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Creating Illusions

Jeff Linamen

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In a few hours we’ll begin our first read through of the script, Ragtime, our spring musical, at school. I spent most of the morning getting copies of a character development sheet ready to pass out to the students. The long rehearsal process begins!

I also spent time outside taking down Christmas lights, using this unseasonably warm weather to my advantage.

What do these two activities have in common?

They made me think about how much of our lives we spend creating illusions.

Whether we are decorating for the holidays, or daily life… landscaping, painting the interior or exterior of our homes, we are in affect creating an illusion. Without plantings, color and furnishings we basically have a relatively plain, hollow shell.

In preparation for performance, actors develop characters– their look, how they talk, move and appear to the audience. By carefully manipulating their behavior and appearance, actors can completely become someone else.

How much time do we spend creating these same illusions in real life?

We all live our lives as actors creating illusions. We may want to appear smarter, or richer, or younger, or older. We try to adjust our look in a way that will appeal to others in certain situations. In some cases, we may want to appear sick or tired or unattractive.. but it’s still an illusion. It’s only when we strip off the make up, the clothing, let our hair down and stop trying to be something else –that our true selves are evident.

In the end, don’t we really want people to just accept us for who we are underneath the disguise?

The true reality is that without the costuming and pageantry, most of us would be completely overlooked. Society expects certain efforts towards appearance. Success doesn’t come to most without great efforts of visual transformations.

I say, the most successful people are those that can see beyond the illusion and measure the person hidden underneath by their inner beauty.

In the end, that’s all that is all that we really have.

 

Today’s Pic of the Day: Down comes Christmas. Just the beginning of the process.


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