Originally Written on October 30, 2010 7:02 AM |
When I asked my friend Lisa if she’d met anyone “interesting” lately, she said had been invited to a Halloween party by just such a person. How perfect can it get? I asked, what are you going to be? She replied, a feathered mask. I was shocked and disappointed. This was going to be a lost opportunity for Lisa! I couldn’t let her go out in nothing more than a mask to dazzle a person of interest.
First of all, I don’t recommend masks on Halloween, because after a while most of us are going to prop it up on top of our head–and bingo–no costume. Makeup is best. It allows you to eat and drink, laugh, talk and breathe freely. Not everybody feels this way and can wear a mask all evening. If this is you, then by all means don the features, the rubber, the paper, the plastic or the cloth.
But, don’t just slap on a mask and call it a costume. A mask without a character is a dullard hiding behind a detachable clump of alien matter–and surely, this can’t be you. Consider that the concept of donning another personality is a practice that occurs around the world, in many cultures. Becoming someone else in order to explore, even free the other selves that we keep inside may very well be hard-wired into our DNA. An instinct–in fact it may very be a basic human need. I only hope you haven’t been denying your Selves all these years.
So start working on that alternative personality, personna, or schick. Call it what you will, but make sure you’re going to be someone else beside the mild mannered cubicle worker you are by day.
Lisa replied, that when she first meets someone, she wants to be herself. Every time I hear that I want to throw a tantrum. When you first meet someone, you want to laugh, have fun, get on a ferry, play minature golf, dance, drink wine (or tea), celebrate the excitement of sexual attraction. For god’s sake, you’ll have years TO BE YOURSELF. I cannot emphasize laughter enough, because if you can laugh with someone, you’ve already established a commonality. Nothing is more telling about your world view, your inner view, your take on life, and YOU, than your sense of humor. And it will tell you a lot about the other person.
But I digress. I told Lisa–thinking quickly of something that nearly anyone can do–be Charlie Chaplin. It’s easy, fun, and it will bring up the whimsical in you. I’ll need a hat, she whined. A hat? I thought, that’s all you’ll need to complete the costume? What a problem! If only we could solve our other problems with a bowler. But instead I replied, it is being yourself, but it is being another part of yourself.
A costume brings out a sense of mystery, excitement. When you’re first getting to know someone, you want to have fun, go dancing, drink wine, or tea, or whatever loosens you up. The more you play and laugh, the stronger the bond and the better chance you have of making it work. After all, any intelligent relationship takes work, because eventually you have to get down to working at the terror and the beauty of love. Never worry about hitting a new love interest with the full-tilt boogie of your precious Self. Your Self will without a doubt rear it’s self-y head. Very, very soon.
But I digress. What I am trying to say, is please do not fritter away one of the most important celebrations of the year, where you can paint your face, wrap yourself up in strange togs, and as you lay on, layer by layer, another part of yourself–that you have been completely unaware of–begins to emerge. Scripts pop into your head and you find yourself trying them out in costume in front of the mirror. Go with it. It’s in your DNA structure. You, the actor, without a lesson, straight from the Actor’s Workshop that made Brando, Monroe, and Montgomery Cliff. Your character will emerge from the deepest, but funnest part of youself–from your sense of fun, absurdity and DARING.
OOOOWAH HA HA HA HA!
And have the best Halloween of your life.