Saturday, August 1, 2009

How to Think Like a Fool #49: Play Yourself

PRETEND: Play Yourself
"Clown characters are not created, they are uncovered."—??
The foolish take on the concept of pretending (and the last entry in this category), is that fools pretend to be themselves. By doing so, fools take on the most difficult of roles, because there's no bigger fool than oneself.

The great clowns of silent cinema, like Chaplin or Keaton, go beyond the idea of an actor playing a character, as if they have tapped into the essence of their personalities to project a partially transparent persona—what the movement and theatre teacher Jacques Lecoq called one's personal clown: our ridiculous side that we so often try to hide.

Which of your selves do you choose? Observe yourself in all your imperfections—it may be part how others see you or just how you see yourself. Pick a mannerism, habit, idiosyncratic thought, or personality trait. Exaggerate it. Make a caricature of yourself in action. Become the cartoon version of you.

Self mockery leads to self discovery. This heightened awareness gives you the ability to step away from those parts of you that are unessential and accept what doesn't need to be changed. By embracing the parts you may normally hide, you often find they are just what was needed to solve a problem. You are already creative. It was you all along.

Think: Who am I? If I were to play myself in my life story, how would I act? If someone just like me were to solve this problem, how would I do it?

Next: How to Think Like a Fool #50: OBSERVE: Spy on the World

Previous "How to Think Like a Fool" Posts

No comments: