"There is always HOPE." he said from center stage. His cloak was drapped around his shoulders and there was just one spotlight on him.
He moved from center to exit left and he regrouped. Sometimes he did not feel hope. The blackness was around all around him. Our choices define us and this actor had made some very dark choices many times in his life.
"There is always HOPE." Those words rang false in his mind. He had seen too many shadows and too many heartaches with too much pain. It had to stop. Maybe if he shouted loud enough it would make sense.
"There is always Hope!!" He lifted up his arms to the spotlight as he came back on stage and several more lights came on too. Onto the stage walked ten other Actors. They were chanting...
"Hope, hope, hope, hope, hope, hope."
The audience cheerfully joined in. They wanted to believe. Here was something that made sense in all of the darkness. People survived horrible tragedy. They loved to hear stories about triumphing over darkness. The Actor joined the mob of other actors and brought out a drum.
This was an off Broadway production. It was a dark little theater and the Actor usually just played to a few people. The place made money from the booze people drank at the theater bar. The drumming lasted only a few moments and the Actor took a bow.
He went out into the audience and mingled with the crowd. In his mind he felt uplifted by his performance. The feeling of hope affected all the people and created a calm atmosphere. They crowded around him and poured out their gratitude for his words and music.
"Hope" had a long run. Now the Actor was frankly tired of all the positive energy. He thought of Leonard Cohen. The deep dark truth of his words and music inspired him to bring in all of life....not just hope. The life and music of Ray Charles moved the Actor too. He had gone to the depths of life in his music and it uplifted the world in an important way.
He looked for hope with a realistic ring of truth in it. He thought, " I've been down. I know down. So much pain and betrayal in the world. I know that sometimes there seems to be no hope. The darkness crowds in and hope runs away."
He needed an edge. His acting career transformed into something deeper and more personal than just the idea of Hope. He added the word FEAR to his chanting. It intertwined with the HOPE words and they balanced each other out.