Thursday, December 17, 2009

Theatre in LIFE!

We can relate many of the different aspects of theatre to so many different facets of our daily lives. The exchange of energy that is so vital to the art of theatre happens each time you engage in a conversation with another individual. The energies that you bounce off of one another and how you react to those energies can influence the direction of the conversation, just as the energy exchanges in a live performance can dictate how well that performance is received and how well it goes for the performers. We each play different roles in our lives, depending on what situation we are in. Everyone plays different versions of themselves among friends, among relatives, in the workplace, etc... This can be compare to taking on different roles as an actor. In an even stronger connection to acting, we all have had times when we had to do something that we really didn't want to. In these times, we often act, and pretend that we are enjoying the activity more than we really are. As rebellious teenagers, we often get very good at being actors, especially when it comes to our parents. I for one wish I could put the performances I gave for my mother during my younger adolescence on my resume-they were some of the most convincing performances I ever gave. The symbolism and gestures that are necessary to theatre also play a large role in our lives. I am constantly using symbolic gestures in my day to day; from giving handshakes, to hugging, to waving, to throwing up the peace sign, to displaying obscene gestures in traffic, I use symbols and gestures to express my thoughts and feelings constantly, much in the way that theatre artists use them to express ideas or concepts. The primary function of the theatre, to tell stories, is wildly apparent in my daily life. The first thing I do when I get home in the evening is tell Will a story about how my day was and listen to his story. I hear stories from friends, from relatives, from strangers even. Often they are about mundane subjects, but they are always interesting, because they are the real life events of a real person; this is what theatrical performance-even the most abstract- strives to tell. People are all almost constantly in a state of storytelling. Even without speaking, our body language and face often tells the story of our day, our emotions, or even our lives. One of my favorite hobbies is people watching. I love to sit in a park or restaurant and read the people around me. I use their "costume"- how they are presenting themselves, their symbolic gestures, their movements, and their facial expressions to tell myself their story. I can watch as an outsider how each person relates and connects to the others around them, much like an actor should connect to the other characters onstage. The art of theatre itself is based on its function as a metaphor for real life; the stories and sagas that we observe in the theatre are meant to comment on and instruct us in life. Theatre naturally relates to the daily lives of people because it is meant to represent the art of fully living.

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