March 2024

My Comic Relief: Bonds


By Salomon Maya

I once believed I possessed the intellect to pursue a medical career in some dystopian past; fortunately, I awakened to the realization that organic chemistry wasn’t my forte. Amidst the turmoil of making life-altering decisions as a young t20-year-old, I recall delving into the concept of bonds. From chemical to molecular to emotional, our entire universe is woven from bonds. These tether our atoms to other atoms, bind bones to muscles, and connect humans to one another. Bonds.

As I sit here, I ponder how perilously close we teetered toward severing robust emotional bonds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children found themselves isolated from schoolmates; adults distanced from coworkers. Like most of you, I too felt this sense of detachment. While the pandemic drew my immediate family remarkably closer, I couldn’t help but wonder about the relationships I had forged before its onset. What about friends? As I delved deeper into the labyrinth of bonds, I contemplated the titanium-strong connections I possess today. Apart from the inherent familial bonds, only one group came to mind.

The past casts I’ve had the privilege of sharing a stage with.

It’s astounding how actors forge bonds under the spotlight. I’ve had the honor of gracing local stages, both big and small. Yet, one constant prevails: the indomitable bonds formed among actors. I still receive messages from former castmates, and inevitably, we engage in hour-long conversations reminiscing about our shared experiences, our lives, and our aspirations for the future.

Just the other night, I ventured out with members of a cast from a production that tackled the challenging subject of mass shootings. It was palpable how strong our bonds were as we concluded the evening at a new karaoke bar, The Gaslamplighter, belting out Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and Sublime’s “Caress Me Down.” Observers at the bar could discern:

A. We love attention.

B. We really yearn for attention.

C. We cherish spending time together.

Isn’t that the essence of basic human relationships? We form bonds with fellow members of society, aligning ourselves with tribes of individuals whom we simply delight in spending time with. Some find these bonds in sports, others in academia, some in the workplace. However, the paramount lesson I’ve gleaned is that regardless of where or with whom you establish bonds, relish them, nurture them, and always remember that bonds may fray with the passage of time.

Such bonds are frequently discovered onstage when a cast shares a harmonious camaraderie. Fortunately, the quaint theater where I discovered my cherished “News Crew” bond has just announced its 40th season. Onstage Playhouse is one of the few remaining local theaters dedicated to producing daring and thought-provoking works. Seeing a show here is a contribution toward sustaining local art and ensuring its vitality, reaffirming how live theater fortifies the emotional bonds we, as a collective, share when we gather in a room and behold the magic unfolding under the glow of the stage lights.


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