This well-known phrase means that, regardless of problems, on or off stage, the event must continue till the end. This implies that the performance is impermeable to real life and its difficulties and that the performers are responsible for sustaining this illusion. It might not always be possible or even advisable to go on with the show, if circumstances are demanding a change of plans. We might want to carry on and deny what is really happening, but the thing is that life does go on, whatever happens, with or without us. Getting left behind entangled in our own script only means catching up later. Thus, if keeping our show going is becoming increasingly difficult, perhaps it’s time to yield to the bigger event, the one that goes on and on effortlessly.
The Spanish idiomatic expression “to have boards” means that someone is experienced in being in front of people and dealing with a situation live, that is, in being onstage, because they were always made of wood. Someone “with boards” can usually save the show no matter what happens and can even turn difficulties to their own advantage to deliver an unforgettable performance. There are things that one can not learn by reading, observing or repeating. The ability to respond to unforeseeable challenges and make the most of them is only developed by standing upon the boards time and time again.
Life is unfolding live. It’s happening as you witness it and take part in it. There is no chance for a second take. Whatever happens, the show just goes on, there is no time out. That means every moment is significant and can’t be repeated or modified. Performing live is exhilarating, and so is life when we are in touch with this.
This series shows the usefulness of live-arts concepts and practices for everyday life. This view is not original and can already be found in notions like “All the world’s a stage” (Shakespeare) and Shiva’s cosmic dance that cyclically creates and destroys the universe. These 90 daily posts are based on these metaphors and offer practical inspirations to interact with life. You can find them all together under the category with the same title in the top right-hand corner of any blog page.