Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dressing the Part

I haven't been an actor for several years now. While I recently find myself missing performing, I can't justify calling myself an actor when I'm not actually doing any acting. However, there are some habits from my performing days that seem to have stuck with me. For example, I always found that no matter how much time and work I spent developing and a character for a role, I was never able to truly inhabit the character until I had the costume on. It was sort of an immersion thing. It's much easier to pretend to be something when you look like the something you are trying to be. It is certainly a challenge to pretend to be a pirate when dressed as a professional bowler, for example.

I recently realized that I needed to be more creative in my day to day life. The revitalization of this blog is part of that decision. I basically felt like I was becoming mired in the corporate mindset and I think that was causing a lot of my general malaise (I would say depression, but I don't think that's clinically true). It was affecting my mood, as well as keeping me from writing, even when I knew I should. So, I decided to change. Along with making a concentrated effort to write and draw (see the post below), I made physical changes. I bought new notebooks (softcover moleskines) and pens and tried not to dress so formally for work (it's not required in my office). I'm ditching my overly bland and generic briefcase and having my suede messenger bag repaired. In order to get myself feeling creative again, it has been important that I look creative. It seems shallow, I know, but it's something that's worked in the past.

When I started dancing for my theater classes in college, I wore sweatpants and a t-shirt. I felt awkward and uncomfortable. So, I invested in dancewear (and it was a sizable investment), and the shoes, pants and tank tops helped me feel more confident. I never became much of a dancer, but I could get by. I think I got some jobs/roles because I looked like I should know what I was doing, even if my klutzy footwork didn't reflect it. When I decided to start running, I couldn't seem to force myself into the routine. But, I bought a nice pair of running shoes and several moisture-wicking garments and I have now been running on a schedule of 3-4 times per week for over a year and a half.

I don't know if it's because I feel obligated to myself to work once I spend the money or if on some primal level the visual element is enough to convince me that I'm someone else, but it seems to work for me. Maybe I should by a space suit, just to see what happens.



  1. Have you tried the bustier/fishnet/feather boa thing yet?

  2. As a matter of fact, yes:

    I did La Cage just after college.

  3. I never thought you would look good as a woman but I think I'm going to have to change my tune.