Monday, June 16, 2014

LIKE A LADY Teaches Life Lessons: We Have The Power Of Hitting The Reset Button To Change Our Lives For Good

By Kristopher Karcher

A few days ago on the N train during my daily commute between Manhattan and Queens, I met a woman in her late 50s. She hopped on the train with her parents beaming in a graduation cap and gown. She announced to the car that she just completed her associate’s degree in criminal justice. After 25 years as a correctional officer, she decided she needed a change. She went back to school so she could move up the latter in her career. The woman got many pats on the back and a few “congratulations” (including one from me). One woman sitting across from her who was currently working in criminal justice gave her some advice on working in the field. I had to get off a few stops later, but I didn’t stop smiling all day after that encounter.

As I reach the age of adulthood, I see that many of the people who had a hand in raising me are now making efforts to make some sort of change in their life. Two of my aunts are in the middle of downsizing and one is completely changing the direction of her occupation. My mother is currently putting herself back on the job market to start a whole new career.  Change at any age is difficult, but that’s the beauty of life. Every day we wake up with the ability to hit the reset button. Although I cannot understand what it is like to try to start over at that age, I know that it takes courage to pick yourself out of a rut and try something new.

Jorge Franco’s Like a Lady introduces Orlene and Alexander, two human beings on completely different paths who meet at a figurative and literal crossroads, a London Tube station. Alexander, a young man struggling with his new career is introduced to Orlene, a middle aged homeless woman, after she saves him from getting hit by an oncoming train. She gives him a second chance. Alexander has hit rock bottom. He is doing a pretty poor job at work, something he thought he would be amazing at, and he feels so isolated. Many people who suffer from depression feel like they cannot communicate with the outside world, but in Alexander’s case, that’s literally the problem. He’s living and working in France without ever learning a lick of French. There’s no one at work he can talk to, he can’t communicate with the locals, and the one thing he felt he was truly good at is blowing up in his face. It’s enough to put anyone into a slump. So what do you do when you’re in a slump? You get drunk. You almost fall onto train tracks, and some homeless woman saves you.

At rock bottom, you’ve got a choice to make: you either stay there, or you pick yourself up and change whatever in your life got you to that point. Orlene gave Alexander a second chance to pick himself up and for the next half hour, teaches him many life lessons. We can’t all have a guardian angel, but I think we can all offer ourselves the opportunity to switch the direction our life is heading at any point. Putting aside financial and family obligations, we as humans are limitless. We are not ever really stuck, we just oppress ourselves. Today I challenge each and every one of you to look at your life and find something you want to change and do it. What would you like to change? Reply below or @RiantTheatre, #LikeALady #ResetButtonChangesLives #EveryDayNewBeginnings #StrawberryOneActFestival

LIKE A LADY will be performed in the Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 1pm at the Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th Street, NYC. For tickets go to

Listen to an interview with Jorge Franco IV, playwright of LIKE A LADY on THE VINE, featuring host Kristopher Karcher.

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