I just went out with a new group of awesome folks yesterday. After the awkward hellos and the tentative first twenty minutes, the ice was broken and conversation was flowing. The flow of the evening made me hyper-aware of how everyone, gradually, on getting more comfortable, started exposing more of themselves without worry of judgement. It was as if their ‘first meet’ mask had cautiously started to melt away as the evening progressed.
This made me think about how we all wear masks everyday. Our ‘first day at school’ mask, our ‘parents’ mask, our ‘sibling’ mask, our ‘bff’ mask, our ‘pretend bff’ mask, our ‘interview’ mask, our ‘intelligent and put together’ mask, our ‘first date’ mask (not to mention the mask of makeup on top), and so on…
Though we judge the masks on other people, we’re all guilty of employing them (admittedly most are unintentional and out of conditioning). They’re our defense mechanism. They’re our litmus test.
Personally, I think masks are fabulous.
The best part about a relationship is being able to remove all the masks employed by a person to understand their true natures (like peeling layers of the onion to get to the core). Sometimes, the masks may even turn out to be preferable to what’s inside (a tragic and rare occurrence, but probable nonetheless). But what’s truly fabulous about masks is that they allow us a fresh start of sorts, a chance to create a character.
And for an actor, masks are indispensable. Most actors are only able to portray the mask provided by the scriptwriter (which, to do with excellence, is an achievement in its own right). The priceless actor, however, is able to build multiple masks for the character, as a real human would (calling out Johnny Depp!).
So, ladies and gentlemen, all world’s a masquerade party! Be seen at your discretion…