For all of my many complaints and worries about the negative impact of social media and the Internet on human communication and social relationships, there are moments when they afford us opportunities for learning that would have required such an excess of time and energy as to be prohibitive--if not impossible--not too long ago.
I admire effortless expertise (thus the obvious question, how good and skilled does one have to be for their expertise to appear so natural and easy?); I admire, even more, those true experts who are able to communicate their gifts to a general and interested public.
Skilled writing for any venue or format ought to be deeply and intensely personal. Moreover, as I have shared here on WARN many times, blogging, being a serious member of the online commentariat or essayist, freelance writer, or other type of media personality in more traditional and conventional mediums is a performance. In those venues a person has to be "more real than real". Do they not?
And borrowing from the philosopher Judith Butler, most people are "performing" some type of identity as well--be it gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, or class.
Thus, what is taken as "natural" are in many cases a combination of biology and socialization. For most of the above categories they are wholly fictive.
In all, our performed identities are socially constructed scripts. Do not make a common error in inference here: these identities are no less real because they are performed. These identities are paradoxical: we hold on to them tightly because the performance of identity is so natural that many of us cannot imagine any other possibilities.
The Internet offered up two great finds that I would like to share on these matters.
The legendary actor Marlon Brando suggested, to the consternation of his host Dick Cavett, that we human beings are all performers, pretending, dissembling, and putting on a show everyday of our lives.
His peer Michael Caine conducted an actor's workshop for the BBC. There Caine explained that one should trust the camera--the Gaze--and not try to overreact or force one's presence. A right and proper actor will also learn to be intimate and perform as though they are talking to just one person. The camera is your/our best friend.
My read of Caine's advice is that those actors who try to "act" will never find success in their craft.
Cain and Brando's wisdom is so welcome, and yes, challenging. Are you/me/us all actors and actresses in life? If so, how do we excel in either our chosen and/or imposed upon roles?
To that end, what script are you reading from on the day-to-day?