Just, Actors

© Tom Shales
© Tom Shales


When we were like this,

nobody really stepped inside our world.

We could laugh and cry together,

hold one another, count on each other,

and smile for the camera as ourselves.


We lived real lives

beyond the facade of entertainment;

so compelling, so intriguing, so decimating

that our passions were swept up in


Well, perhaps not each of us


we did find our need to cast a persona

on a world around us

counting upon each story, gag, inventive moment,

to help

you, (them)

cycle through your typical day.


Watching us,

how many people realized

we were watching ourselves,

you, him, they, her, we

each ideal


at your (our) expense,

yet all in fun of course,

because we laughed as much as anyone else,

when the camera …


Here we are today

in memory,

simply wishing to evoke another nostalgic

dream come true

of life in America, of love, of fortune,

of delightful entertainment.

Remember us?

We were a household name,

to some,

we gathered in the storms of insecurity

and splayed a comedic shower of tranquility

upon the eyes, the visual masses,

waiting for our next



At the end of the scene, we too had needs,

we simply wanted to be recognized as human beings,

beyond the responsibility,

we wanted credibility,

we were after all,

just, actors.

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