Unless you have been residing on the dark side of the moon the past month or so, it’s likely that you’ve caught at least one of the 2.7 bazillion trailers, ads, Facebook updates, tweets, blog posts or skywriting contrails lauding the box office debut of Oz The Great and Powerful. I’m all about James Franco in any movie, except for Pineapple Express, which I’ve yet to forgive either him or Seth for. I’m admittedly stoked about this flick.
Mila Kunis, Munchkins and CGI. Oh My!
Oddly enough I’ve experienced a rather existential side effect to the near constant trumpeting of this film’s arrival. One that would do the Oz of old proud, I feel. I find myself pondering the power of, “If.”
Simple in it’s construction -only two letters, one syllable- this tiny subordinating conjunction is has a powerful, multifaceted magic.
“If I eat that second slice of cheesecake I’ll be tied to that dam treadmill forever.” Foreshadowing
“If you don’t put your dam socks in the hamper, I’m tossing the smelly things out!” Motivational
“If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine.” Romantic
In all seriousness though, I struggle with “if” almost everyday. What if I’m not a good mother? What happens if someone figures out I’m just a big ball of neurotic? If I could just lose weight I might be worthy. If I don’t make these deadlines I’m a goner.
What if I audition for Listen To Your Mother? How will I deal with the crushing self-doubt if I don’t get cast? Worse still, what if I get cast? How will I be able to stand on a stage, bear my soul and all my foibles, flaws and chins to hundreds of people?
Then it hit me, what if I dug deep inside and mustered up the courage that has seen me through a war, divorce, a teenager, a huge change in carriers, moving away from everything I’d ever known and just did this thing? What if it made me stronger? If that strength could help me to make it through three more teens, would it be worth it? What if, for one night, I could be strong enough to own the skin I live in, to share the words inside me away from a keyboard?
So I took “if” by the horns and went to that audition. I’ll be honest, I was a hot mess on the inside. I almost wussed out more times than I care to count. In the end I did it and I made the cast. What a powerful feeling. I owned “if” that day.
The curtains parted on If the Great and Powerful and behind the veil was just another conjunction. Ah, but as with Oz himself, If still has special talents. With belief in the good things that If can bring, in the strength we can get from coming to terms with what “if” is, we are all great and powerful.
On April 28th, 2013 at the Synetic Theater in Crystal City, Virgina I will take the stage with some of the most amazing writers, storytellers and wordsmiths the DC/MD/VA area has to offer. I will be queasy. I will be freaked the hell out. I will be strong. I will kill this. If I don’t trip and fall walking across the stage.