We try not to examine the masks or even to look at them too much.
We don’t display them on walls or demonstrate ‘how to play a mask’.
We don’t play the masks at all.
They play us.
If we are open, ready, empty; if we are fit, fresh, free; if we believe, don’t believe, don’t care… then perhaps a mask will do us the privilege of engaging our body and mind and coming out to play.
I’m not sure how to be and actor. The masks keep teaching me lessons like how to be honest and tender and brutal. They have exquisite timing. They illuminate the body. There are so many things I can do better in a mask than as myself.
I feel conscious as myself. Sometimes ‘self-conscious’. My expressiveness feels packaged and am aware how deep my limitations run. I usually adjust by ‘playing’ harder than I should.
It is possible for a mask to feel judged, bored, beaten. They can be harmed.
So we build a world of support around them; of inspiration and success so they can express themselves freely. So that unlike me, they don’t have to ‘act’.