The Performer

If there's one thing I know
about people 
it's that 
many of them 
will go to the most 
melodramatic lengths 
to fabricate 
authenticity.

Nobody is without insecurity,
and there is a bit of a performer in all of us.
But there are many
that have a
permanent spotlight 
hovering over them
like a halo. 
 
These people can talk the talk.
and they will 
talk 
all of the talk.

Their script is never-ending.

They will talk 
and talk 
and talk
because if they do all of the
talking
there is little time for
questioning.

As any talented actor might,
they practice
wherever there is an audience.
Except it doesn't have to be a sea of people.

Performers will put on an act
for any individual
and all.

Practice makes perfect. 

But to those who are enthralled
by the magic,
it is never so obviously staged.

Performers are meticulous enough 
to make sure 
the audience believes.
They admit to
their character flaws
selectively.
They place their
vulnerabilities
on display
strategically.

These theatrics compel us 
like nothing else has,
but there's more than meets the eye. 

Once you dare
to pull the curtain back 
and remove their mask
as an attempt to dive deeper into 
their true character, 

that's when you'll begin to see that 
the depth you fell for
is contrived. 

You found the script.
They are reciting lines. 

They could never
walk the walk, 
so they distracted you with their 
over-rehearsed choreography.

This discovery is a deep disappointment, 
so you may deny it,
but once you suspect, 
you can't unsee.

Everything they say 
begins to look like a
part of the performance.

But somehow
knowing this secret about them just 
adds to the entertainment.
It may become impossible for you to look away

because you know that 
the reason for this song-and-dance
must stem from 
insecurity
which is an imperfection in itself. 

So they become a sympathetic character,
which is their very best role;
the victim.

You pity them because
you understand why 
they are the way 
they are. 

You find yourself questioning
whether they are
the villain 
or the hero.

You may applaud them one day 
and boo them the next, 
but you're still buying a ticket to 
every 
single
show
like a devoted  fan.

Witnessing them bask in their 
angelic spotlight 
as they seduce the crowd 
is oftentimes maddening, 
but you're conflicted 
as it's  
absolutely riveting.
 
Because the truth is
the charm of their character
has bled into your vision of the actor
and although you know their delicious secret, 
maybe it is the ruse
that captivates you 
like nothing else has.

The irony is that their performances become 
predictable after so many alike, 
and your heart can't take it anymore
so you eventually stop showing up.  

You join the band of critics 
who've also tired of the antics.
But the performer isn't a performer without  
criticism. 

The performer is a true believer that 
no publicity is bad publicity.
They are a master of twist
and suddenly 
the criticism
colors them
the victim
again.

So they don't mind that you've crossed over. 

They appear to be heartbroken,
because the mezzanine is full of fresh eyes, 
who will be 
easily satisfied by 
shallow fanfare.

As long as this continues to be true, 
the performer will have no motivation to change.
As long as there is an endless supply
of momentary gains from each production,
the attention, 
the ego boost, 
the pleasures they feel they deserve for their 
artistic contributions,

the show must go on.

The booming applause
serves as proof to the performer
that this 
upkeep of a facade 
is imperative to society.

It encourages 
a lack of original 
identity.

You eventually realize
the performance is more for themselves
than it is for the viewers.

The amount of time they devote 
to creating their persona 
is because they so desperately 
need to believe 
that they're above the audience
no, 
above the world!

It kills you 
because they're painfully close 
to true reflection. 
They're putting effort 
into manufacturing 
a false idol when 
they could be putting that effort 
into themselves.

As you mourn
the existence of a person
who never existed,
you wish the performer
a happy ending.

You force yourself 
to consider the possibility
that one day 
they could
remove their costume
and be rid of the need to 
shape themselves 
for public validation.
You imagine 
their euphoric epiphany.

It's a nice daydream
but the scene is unlikely.
Whether it does 
or does not 
play out,
find comfort in the fact that
you won't be there to witness it.




.

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