Whose Standards?

Ahhhh... what better thing to do on a Sunday afternoon than slip into a sweatshirt, jeans and fuzzy socks and write about living up to other people's standards?

So that's what I'm doing. Naturally.

I bring up this topic because of the musical I'm in. I could talk a lot about what it's like being the lead role ... how incredible it is, how hard it is, how different an experience it is, how fun it is - but I've been really struggling with something in particular that this role brings up. Let me explain.

As most of you probably know, Cinderella is a romantic fairy tale. While the version we're doing has a modern spin on it, the story remains the same: poor girl wants to go to the ball, her family mocks her, she meets a magical old lady and gets a makeover, she goes to the ball and falls in love with the Prince and, after some shoe-trying-on, lives happily ever after. So ... did you notice that bit there, falls in love with the Prince? Well it just so happens that the scriptwriter decided to spoil a lovely scene in the moonlit garden by sticking a kiss in the middle of it. Very sad, yes, I know.

Ha! Did you notice what I just did? Hmmmm? Bet you didn't. I just disagreed with some one else's standards. Sorry, I'm going about this talk in a very confusing manner, but track with me. I plainly stated that I thought kissing onstage was not good, and said the writer "spoiled the scene" by including one. Wasn't that judgmental of me? Well, maybe, but I only stated that my opinions differ. The writer (why don't I just go look up his name?) Tom Briggs thought the kiss fit into the scene (his opinion) so he wrote it in. So tell me, was it okay for me to disagree with him? Yes, it was.

So keep that in mind as I jump back off my rabbit trail. At the audition, I told the director that I would not be kissing anyone onstage and that was that. But there was, as there often is, a grey area. What exactly does a fake kiss entail? After all, I didn't say I wouldn't hug anyone onstage... What about looking like I'm kissing someone even though I'm not? When is a fake kiss to real? Where to draw the line?

Well, after much thought and consulting God, I drew my line. I set my standard. If you come to the PAC and see Cinderella, at some point you will see me and the Prince embrace and put our heads next to each other. It's very sneakily done to look like a kiss. Being able to honestly say I believe it is right and pure to do this in this circumstance is all well and fine - but here's where my problem comes in. I'm self-conscious.

 I care too much about what people think of me. And I know that many, if not most, of my friends do not have this same standard. While a few of them would actually kiss onstage, I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the friends who wouldn't do a fake kiss onstage. Who wouldn't do a romantic role at all. I love these people, and I want them to think well of me. So how can I get up onstage and do something that I know they don't think is right?

Here's where our Tom Briggs example comes into play. I disagreed with his standards, right? But if Tom were my friend (just for the record, I have no idea who this guy is), and if I knew he were a really great person, I wouldn't necessarily think less of him for thinking it's okay to kiss onstage. I might try to convince him otherwise, but he'd still be my friend ... even if I didn't agree with his standards.

So basically this is me being vain. Caring too much about people's view of me. It's vain of me to feel "guilty" that I'm not living up to my friends' standards. When I talked with my dad about this, he asked me what guilt was. "Well, you're only guilty when you sin against God" - and I realized that I couldn't feel guilty breaking a human's standards. (Unless they were indirectly God's standards ... for instance if they were standards my parents had set for me. Rabbit trail.)

So to tie up this long post, I just need to stop being self-conscious. That's that. Thanks for reading.


  1. Great post and deep thoughts, as usual, AJ. You know what, so long as your parents are comfortable with this, you have nothing to worry about. I know you already know this, but I'm just telling you, really, don't worry about it. I love you and I'm sure you are in prayer about this and are being an awesome light to the rest of the cast. <3

  2. Thank you, Em. Thank you so much! I love you and hope you're right. :)

  3. Of course she's right! :) I like this post. You should send it to your friends who come see the show. P.s. Next time you "rabbit trail" you should put in a picture of a rabbit. Because I kept thinking that! :)

  4. Thanks, Sis. <3 Haha, maybe I will! :)