‘I want to play various roles – I don’t want to be typecasted in one mould.’ You will hear this statement frequently from actors in interviews etc. Very rarely will you find an actor who wants to play only one kind of role. The audience may love them in that role, but secretly they all want to explore the range of emotions – black to white, the entire spectrum.
As a reader or audience, I enjoy characters with all shades in them because they are more real. I am sure we all find that more relatable than single-hued characters. When a goody-goody two-shoes character does something slightly evil – we get a shiver of delight – Because it is a reflection of how we would/could have behaved. Even nature has all the colours – leaves turn from light green to grey. Rainbow has a spectrum of colours. Preys are predators too.
Nature, Books, and Movies – in some ways, reflect who we would like to be but cannot be. I asked my team why they -enjoyed watching sports. I find the idea of a bunch of grown people running around the field outright silly. Their answer was quite revealing – they said they wanted to play the sport as kids, and watching them is a way to play out that desire.
Now, imagine all the actors/characters in the world decided they would only want good things to happen in their life or they wanted to play only the heroes and not the villains. Even if they feel angry, they suppress it because they want to be peaceful all the time. That would be such a waste of talent and opportunity, right? We, as the audience, would be bored and try to incite them to play out the negative roles as well.
Then, why do we shy away from emotions or situations that we ‘perceive’ uncomfortable or not good at this stage of life? Children are told – not to be angry or afraid, or sad. If a child cries, parents immediately want them to stop. If somebody is talking about death – we want them to change the topic. If we believe that universe does not make any mistakes, how can we deny the emotions that are arising right now? Let’s say I applied for a promotion and did not even get an interview. I am feeling sad, but instead of enjoying the feeling of sadness, I want to get rid of it and be normal again. As a being playing the role of a human, why would I not want to experience sadness – and experience it fully on how it makes me feel, where in my body I feel it? Similarly, for feelings like anger, anxiety, and fear. We only want to experience the so-called happy feelings.
Here is why? We have a problem if we forget that we are experiencing sadness instead of being sad. There is a huge difference between these two stages. In one, you are an actor playing the role of a sad person, and in the other, you are sad – there is no actor. Who do you think is having the most fun?
The universe made this world for us to experience the world as a stage – it is about time we learnt to experience the acting rather than become the experience. We have the choice to witness our own great acting – why deprive ourselves of that?
What movie are you enacting right now?