Purpose Statement

Exploration -> Experience -> Feeling -> Transformation -> Understanding

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Performance as Liberation from Shame

"Had both my parents been around, I probably would have done something completely different with my life. I think all performers come from a place of self-doubt and pain. Ray Romano said once, very accurately and hilariously, that if his dad had spent more time with him he would have been an accountant instead of a comedian. I think that anybody who wants to get on stage or tell jokes or sing songs has some sort of, at a fundamental level, desire to be paid attention to, and I'm no different. But my mother instilled in me an incredible desire to learn and an incredible curiosity about the world and an incredible joy in achieving things. And she also put me in creative-writing classes and acting classes when I was a little kid and encouraged me to do stuff. So that's probably the biggest influence in what got me here." - Jon Hamm

"If my father had hugged me even once, I'd be an accountant right now." - Ray Romano

Performance = the graceful display of form, beauty, art.

Normal everyday introverted life is inhibited by shame. When done well, performance is a vivid, outrageous, prideful display absent of any shame. “The pride of the peacock is the glory of God.” - William Blake

Performance temporarily liberates the performer from shame (how wonderful that feels) and activates a longing in the audience; a longing to be protected and blessed in the aura of the shame-free exemplar-performer, a longing to be likewise liberated and potent, and a longing to create such sacred art as a life proudly displayed.

Those of us wounded by shame live introverted, inhibited lives of quiet desperation, even though we have the consciousness and potency to create sacred art. And when we take a risk and perform, our shame is reinforced if no one recognizes or appreciates our artful display. However, performance can be a momentary liberation from shame and the feeling of being free of shame, the feeling of pride in our graceful display of artistic creativity, is encouraging, empowering medicine. I want more of THAT!

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