Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Perception, People!

This new camera has done wonders for me. Wonders, I say. Wherefore? you delightful readers ask. Well, the following, to some extent, is my answer.

Looking at some of the pictures I took over the weekend, I noticed that the looks people were aiming for didn't always translate to the photos. For instance, somebody would be trying to look nonchalant, and they'd come off as inebriated. It's safe to assume, then, that in photography, and perhaps by extrapolation most visually-representative art, it takes training to be able to translate Intention to Presentation.

Continuing to cogitate, I remembered similarities in acting, where often actors claim to be trying to communicate one thing, while in fact their actions read quite differently. As a matter of fact, I myself have fallen into this trap, when I played Dr. Rank in Ibsen's A Doll House. I attempted to communicate hopeless, love-lorn sickness, but my attempts at communicating hopeless, love-lorn sickness read instead as creepy, homeless rapist, or at least Stalker.

I've run into this tendency many other times in acting: people, sometimes I, think that the character is clear and evident on stage, but to the people in the seats, something vastly different is occurring on-stage. And it's not just limited to characters and intangibles: physical motion, business that seems almost overstated from the actor's point of view, reads from the seats as almost understated.

So what? Given my Dutch ancestry and my good Presbyterian upbringing, my nature abhors the absence of Application. Again, so what? Perhaps the moral of this story is that people shouldn't be too confident that they know what vibe they're giving off. Perhaps we should judge our behavior not from the standpoint of where we think we are, or where we want to be, but from where others say we are. We should put ourselves in the shoes of others; but beyond that, we should let others occupy their own shoes.

Of course, self-confidence is vital. If one has no trust in himself, herself, or itself, one won't go far. But to bring this to a spiritual level, the human heart is desperately wicked. What's more, people decieve themselves. Sad, but true, and the more dangerous for its allure. Self-deception is one of the most crippling of sins.

We must not try to create a mold for ourselves and then fill that mold. That'll only end in failure and humiliation. Only by living outward, by being advised, by NOT getting into Ralph Waldo Emerson's "self-reliance" can we truly succeed.

Wow, that was actually rather...MOTIVATIONAL!!!! OH YEAH! OH YEAH! RAH RAH RAH!

Seriously, though, it's my opinion that motivational efforts (books, magazines, speakers, etc.) are the most despicable life-forms on the planet, and if the self-help genre were to be blotted from existence and memory, life for many would be much more wonderful.

It's 2.18 in the morning. I'm going to eat mac'n'cheese, and then go to bed.

Long live spection!

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