Thursday, June 24, 2010

We, the Method actors*

There are moments in which I open my eyes and ask myself, who is this person portraying me as me?... Then I remember; I am literally living through the characters I create, as many other people.

For me, it started pretty soon…maybe in school, when I learned that in order to "fit in", I had to behave/talk/act in a certain way. Later on in university, at work, and among the people around myself and in the society, most of my encounters confirmed my early impressions. I had to create more and more different characters and act as them, to be accepted. The number of characters became so many that sometimes I had to struggle to come out and be "me" again, even when I was with myself. At the end of the day, there were very few people in my life with whom I could and I chose to be myself. There were fewer people who decided to be themselves, when they were with me.

The day my mother told me, after we had a long conversation, that she couldn’t recognize me anymore, was a very painful day. Not because I was playing any characters when I was talking to her. But because I had decided to be myself, my plain self, and she couldn’t/didn’t want to recognize me. She preferred the made up character much better. Then I put on my mask, acted as the character she was used to see, and she felt safe again.

Problem was, my heart broke to pieces that day. One very important person was off my list….

*Method actors are often characterized as immersing themselves in their characters to the extent that they continue to portray them even offstage or off-camera for the duration of a project (Wikipedia).


Behi said...

I know what you mean Nava joon. To me it comes mainly from the desire to make every one (or the ones who are important to me) satisfied with what I am and at some point you don't know who you are anymore. I don't know which one is more painful; making others disappointed/sad OR yourself more distant from you. Sometimes you just need to sit and get to know yourself all over again... Our culture that we're so proud of is not of the easiest cultures, has made things and us complicated to some extent.

Dead said...

Wrote a long comment last night, but could not send it ... i guess it was not meant to be :)))

Nava said...

Behi jan, I have seen it in different cultures, but somehow in our culture it is much stronger. I'm worried for the day we miss our real selves completely in the middle of all this...

Dead, too bad I missed it :(
But, you know what? I believe in the same concept, as annoying as it seems, so maybe it was not meant to be...