How do we snap out of this "whiff of death" stage? That seems to be where we are right now, as the protagonists in our own movies. Everything was “fun and games” until a huge plot twist came out of nowhere. The “bad guys” showed up, potentially lethal, impartial, invisible and moving fast around the globe, hitting us with the “whiff of death”. But all a protagonist needs is a fresh idea to act as a catalyst and propel them to a successful ending. So let’s go find it.
Luna Lovegood explains to Harry in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that they can see the thestrals because they have seen death. For those of you who have not had a “whiff of death” before, there is a gift that comes along with it. Like Harry and Luna you now see things differently too. You see that life is precious, fragile and can be short. With this particular "whiff" you also value the freedom you used to have more and the ease with which you got to live your life. Questions might start to pop up inside you like: Was I truly following my heart? Was I really living my best life? So why not take this quarantine time that the “bad guys” have put upon you and use it for contemplation? Let me kick it off by asking you this. If Hagrid kicked down your door tomorrow and gave you the choice to stay a muggle or become the you, the wizard you were always meant to be, what would you choose?
You chose option two right? I knew it. Cool, welcome to Hogwarts. So wizards, now that you have chosen and sorted yourself into the house where you belong, other questions might pop up during your contemplation. Like, was I practicing my “swish and flick” moves hard enough? Did I really learn all the spells and grasp how to fly or was I too busy drinking “butter beers” and watching Netflix? Was my goal concrete enough and my plan of action on how to reach it sufficient? If your answers aren't convincing you then isn’t this a great moment to go find them and get things clear for yourself? Get your “divinations” crystal ball out and gaze into it. Drink some tea and get to tea leaf reading so that when you hear “Avada Kedavra” many, many, many years from now, you can think who cares? “Mischief managed”.
Like Hermione Granger's hand, yours might want to shoot up now while your mouth is eager to spit out: “Um, I have all of those answers and a plan but I am stuck at home feeling like Harry who hasn’t got a pass to go into "Hogsmead”! Well, being stuck can be a powerful potion to boost creativity levels. Just surf the net and look at everything that is being conjured up by folks all around the globe.
Restaurants are selling dinner coupons so their income remains even though they are closed. Yoga lessons are given through Skype. High schoolers earn a buck by getting groceries or walking dogs for the elderly and the sick. A strip club rebrands itself and turns into a sexy food delivery service. Stars give free online concerts. Museums offer free virtual tours. Christmas lights are put back up to be a light in these weird times. People organize a “Clap for all the healthcare workers from your balconies” moment. Quarantine birthdays become drive-by parades where presents are thrown onto the front lawn out of decorated, honking cars. The staff of a closed aquarium entertain us by filming their penguins roaming around free, in their closed exhibits, to look at the animals. Stage 32 sets up online screenings after the SXSW cancelation.
But how can you practice indoor magic you ask? Here is a list:
Maybe you are thinking of yelling “Obliviate” at your screen right now because you are forced to stay at home without an income. Well besides doing the regular things, like selling your stuff on eBay and all that jazz, you can utilize you particular sets of skills. They are your “Room of requirement" and there are still ways to earn your "Pumpkin Pasties” with them from home. Here's a list of how to do that:
The Stage 32 Team & Cast from Our Virtual Table Read & Happy Hour
In these times when it feels like “Dementors” are about, it is so important to stay connected to your peeps, to your joy. Let's be a light for each other in these dark times. To use Taylor C. Baker's words (Stage 32's awesome new awesome Director of Content & Branding and lover of pies) "Let's help our community get rid of feeling isolated and devoid of motivation amidst this global crisis. Let's put the "social" in #SocialDistancing." Yes! Let's.
Get online, connect, inspire, share, support and help someone to take our minds off things. Remember how all of the wizards raised their lit wands towards the sky, when Dumbledore died, to get rid of the “dark mark”? You creating a post online or connecting with one person can make someone feel better and help to clear away the "home alone" feeling or some of that darkness. These times might feel like you're stuck in some whacky B-movie but I believe it is a time of great hidden opportunities. One of my joys is writing so I decided to write something that might help you a little bit. I was inspired by “Dumbledore’s” words from “The Deathly Hallows”. (That’s how this whole Potteresque post happened) Anyhoo, he said “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it”.
Now get “out there” and shine. You got this.
Hi, I'm Marjolein (Mar-yo-line) also known as Mack.
I am a screenwriter and blogger for Stage32. Just writing that makes my eight-year-old self go WOOHOO before looking around calmly to see if no one has seen her. I have loved to act, playback, write raps and poems since I was a kid but during the time at my "Hogwarts", The Amsterdam Theatre Academy, I found out that I wanted to earn a living doing things I loved.
Next to living my best life writing, I am currently teaching my new buddy Dobby (a rescue street cat from Cyprus) that this six-foot-one giant is a friend and that it is now his job to stop me from getting square eyes by whining for snacks and walking over my keyboard.
When Dobby lets me write, I make sure to add humor, cockiness and an "underdog winning" to my scripts because those are things I love to see in movies. Another thing I can't help doing is giving my protagonists their "happily ever after" before the fade out.
Quirk: I tend to have favorite words in every language I learn. My favorite American word at the moment is wackadoodle, one I learned from Zack Ward.
Let's hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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