I go into a pound shop with my daughter and say ‘you can have anything you want’
Am I being magnanimous on a low budget or mean?
well its true that she can have anything in the shop and its true I’m poor.and its true that most of the stuff in there is er not great.,
and then Re acting: is is just cheating and pretending? while others see it as a craft to perceive and act as if there are other realities?
Other realities than the prevailing norm?
I am remembering years ago being introduced to this: '
Chuang Tsu dreamt he was a butterfly and when he woke up he didn’t know whether he was Chuang Tsu or a butterfly dreaming he was Chuang Tsu'
and so is the creation of other realities and working out the steps, the whys the wheres the when, the how to get there, to be there - craft or cheating? Behaving ‘as if’?
Now in a world where everyone think there is an idea of ’Normal’, this act of imagining is more likely to be seen as cheating, shifty. Hence the phrase ‘be abit creative’.
The rich have always been able to create and live their own dream: that is what everyone aspires to- (but according to the prevailing norm) you have got to earn the right, (ie makes stacks of moolah) to live your own reality. Only the rich can live their own reality. Everyone else is dysfunctional.
In the naïve ‘safe western world, pre 9-11 world, it was possible for blurred realities and for performance/theatre to be interested in it and make a craft of it. And it saw increased security as very big brotherish, but in a world of terrorism and increasing random acts of violence against the public, the horror of public beheadings and graphic new reporting, fears of any disrupting of the norm blurred realities are not wanted,;theatre reverts to entertainment, unreality, fantasy safe escapes in safe places, it retreats from public spaces into the safe boundaries of theatres where the audience knows the contract, while the public outside don’t have their feathers ruffled. Blurred realities and looking at how they are created is seen as underhand; shifty and not trusted or wanted.
The prevailing norm is for clear lines. I cannot knock that - it is the world we live in: a more dangerous world, a more orthodox world, a more ‘normal’ world.
As an idealistic young theatre student I believed that theatre was reality and could trigger people into wakefulness, nudge the world into changing
As an older person I know that theatre in this society, no matter how seriously it takes itself, is entertainment., and this world, this dangerous, serious world doesn’t like being tricked. Society wants to creats sureness of ground underfoot.
The expression ‘as if’,ican be taken two ways, serious or cynical -
Serious: ’act as if what you do makes a difference. It does’ (William James),.
Cynical: It has become ‘a slang expression used by unimpressed teenagers implying that something is far fetched or never going to happen’(www,your dictionary.com) -said sarcastically with a tut or roll of the eyes,’as if’