M, Who’s a Mother & an Actress

The many sides of the self, translated…

M was the very first among us, fellow performers who become a mom. On the performance we worked in together, she’d portrayed a mother who couldn’t have a son that went crazy. Later on, that skit went to Hong Kong and China, and she’d stopped working because she was pregnant, until the show finally came back to Taipei in its final tour, she’d actually, become the mom to a little girl.

the perceptions of the self, based off of external factors, not my drawing.

“As you’d become a mom, does performing feel any different to you?”

“Basically, when I’m playing the role of a mom, it’d come easily.”

I’d recently progressed from the roles of a pregnant woman to a mom in acting. The biggest challenge that I ever had, was portraying the mother of a seven-year-old girl; of course, had I married young, I may well have a seven-year-old daughter now, but, every time I’d thought about the process, the responsibilities that came with childrearing, I’d felt it was, impossible for me. Like a single female who go to and fro all over the world, gotten used to the freedom already, and, I can’t imagine myself, being, tied down by the demands of motherhood.

“After you’d become a mother, you would finally understand, what ‘limitless’ is.”

“But, isn’t acting constantly challenging our own limits?”

“He, how would that measure up to the realities of being a mom?”

Actually, as I’d published my second novel last year, I’d asked myself, if one day, I become, a mother, would my creations change a lot? The answer being, affirmative, but, as I saw how the new moms from around me, working hard, running around for their children’s sakes, having a hard time, balancing their careers with taking care of their young, not mentioning how someone like me, who needs a lot of alone time to read and write, or how I’d needed to work nights on end on my shows, I’d thought, if I’d become a mother, my productions would come to a dead halt for three to five years. And, as I thought to this, I couldn’t, keep thinking on the subject anymore.

Being actors/actresses, we’d needed to, dissemble ourselves, into boxes of various sizes. When we’re not acting, the boxes need to be put together neatly, with the largest on the outside, then, the second largest, then, the smaller ones, like those Russian dolls. The performers need to be more than certain, what the varied sizes of their selves are, then, take out the fitting ones at the various encounters.

not my diagram…

As I’d made friend in my regular socialization, everybody was so surprised to see, how a performer can have so many sides, like opening up the boxes of surprise, with the smaller boxes, inside the bigger ones; and sometimes, after eight, nine boxes, there’s that dice-sized small box left. It’s just, that this tiny box, almost never gets opened.

“Sometimes, we’d not opened that smallest box, in order to, protect ourselves.”

“From what?”

“From the disappointment that the other person may feel, that after so many rounds of unwrapping, there’s, nothing inside.”

“So little self-confidence, how can you be a performer?”

“Then, what, is inside the smallest box that is in the innermost part of you?”

“From before, just my broken heart, and now, it’s my daughter. Children have so much energy, she’d become, my best performance instructor.”

Thinking back, as I was a toddler, I was already, a natural performer, I can laugh from my hear, experience fear, knew how to act out my various emotions, without the excess of calculation and thinking on how I’m acting.

someone’s self-portrait, not my artwork…s

I watched M’s daughter running around in the rehearsals, seeing how she was so in awe at the lights that spotlighted the stage, “Wow!”, I was moved.

The path of a performer, is accumulated with time. Don’t matter if a female performer becomes a mother or not, they’re still all searching, unwrapping, to the inside of that smallest box, to see what, is kept in there.

So, acting IS like life, you’re wrapped up by multiple layers of your false selves, and, in order to really GET to who you TRULY are, you’d needed to, unwrap, unwrap, and unwrap, until you finally came out, but sometimes, the unwrapping process is just, way too grueling, that we’d stopped, after that first set of wrappers came of!


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