A follow up to this recent post about the importance of Coming Out.
I’ve spent a certain amount of time admiring great actors and wondering if greatness (in just about any field) and madness are really as closely related as it often seems. There are accounts of good actors/ painters/ etc who are ‘well-balanced’ and have lives that are relatively normal. But they seem to be exceptional rather than typical. Is this just human nature (or journalism) latching on to the more interesting outliers? Could it be that the image of the ‘crazed performer’ who must confront their inner insanity a romantic myth?
I’ve previously wondered “(h)ow permanent (or ‘real’) is my life if it is but one facet of my totality? The next character may be the antithesis of ‘who I am’ today; so who, really, am I?” As a professional Sales Representative I was expected to mirror, to whatever degree I could, the client I was serving or attempting to sign. Of course the variation in characters is most likely much greater for stage & film actors (and con artists).
Today I read this quote: “(s)ome actors don’t get hired because you can’t look into their soul and see what they’re like, because they’re kept guarded.” This is Neil Patrick Harris, quoted in the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone magazine, saying that his coming out improved his career choices. It is a powerful argument for actors to be more open about their sexuality; not because one’s sexual identity is inherently more important than religious or political beliefs to one’s sense of self. But certainly in this ‘modern Western society’ it seems more actors feel they need to repress or hide sexuality than any other aspect of their true self.
And whether one is (or hopes to be) a professional actor, athlete or other less “glamorous” occupation this is exactly why ‘coming out’ is still both necessary and important. Despite social pressure to ‘fit in’ our souls blossom only when they are free to be their true nature.