For last Friday's Illustration Friday prompt "theater", I automatically thought of masks and roles. This page in my current journal actually began as planning (the writing and face sketches under all the other layers) for a project for one of my classes, but fit in perfectly into the topic.
The page plays off of something I remember from my sociology class in college - the dramaturgical perspective where behavior of an individual is analyzed as if it were a theatrical performance. The basic notion is that life is a stage and we are the players (wait that sounds familiar). But we have our role and our character that we play for the audience (society) when we are onstage, but we can step out of character - be our true selves when there is no audience (backstage). I've always liked this perspective and it fits well with my recent readings by Carl Jung and idea of the persona being the "mask" we present to people.
So this page explores these notions and how the characters and roles we play are the masks that we wear and present to people. We may play different roles to different people and may wear different masks, but what about the actor behind the role - behind the mask. Who ever really sees the true identity of another individual, and why are we so willing to lock ourselves and others up in the roles they play? These questions came to me as I worked, and I wondered why we fear revealing ourselves, why we hide, and what happens when we become trapped within the roles. How many of us have felt like phonies at sometime or another? How often do we fall into the roles either we create for ourselves or are created by others?
These are all thoughts that have been going through my mind lately. The page is far from being finished, but I wanted to share.