To Play or Not To Play
by Samm J.
That is the question – at least in this case.
There exists in today’s high school society a wall between those involved in sports and those who delve in the dramatic arts. Them responsible for the laying of the first brick that begin the wall are unidentifiable, but it cannot be denied that jocks and thespians find it difficult to see eye to eye.
What caused this initial riff? Neither group are really that different from one another, are they?
If you attend a hockey game, for instance, you will find an audience, a team of players, and skilfully placed breaks between periods so people can relieve themselves. Paralleled against a musical production, I find no colossal difference. Again it requires an audience, a group of cast members, and an intermission between acts. We cheer and clap for the team captain who manages to sneak a goal by the opposing team, and cheer and clap for the actress who finishes an awe-inspiring solo. There is conflict on the ice, and no story plot is truly complete without some sort of disagreement. Isn’t there always a coach or a director, and don’t all the members wear uniforms and costumes while performing?
When you take the time to step back and think about what we’re fighting about, you begin to realize that there is, in actuality, nothing to fight about at all. Why is it, then, that high school kids can’t seem to shake this grudge they hold?
Besides the fact that sports usually receive far more funding and support from their administrative offices (which is almost another debate in itself), I fear that our student population doesn’t quite yet grasp the authentic importance of life. The most likely reason would be to say that teenagers are prejudiced by nature.
Now, I’m not in any way implying that all fourteen to nineteen-year-olds have malicious views of the people they meet, but it is clear that this age group is easily influenced.
We are in the process of one of the most crucial changes we’ll endure over our entire lifespan. Hanging with the right crowd, feeling noticed and wanted, and fitting in are all goals we set at the very top of our to-do lists.
High school feels like the most important thing in the world while we’re in it, and the last thing we want to do is embarrass ourselves to our supposedly simple-minded peers. That means if you suddenly find interest in kicking a ball around a white-bordered, sub-divided rectangle, but you have a lead in this years’ school play, you’ll suffice by only moving your feet in your dance workshops. It means it’s un-cool to like singing if you’re a football player, so you keep the musical outbursts smothered and locked deeply away. That’s right; even your shower isn’t safe.
It means that there is a division between sports and theatre that is completely unnecessary.
Unnecessary, I say, because nobody actually cares! Not enough people to matter, anyway. Why should it bother anyone else what your interests are? At what point did it become up to somebody else to run your life? You are whoever you want to be, and nothing should stand in the way of you discovering that straightforward truth.
I’m not meaning to imply that a mixture of sports and theatre is the right choice for everyone; some people just don’t like plays, and some people really don’t feel the need to run up and down a field for hours on end. But there is absolutely no need for such a gaping fissure between two activities that ultimately have so much in common.
So to those of you who feel a pull toward athletics or the arts, take a deep breath and know that you can stand proudly on whichever stage you choose.