Begging and choosing: What Fiddler taught me

There are many takeaways from The Fiddler on the Roof, but I came away with an unexpected extra one – a perspective that only I was going to have.

And that was about begging.

So, my character is a beggar and, opening number, I’m introduced and have to literally beg a character for money, before then complaining at how little it is. The key here is that my target is the well-off butcher.

But, for the rest of the show, I remained as that character and interacted as I would have been expected to. Except, in a small village I wasn’t going to be constantly begging from everyone – in reality that would have made me unwanted pretty quickly. As a result, a lot of the time I tried to chat with people. Except, in character, few wanted to – they either gave me money, even if I didn’t ask for it, told me they had nothing, sneered at me or just walked the opposite direction. And each time, they didn’t hang about.

Suddenly, I had a glimpse at what it must be like for people really begging on the streets. Nobody wants to just talk, as they just assume you want one thing. I didn’t and I’m sure, in real life, it’s no different.

It’s been a new perspective for me and realised that, sometimes, rather than look away at the homeless person because you don’t have or don’t want to give them money, maybe that’s not what they want. Or need.


Talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: