It's midweek, classes are stifling, and I'm growing restless at the thought of spending another three days cooped up in a classroom listening to people talk about things I really don't care about. I'm learning about what I love and what gives me more pleasure than anything else in the world, so why am I so indifferent to all the new information?
In Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, now playing at the Geffen Theatre in Westwood, I saw someone going through the same sort of ideological crisis I had been experiencing that very same day. The lead character Macedonio Guera grew up in a Puerto Rican household in Brooklyn with "my brother and my brother" who would watch wrestling every Saturday morning. His brothers were only interested in beating each other up, but Mace held a much deeper fascination with the art of wrestling: storytelling, teamwork, the idea of creating a situation in which two people work together to achieve a common goal. Mace watches as THE Wrestling (the biggest name in professional wrestling) is trivialized by a punk kid from the streets who comes in, makes a name for himself, and leaves without so much as a second thought. What looks to be a play about the business of wrestling quickly turns to a discourse about the ways in which we are able to stand up for what we love and protect ourselves against those who trivialize our passions. As a theater major whose art form is trivialized by those who take an acting class for an easy A, I was given a new sense of power and possession over that which I proudly call my own. It's easy for us to fake our way through this craft but, as many of my teachers have pointed out, it's when you put yourself on the line that you receive the greatest reward.
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