All the World’s a Stage

#SOL16 Day 18 Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 5.11.16 PM

I once had a conversation with Lynda Mullaly Hunt about how and where she gets her ideas for her stories. One thing she said that stuck with me,“Ideas are everywhere.  Sometimes I’m standing in line at the grocery store and I have to write them down.  I hear somebody say something and that triggers an idea… I have receipts and pieces of paper  with ideas and I can use those to help me.”

So yesterday as I am sitting in my doctor’s office, which happens to be located at our local hospital. I was struck by a few snippets of conversations I overheard and it dawned on me that every person here has a story. Most of the time we just live our own story and those around us are the supporting characters or ‘extras’.  But since I’ve been doing the #SOL16, I’ve been tuning in more to the world around me.  So I started jotting down the bits of conversation I was overhearing on the back of my co-pay receipt.  Most were very brief soundbites, as the people were walking down the hall past my waiting area.

What stories could I envision from just those short tastes of conversation?  IMG_5017Some were heartbreaking.  Some were amusing. Some were rather mundane.  Kind of like life!  I’m thinking I’d like to keep a collection of “Eavesdropping Inspirations” from a variety of settings.  What would it sound like in the lunchroom?  The grocery store? The post office? Walmart?!!

I think Shakespeare had something there…

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players:

they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays

many parts.”

What scenes can we script from the players we observe? What stories are waiting to be discovered? What part might we be playing in someone else’s drama?

10 thoughts on “All the World’s a Stage

  1. ❤ I often encourage my acting students to listen in to surrounding conversation, notice interesting characters and "save" them for future character development! So many intriguing things happen around us!

  2. This is so true…how many times, like you said, are we the main players of our stories when there are amazing characters all around us! I like the idea of tuning in to people to find the stories. I’m going to be in the airport tomorrow; I may try this!

  3. I am reminded of Ralph Fletcher’s advice -‘We must learn to write with our ears.’ Your harvesting of conversational snippets is vital to this idea. I am always imploring teachers and kids alike to become active listeners. My notebooks are full of bits of real dialogue. It may be eavesdropping, but I tell everyone, I have a special license.

  4. What a brilliant idea- Eavesdropping inspirations. I love how you point out that everyone has a story & they don’t need to be the supporting characters all the time! Oh, my brain is spinning right now!

  5. I love the Shakespeare quote at the end. Your post is like eavesdropping with a purpose. Of course, I’m an eavesdropper so I think I’m going to put some purpose behind mine and give your eavesdropping inspirations a try. Thanks for sharing a thought provoking piece.

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