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Stratton Smith

Life As A Netflix Series

by Stratton Smith | Nov 02, 2016

Let’s see how weird Strat can get this week. So, I have almost a life philosophy dedicated to the thought that perhaps my life is a television show. It sounds crazy and bizarre, but sometimes that belief and thought does alter how I choose to live my life. I mean, think about it. You’re the main character of this grand production that we call LIFE. There is a creator or some higher-being who isn’t the writer of the story, but a director. Hold on ya’ll, this is where it gets deep...

In my head, I believe that I don’t have control of the plot of my story. I believe there is a director somewhere pulling the strings and making this really cool, unique story. A lot of people think that is really negative or believe that steals their independence and freedom away. I think people believe that because a lot of people don’t appreciate the dialogue in a story as much as they should. As a reader and a writer, dialogue (to me) is much more important than the plot. The sentences, stories, and interactions we share with each other absolutely matter. That motivates me even more not to have a boring show. The late and great David Bowie once said, “I don’t know where I’m going, but I promise it won’t be boring,” and that’s something I always want to promise myself. I never, ever, ever want to be boring.

So back to the whole crazy guy with depersonalization disorder signs... But yeah, I know it might be a little crazy to think that I might even have viewers who watch this show. Oh, oh – oh Gosh. I can’t imagine the things those people have seen... Yeap, I’ve hit a lot of squirrels while driving, people. PETA has probably been trying to get my show cancelled since I was sixteen. Really pumped that I haven’t been killed off or re-casted yet. I’d imagine Brad Pitt would play me; George Clooney would step in, in later years. Heck, I’d be fine with being Matt Damon for a few seasons. I’m sure I’ll even have a mid-life crisis where I’m played by Seth Rogan for a while.

Now, this all isn’t to say that our show won’t have its traumatic moments. Every great story does. Terrible things will happen out of nowhere, characters will be written-off and never seen again, and let me tell you, the main character will have their tragic hero flaws. No one likes a character who doesn’t develop over time and sticks to the same four catchphrases an episode. Our audience demands a character that gives them hope and is always on their toes.

The point of all this is that we should absolutely live our lives as if we’re being watched and cheered on by a fan base of people we don’t even know. Let’s live every episode as if we’re getting cancelled next week. LET’S MAKE OUR LIVES SO AMAZING THAT WE CAN’T BE CANCELLED. When we die, it means our show is over. Yes. But what happens when a show is over? The people who loved that show while it was alive continue watching it after it was cancelled through some other outlet (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc). Our memories are OUR outlets. Even after someone is cold and lifeless, their story continues to be told by those who adored them or even just their story. I just want to make sure I have a story worth telling.


Stratton Smith ’17 is an English major, hailing from a small town just east of Indianapolis. Stratton is the captain of the tennis team, co-founder of Academic Probation, Manchester's improv troupe, and Vice President of the Theatre & Society club.