Merely Players
( otherwise known as Pay No Attention to My Siblings. They’re Just Here for the Sequels.)

Last week, Little Man let me know that he was chosen to be a member of the cast for  his school’s annual third grade play.

"Really," I said, "That’s great! What role are you playing?"

He shrugged, "I’m Cowboy #3. Yep, number three. No name, no anything. Ms. [SoandSo] just keeps yelling, "Cowboy #3, move to your left! Cowboy #3, hold that rope!" Yep, number three. That’s me. Big deal."

Laughing at his lack of appreciation for the part, I told him that I was certain- with that unwavering certainty that only a mother could have- that his cowboy, the INFAMOUS Cowboy #3, would be an awesome addition to the third grade show; and that (as any good player knows) there are no small roles, only small actors.

But I’ve got to admit, I can commiserate with his position. After all, who among us hasn’t looked down at that tattered playbill in their hand only to find their name beside the role of Cowboy #3 and not that of Romeo or Juliet as expected? Who hasn’t felt that their role is only that of a minor character? That cowboy whose only significance in the plot is to be the guy that dropped the rope that inevitably tripped the damsel who was rescued by the hero who saved the day…?

Who hasn’t felt that by faithfully playing out their role, minor as it may be, they were simply blending into the scenery of all of those great moments that make a drama dramatic, a comedy funny, a romance heartbreaking, a story worth telling?

Not me.

Alas, there is a ray of hope left for us minor characters- no matter how bland the scenery! (I bet you thought this was going to be one of those well-thought out blog entries that compared small roles to motherhood, and a mother’s inevitable decision to gladly take the part of the fading minor character in order to make room for her children to take center stage, and how it’s natural to feel as if the action is all happening elsewhere and you’re just stuck there being Cowboy #3 holding the damn rope. Nope. It’s not that kind of blog entry at all.  Matter of fact, it’s something entirely different… just wait for it. Are you waiting? Good. Here it comes.)

Thanks to historical romance* author, Stephanie Laurens, and her like-wise talented and entertaining peers; I we can now all rest safely in the knowledge that every single solitary minor character, no matter how mundane, how inappropriate, how uninteresting, how silly they are, will one day have an entire story of their very own. Yep, their very own story complete with 452 pages of small type and paperback binding. Yep, their very own story where even more silly uninteresting minor characters are introduced who will eventually have their very own stories complete with 452 pages of small type and paperback binding and even more silly uninteresting characters who will eventually have their very own stories complete with…

Oh but that way madness lies. (Please, make it stop. Make it stop NOW.)

And while I’ll smile and cheer my heart out for Little Man as he takes that stage in what will and can never be referred to as a small role (after all, there are none), even I must admit that Cowboy #425,361,536,384,628,398,372 should probably consider a new profession.

May you rest in peace, Cynster clan.

*Author’s Notes: Friends and family alike know that I simply adore everything about the Regency period and easily read through four to six historical romances each week (yeah, the "bodice-rippers"). Ms. Laurens is the author of a series of Regency-set romances centering around one particular family. It’s a series that I’ve enjoyed immensely… until the main characters became the cousins of a brother of an aunt of a neighbor of a friend who lived two house down next to the vicar, that is. And while her latest novel is as entertaining and romantic as always, this whole sequel business has gotten way out of hand.

The title of this post was brought to you by a list known as the "Top Ten Things No One Would Ever Say in a Regency-Set Historical Romance" found in the back of Janet Mullany’s The Rules of Gentility. Also on this list: I know it’s our wedding night, but would you mind terribly if I got on with my knitting? *snicker* 

November 15, 2007
Categories: Daily


1.©2007 by Courtney Hebert as Judith Shakespeare.
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3.Blog title courtesy of Oscar Wilde, pseudonym Virginia Woolf, design JudithShakes.