FINDING YOUR SHADOW AS AN ARTIST
There is a social construct, isn’t there, a social norm, a social bulldozer that wants to level out and iron out everything. And it does.
We agreed years ago (unfortunately) to be half.
We all chimed, smiled, and danced to a Monty Python like tune “look at the bright side of life,” (a song meant to be utterly ironic), but we kept whistling and humming forgetting part of the lyrics “Life’s a piece of shit when you look at it”.
We then yielded, stomped, crushed, and painted it over, with a bright Instagramic pink, and finally forgot all about it.
We forgot the only thing that makes us whole!
However from time to time, it shows it’s ugly head, and as always, takes us by surpise.
People suppress it, and that’s when you become it, and that is truly fucking scary!
There is a story about a man who was trying to escape his Shadow,
“what the fuck is that thing following me?
Why the fuck is it looking at me?”
He would run, he would try to hide, but with the first sign of light up above, his Shadow would be there.
He would play “hide and seek” with it, but he would never win. Wherever he was, his Shadow was, sometimes upfront, sometimes behind, sometimes just on the side holding hands.
Trying to escape, hide or dismiss the Shadow, it’s a fool’s errand. But we still try! “Be good” they say “you must!” And “Must”-urbate we do, by declaring
“look at me I’m not a racist,”
“I’m not a bigot,”
“I don’t hate,”
“I don’t envy,”
“I don’t scorn, scoff or gossip,”
“I am not a sexist!”
Aren’t we though?
OK, if you say you’re not, I believe you.
However, hither comes the problem, you want to be an actor.An actor is the most “whole” human being of all. You are here to feel, portray and explore all human possibilities, the human condition.
Half of it Or all of it?
How are you going to understand it If you refuse to look at it? To look at your own Shadow, acknowledge and embrace? Let it look at you back and feel the chill on your spine,
“Is this me?”, why, yes! Why not! This can be you, selectively!
You can’t escape it; sooner or later, it will catch up with you, probably when you’re too old, resentful, maybe one of those old farts that hates youth; why? Because you never made friends with it, you didn’t understand, that that’s your other half! And it resented you back!
Truth be told, there are only two ways to hide effectively:
Stop moving and hide under another Shadow, maybe that of a tree, just sit there separated from life or immerse yourself in total darkness; you can’t see the Shadow there can you?…but immersion ultimately means you become your shadow and that can’t be good, can it ?
I see actors that get a script, a poem, a scene! “I want to find love,” they scream “that’s my objective” I want to be free? Really?
Do we thrive using these generalities? Where are the negatives? Because for every “I want to find love,” there is an “I am afraid I am going to be alone,” for every “I want to be free,” there is a “to get out of this fucking jail,” where is your envy? Where are your 7 deadly sins?
No actor worth their salt leaves these behind! How can they? How can you not acknowledge your Shadow? Your other half?
So what? Am I supposed to be bad?
YOU ARE BAD!
We all are bad!
But as artists, as actors, we can do so freely but most importantly we can do so selectively and safely through a role, a part, a character! Ah, the exhilarating freedom of becoming an asshole!
There is an array of books:
“the supple art of not giving a fuck” (how subtle can you be? I can’t)
“fuck your feelings”…
fuck that, fuck this…wtf!?
Why do you think all these books are there for? Trying to explain to people that they need to reclaim their Shadow, we’ve lost a healthy sense of ego, and we have gone from zero to social goodwill narcissists of Instagram. We brand ourselves, how can you be an artist and a brand ?
Actors embrace and understand their shadow. We look at the human condition and we do not scoff at it! we explore it to understand it! what is this? where did this come from?
“How can they be so fucking stupid ?”
“Wait…can I be that fucking stupid for just a second ? I want to see what that feels like.”
“How can they be so cruel”
“let me fantasize about this for a second”
“how can they be so ignorant,? let me be ignorant for a day”
You have to be whole, light comes with shadow, Yin comes with freaking yang.
Unless you want to only play parts like the righteous captain America or you just want to be a unicorn, wait…do you want to be a unicorn ?
Then Do, by all means!
Be a happy pink unicorn!
But an actor you are not, until you dance with your Shadow. So please,please at least be a unicorn with a FUCKING SHADOW
So do sing and whistle but the tune is…“look at the dark side of life”
With love and respe…you know what ? Fuck you…
Copyright 2022 Kimon Fioretos, All Rights Reserved.