I wasn’t sure how I really felt about the death of Robin Williams. I’m referring to the circumstances, not the fact. I know very well how I feel about the fact that he’s gone; I am extremely sad that his comedic genius will no longer be heard in person, and that all we have now are his recorded performances (tho it is a very broad and brilliant library). However, I’m more concerned with the fact that he took his own life, rather than the fact that he is now dead.
Everyone dies, but when someone chooses to die… this is a heavy thing indeed. At first, it was shocking for me to think that someone who was so loved, and so energetic and enthusiastic about comedy, could be so depressed. The more I read about his condition, the more I began to understand that he is not a unique case. My focus shifted from his decision to take his own life, to the commonalities I have with his life as a performer. I have no idea what he was going through in his head, and I couldn’t even begin to understand how he must’ve felt leading up to those last moments. But one thing I do know, is how he must’ve felt on stage.
I’m not a pro at, well… anything really, but I have spent the majority of my life entertaining and/or educating people. When times are hard, and things are dark, the place I can go to have it all melt away, is the stage. Playing my drums with a band, or giving a presentation at work have always been the places where everything else fades into the back ground, and for a few minutes at a time, I’m at my best. This is how he must have felt, how he could have kept going for as long and as hard as he did. Fighting through the shit just to get back on stage and let loose. This resonates with me more than anyone can understand.
It’s a sad thing when someone chooses to die, but it’s even sadder that the thing they loved doing most, and the people that loved them most, weren’t enough to keep them on the stage.
I keep trudging, simply so that I can keep performing. I wish he could’ve kept doing the same.