome older actors.
This play made me realize the importance of living life in the moment and relishing each experience in the present. As Emily asks ‘Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you…Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?”
This is a really difficult thing to do. I do try mostly unsuccessfully but those line stay with me. I held my sleeping children and thought about the wonders of birthing a child. I try to fully appreciate the satisfaction of a successful performance. While exercising I avoid distractions that keep me from reveling in the changing of the leaves, a beautiful sunset, the cool ocean waters while leisurely backstroking and witnessing the cloud formations.
The nicest compliment a friend ever paid me was, “I know no one who appreciates more than you the little things in life”. I was not aware of this but I realized that playing Emily had truly impacted my life more than I realized.
Dorothy Leeds is the performer/producer of Good Lessons from Bad Women and the author of The 7 Powers of Questions. Credits: Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Film critic MSNBC, The Tonight Show. She’s on the Board of the League and co-chairs the Networking Committee.