WHAT MASKS DO YOU WEAR?
At the start, I imagine the stereotypical sort of masking. I think of people who use masks to conceal, to manipulate, to control, to harm. There are endless stories there.
Then, just a degree away is the kind of mask that keeps the wearer well-hidden, quite invulnerable, but necessarily also keeps the wearer from trust, from rest, from intimacy. It’s not offensive, per se, but destructive nonetheless as it keeps one in, and keeps others out.
But can’t masks also be constructive? Can’t they also reveal? We might use a mask to show a part of ourselves that people seem to be missing—like a filter, or a magnifying glass, compelling visibility for an underexposed portion of our character.
Also constructive are masks we use to protect ourselves from those who won’t understand or accept the things we hide. Masks can focus our selves; through a sort of funnel, we can summon or channel exactly the self we need for the time, for the place.
Sometimes, a provisional mask can help us explore a self we haven’t quite nurtured. Perhaps it’s a collection of masks, alternated periodically or regularly, one-at-a-time or layered and stacked, that all together make up a full self.
Or maybe, we’ve accumulated masks to help us survive a prolonged trauma, and it’s a careful peeling away that can reveal a piece of our childlike wildness, previously unexplored.
Masks are earnest, sinister, brave, spineless, seductive, playful, steel-plated, and feathered. And I want all of these stories. To hear them, to tell them.
The Masks Experience starts here…