Saturday, April 02, 2005

All the world's a stage...

...and I'm an actress, remember?

Having to eat at different people's houses every week, I discovered that I've made a script that I present as 'me'. I have some parts of my life (history, acting ;) ), that are extremely not typical for a frum girl, and I inevitably get asked the same questions no matter where I go. I realized this past Shabbos, when I was going through my life story yet again, that I've memorized it-and not only the words, but the presentation as well. I always pause for affect at the same moment, I initiate the same questions because I'm leaving my 'audience' hanging. What's real and what's an act?

Sorry to make this a personal rant. I normally try to stay away from my personal life, unless there's a lesson in it that I can share, but this's something that's been weighing on me all day.

8 comments:

EN said...

It's a performance. It's how you want it to play out until you decide to change the stage or acting part. It is the reality of your soul playing out to those you meet. And based on what I know about you from your blog, your making a kiddush hashem by sharing that information. (I hope your not depressed, it kind of sounded like it. Life's not that bad, there are some perks to being alive). Gut Voch.

leati said...

did you learn something about yourself in the meantime? as in, was there anything you realized might need changing because it didn't fit with the 'you' you wanted to present? sounds interesting, and fun! i'm glad to hear you're enjoying meeting all these new folks :)

defen said...

I think everyone does that to some extent at all times. Or at least, everyone with an unconventional major. ;)
Whenever meeting a new person, I immediately assess what "type" they are, and customize my "introduction" to what I believe they would be most comfortable hearing.
Obviously, I don't do this if I actually want to get to know the person and want them to get to know me... But for "chance" meetings, this is a common occurrence. For me, at least.

Stx said...

Defen--ditto on the "unconventional major" bit. Yeah, it's a little bit frustrating to always have to explain the same thing over and over again.

I'm sorry TRW dear...It's not fun being "fake." And that's kinda what we do, we fake it until we feel close enough to someone so that the "real" just leaks out without us realizing it.

In a way...Think about the way that we act towards people that are "different" in other ways. Somebody who has a physical handicap and is CONSTANT asked questions (or feels like they're being asked questions subconsciously) and judged every time they meet somebody new. Kids who have "gone off" and come back and everyone just wants to know their story. Ba'alei tshuva in general--while some of them love to share, others are tired of the same questions over and over again.

It's like my ubiquitous report card comment, where the teacher would do a little play on my last name. I've that that name all my life, and I've heard every play-on-words connected with it. I no longer think them cute; to me, they're cliche. I smile (grimace) and let out a deflated chuckle. It makes them happy. But do they know what I feel inside?

So here's the question (IMHO). What do people say to you, random people, that makes you NOT feel like that? Have you ever met someone who just made you feel comfortable? Made you NOT feel fake, but at the same time not stripped of your mask--because you never needed to put it on in the first place?

Examine them. Analyze their actions. And figure out how you can act in the same way towards others...

And let us know what you've discovered as well!

Jen said...

Sometimes I just want to carry around a pre-recorded message with me, full of answers to FAQ for Jen. hehehe

The Rabbi's Kid said...

frumactress,

never be afraid of who and what you are. Obviously your acting skills may get more use in your daily life that they need to, but revel in the real you.

alternatively, just make up the wackiest far-out story you can think of, just to spice things up every so often.

TRK

TRW said...

Thanks all, for the kind words.

En-I wasn't (very) feeling down, just kinda annoyed and thoughtful.

Leati-Yes, which is also interesting. It makes me question myself and my reasoning for what I'm doing-whether I am presenting what they want to hear or what I want to be seen as...

Defen-you're right-once I get to know someone, my presentation will change as I become more comfortable and let down my guard. At the beginning, though, I usually assess the person and decide what to include and what to leave out...

Stx-lUd. As usual. And you know exactly what the answer to your question (in the second to last paragraph) is.

Jen-when I'm at class reunions or engagement parties (which seems to be happening a lot lately-mazal tov Devorah!!), I want to have a name card that says "Hi, I'm TRW. This is what I'm doing now. This is where I'm at school. This is why I'm at school...etc.

TRK-You'd be surprised how weird and wacky my real life story is...;)

Stx said...

No, I really don't know the answers. On a re-read, my comment came out preachier than it should have. It was a real question. What else are we SUPPOSED to talk about? How CAN we really make people more comfortable, more at ease.

Ain li musag...