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We have become a very guarded modern society.
There is a dangerous method of emotional cloaking that is systematically shaped by two societal epidemics: irony and social media. I’ve formally written about the former, but the latter is a bit more bittersweet, partially because social media is in many ways both fun and useful. However, when one relies entirely upon it for primary communication, they then forget how to interact face-to-face.
I’ll use an example:
I was working with a fellow artist, and she was definitely not feeling well; guarded, cross, ill-tempered. After a while, I inquired about it, and she vaguely said something about problems with her family. Concerned, I sincerely asked if she cared to elaborate. She very tersely shut me down, but then said if I really wanted to know, I could check her Facebook status. This baffled me. Online, she was quite stridently expressing herself to everyone via Facebook, including me, yet she was unable to openly communicate the issue in person.
We are so quick to expose ourselves on social media, yet we remain staunchly guarded during personal interaction. And that’s a dangerous thing.
It is especially dangerous in the rehearsal environment, where productivity is inherently dependent upon emotional vulnerability. When approaching others, both in the rehearsal room and in the real world, strive for amiability, sincerity, and vulnerability. It’ll open up the room; it’ll open up the world.
Some thoughts on art, life, and theatre. Stay positive.