Thursday, January 7, 2016

All I Had Was One Line (Excellence)

All I Had Was One Line
By Loureva Slade

 All I had was one line. I had two choices—treat it like it didn’t matter or give it everything I had. I chose the latter.
I was one of the leads in the drama department at my high school. Everyone knew I wanted to be an actress. It may have been because the class was small and there weren’t many options for lead roles or it may have been because I had potential and my teacher actually believed in me, but each year I was in play production I had a lead role and quite a few lines to remember.
That wasn’t the case in the acting classes I took on the side. I was shy. I was a little insecure. Everyone seemed so much better than me. There were professional actors in my class. (To this day I see quite a few of my former classmates on television and in movies.) The parts I got there were typically of the write-in nature…one liners.
I’ll never forget the year-end performance for my "acting classes on the side"—it was a soulful take on the musical Annie. I was given one line: “Oh my God, it’s Gary Bordy.” I was supposed to excitedly run to center stage from off stage right and hug the actor who played Gary Bordy. For some reason, when the lights came on and it was time for my part, I actually “became” the girl who was excited to see Gary Bordy. I ran top speed screaming “Oh my God, it’s Gary Bordy” and I leaped long before I was close to him. I threw my arms in the air and he caught me, thank God. I hung on for dear life, smiling, and enjoying the moment. The audience roared with laughter. In the moment, I added another line, less well received, and then I excitedly walked off stage left. All I had was one line, and I made the choice to treat it like the most important line in the whole play. My performance was memorable for many, I’m sure. And the whole experience for me was priceless with lasting impact.

My one line shaped so much of who I am and what I believe today. I learned that no matter how small a role I have, I should always play my part with excellence, as unto the Lord. Whether I am running an event, or making calls to tell people about an event, I give it everything I’ve got. Whether I’m writing a paragraph for a newsletter or penning a short story for publication, I give it everything I’ve got. Whether I am talking to my daughters about being kind to others or encouraging a large audience, I give it everything I’ve got. Whether I am studying for a quiz or studying for a midterm, I give it everything I’ve got. I’m not a perfectionist, but I possess a spirit of excellence. When it is all said and done, I am always pleased with my results because whether I win or lose, pass or fail, meet a goal or fall a little short, I hold my head high because I have done my absolute best.