To Be

The Magic of Role-Playing
David Ethan Kennerly, March 20, 2003

The magic is in your hands. The role you choose to play will shape you. And it will shape the world. Within you lies the potential for a forest of friendships. Sew it well; sew it sincerely. With dedication you will reap its fruit.

In recent years, we've witnessed the real world dramatically change. In this fictional setting, the drama retains its power. The fictional world you will live in tomorrow is the world that you are creating today. And that fictional world will influence your real world. From the inside out, we define reality.

Only when your role is threatened, you will learn how well you have created it. If you fold easily, or build a wall against an opposition, then the character is dying. Only the dead are rigid; the living are supple, grow and adapt.

Keep the spirit of imagination alive. This childlike quality reinvents the world. Fantastic imagination is a welcome blessing to a mundane world. Exercise your creativity; your life, your spirit, depends on it. Without it you may become hard and brittle, mundane.

Let the spirit speak you. When you give yourself up to the role for the duration of the fiction, you will experience a bit of magic. Just as giving yourself up to the flow of a movie or book, enacting a fictional persona without regard of your extra-fictional existence, you will have twice as much experience. You will be at once the author and audience. And you will become the star a drama whose ending even you cannot predict. Shakespeare, through Hamlet, asked "To be or not to be?" You have chosen to be. So be--completely.

As you are choosing the role and weaving the web of the world that you will live in, of course it will be for your enjoyment and the enjoyment of your companions. Enjoy. If at anytime you are not enjoying the role you are playing, consider how you may begin to enjoy it. If your fellows are not enjoying it, then be so kind as to consider that, too.

You will become a role model to those that will follow in the footsteps of time. You already are an example at every moment. So set an example that you will be proud of. Set an example that you will remember and all will remember fondly.

Every time you meet some another character within the world, especially a new character, you have a chance to inspire the character. Use it well. Set the stage for the entrance of this new character. There will be nights when the favor is repaid to you from the most unexpected sources. You'll find your prejudices and presumptions overturned. You'll discover the flame live within those whom you had silently dismissed.

As others follow the role, the fabric of the world itself will contain threads that you had sewn. Each Aisling has a unique spark, a unique gift of imagination and spirit. Do not cast anyone in your mold. Instead find the fire that is there. Then, together, we may light the darkness.