After the latest Level C class and watching a musical mashup of games, I ventured off into the night with a few classmates in the pursuit of ice cream. There were little “a-ha” moments here and there, but the main epiphany was right around the time I was ordering.
Looking at all the choices that you could pick and combine, I thought about the people in my class… and then I thought about ALL the people in my life so far…
Then, certain pieces fell into place.
Make a note of the shows and movies you have seen. Look for your prototypical “people on a mission” story. Now, compare those stories to your life. Is there anything that you could associate with? Fiction to reality and vice versa?
I often found great comfort in the company of the “leftover” folks. Think about the time when you were in a class and the teacher tells you all to form your groups. Right away, there would be a fury of people shouting at their friends to come over and join them. After when the dust settled, you would often see lone stragglers; the folks that have no place to be.
And most likely me.
Put us together and guess what?
You now have yourself a “Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.”
For me, there’s something really special about this trope. Even one of my favorite movies of all time, happens to be a prime example — Seven Samurai.
I don’t know if it’s that sense of inclusion, finding your people or just feeling like you belong to something/somewhere, that really gets me the most. The realization that there’s always a group for you, despite what others think.
Whether you can relate to this or not, depends entirely on you. And also on a number of other factors to be considered a true “ragtag bunch.” Here are a few highlights that I have taken from that wiki page:
— despite their flaws, they’re still the best at what they do
— best team that could be put together at short notice and/or budget
— in case of mission failure, they’re expendable
— they’re the only ones crazy enough to even try
— they’re random survivors of some apocalyptic event who more or less stumble across each other
— fate has determined that these misfits are The Chosen Ones, and they are destined to save the world no matter what
…soooo, you’re not always saving the world or facing a “life and death” situation, but there are a few things that feel true. Sometimes you don’t know you’re going to be part of a team until it actually happens.
Like after the ice cream epiphany, we came to a whimsical thought of forming a comedy troupe. Like a real semi-serious attempt at putting our new-found powers to the test. Be it improv or sketch. Be it for the stage, the streets, or YouTube consumption. Although the idea is still in its infancy, maybe a few more meetups can bring things to a reality.
There, just like that. And the great thing about being in the same class, is that, we all know we bring a unique thing to the table. Whether it’s a specific point of view, unexpectedness, quick wit, bold characterization, directness, absurdity, recall ability, or limitless raw energy… put any one of us in a scene and — BAM — something wonderful happens. Just like blending any combo of ice cream together; it’s still going to be sweet in its own unique way.
It basically feels like the classic underdog story applied to a group rather than a single person. Sure, if you break down the moving parts and look for the roles… generally, you can find a hero, sidekick, big guy, smart guy, old guy, young guy and funny guy. (Note how this strangely adds up to seven.)
Keep in mind, it’s not always that distinguishable. Plus, it doesn’t have to be all “guys” — and let’s not even get into that dreaded male/female ratio problem that some ragtags have…
All in all, if this particular trope rings true to you and you were never aware of it until now, take a look at your life and the people in it. Is there something close to this dynamic? Something that was hastily put together for the sake of an outcome but turned into… something more?
Like a uber team of epic proportions?
And take note on the stories you read or watch. Why do you seek those stories? Maybe there’s a reflection there.