Saturday, April 14, 2007

Secret Identity

(A special contribution to the weekly blog, SundayScribblings)

Paper faces on parade


Hide your face so the world can never find you

-Masquerade, Phantom of the Opera

I enjoy a good play. I always have though I don't go as often as I should. I still remember going to see Phantom of the Opera in San Francisco. It was on it's last year of a run that must have spanned close to a decade. This was the only play that I have actually seen that was the big city production in the big city theater. Yes, I have seen a few that roll through Sacramento...the travelling show. Those are great but there is something different about a show in a long venue. The stars are long tenured. The production has grounding. Well, who am I to judge? I have only gone to the one but, instinctively, I think I get the whole "Broadway Theater" concept without having been.

I still remember how moving this production was. This probably was 8 years ago now. I still remember being in the lobby afterward making my way to the exit. I was numb. What was it about the storyline that got to me? It was all summed up in the chorus to one of the many outstanding songs that came out of this musical. Perhaps it has something to do with the number of years that I have worked in the lending industry. I actually have gotten a look "behind the mask" of a lot of people over the years as I assisted them. Getting a loan is one place where it is difficult to hide who you are. The credit report tells the story.

Maybe it goes further than that. Was the play about hiding who you are from yourself? I have had the privilege of getting a lot of high level coaching in the position that I am in. Between that and my thinking nature, I have been led to some interesting "layers of the onion" that had been put on. The coats of protection that we have accumulated can be like a room that is repainted without ever being stripped. Yet, there are a couple of layers of paint that have hung on beneath that may have served us once but they no longer do. So, there can be a tendency to just "slap on another coat."

Can you identify the coats that have been layered on? If so, which ones are from the original construction? Can you get down to the "bare wood" and rebuild but, this time, with many years as an experienced painter? It takes some elbow grease to chip away to get there.

....or does the Masquerade just continue and the Secret Identity remain hidden forever?

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