Tag: Identity

Paul McCartney Interview – Fresh Air

On why they chose to go with a persona on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

“We’d been The Beatles for quite a while. And when you made a record, you knew you were making a Beatles record, and so you imposed certain parameters on it. So we can’t get too far out because people just go, ‘What the hell’s going on? They’ve gone mad!’ So you had certain standards for Beatles records [and] you were always trying to advance those standards, but there were limits that you felt. And also when you stepped up to a microphone, you were conscious of all that background of, ‘I’m Beatle Paul, and I’m going to do a Beatle Paul song.’

“I don’t think it really was terrifying or even boring, but I had this idea to just change our identity and make ourselves think that we were kind of another band. So it meant now anything goes, we don’t have to sing like The Beatles. We can sing like whoever they saw the band is. In the end, the name came out of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. So the idea was so that when you stepped up to a microphone, it was not now John Lennon Beatle doing his song. It was a guy out of this strange band, and in some way, it was just liberating.”

Paul McCartney knew he’d never top The Beatles — and that’s just fine with him
Fresh Air

Seeing Your Life Onscreen – Aaron Sorkin Discusses The Social Network – Deadline Interview

DEADLINE: We know Mark Zuckerberg didn’t cooperate but did you ever meet Eduardo Saverin, the character played by Andrew Garfield?
SORKIN: Once Eduardo signed that non-disclosure agreement after his settlement, he disappeared off the face of the earth. We don’t know exactly how much he received, but it’s in the hundreds of millions. And it will probably go over a billion because he also does now own a lot of Facebook stock. But on October 1st, the movie opened and that’s the day I met Eduardo. I got a phone call from our producer Scott Rudin that a representative for Eduardo had contacted him late at night. He wanted to see the movie. So we set up a private screening for him in New York right before Lady Gaga’s private screening. It’s true. I went to meet him when the movie was over and you could have performed surgery on him without anesthesia at that point in time. I gotta say, he was a deer in the headlights which is an understatement. He did certainly expect to like the movie a lot, but you could tell in his face that he had just relived the thing. It’s an unreasonable experience that hardly anybody, including myself, knows what it’s like to have a chapter from your life suddenly written, directed, lit, shot, and performed by actors. That was the first and only time I met Eduardo.

Deadline

“An actor is a man who pretends to be someone who is usually pretending to be someone else.” – Kenneth Tynan

How much of theatre has to do with imposture! Walter Kerr, in his brilliant book The Silent Clowns, points out that Chaplin’s genius lay in his ability to assume any identity at the drop of a hat – to become, in a split second, according to the demands of the plot, a great lover, a great gymnast, violinist, skater, thief, gourmet, conjurer, etc. etc., while having, at bottom, no true identity of his own. This leads me to reflect how much of world drama concerns people pretending to be what they aren’t. Hamlet feigns madness; the noble King of Thebes is an incestuous patricide; Kent pretends to be a serving-man, Edgar to be a mad beggar, In Too True to Be Good (which I saw last week in Clifford’s excellent production) nobody is what he seems – the humble Private Meek is in fact the military commander, while the commander himself is a frustrated water-colourist; the confidence trickster is a priest; his henchwoman poses first as a nurse and then as a countess. Throughout Shaw, burglars turn out to be philosophers, and villainous exploiters turn out to be heroes; even Saint Joan dresses up as a man. Mistaken identity is not only what the craft of acting is all about; it is what much Of drama is all about. An actor is a man who pretends to be someone who is usually pretending to be someone else.

November 16, 1975

Kenneth Tynan. The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan

You and Other People – Drama and Character

…the distinction we live with each day remains simply that between oneself and other people. And the primordial group of other people – our family  – makes up the original cast of characters in the drama of life, a drama that we keep on reviving later with more and more people cast for the same few parts. As for oneself, one is the invisible man. One cannot see oneself, one can only see those with whom one has chosen to be identified.

The raw material of character, then, is not very raw after all. It has already been worked over. It has already been turned into a kind of art: the art of fantasy. Life is a double fiction. We do not see others so much as certain substitutions for others. We do not see ourselves so much as others with whom we are identified. When Plato said we see, not life, but shadows of life flickering in the firelight on the wall of a cave, he was an optimist. Or perhaps he made allowances for the extraordinary distortions and suppressions of shadow play.

Eric Bentley. The Life of the Drama
From chapter 2, Character

Context Collapse

As social beings, we adapt our communication to the situation at hand — the “context”.

If you’re a 25 year old student attending University, then you probably talk about different topics, use a different vocabulary, phrase yourself differently and in general behave differently in these situations:

  • A thanksgiving dinner with your parents, siblings and grandparents.
  • A pub-crawl with friends your own age that you study with.
  • A private conversation with a small handful of close friends of yours.
  • A political meeting discussing policy in a political party you’re a member of.
  • Colleagues and/or bosses that you talk to during your part-time job.

Context collapse is what happens when all these widely different social contexts all collide.

If you share something on Facebook with the default “Friends” setting, then you’re effectively sharing it with ALL of the groups above and more. Your different contexts have collapsed and become one; and you might find that you don’t have a lot to say that you’d really like to share with ALL of these people.

Quora

Brandon Cronenberg Interview – NYTIMES

You said interviews for the press tour of your first movie inspired this one.

When you’re traveling with a film for the first time, it’s incredibly surreal. You are building this persona and performing this version of yourself that becomes a media self that has its own weird life without you.

What’s the relationship between you right now talking to me and who you are?

An interview is an incredibly artificial and strange interaction. I don’t mind interviews, but obviously neither of us are behaving like people right now. We wouldn’t be talking like this if we met at a bar. We’re performing ourselves. On the other hand, I don’t believe that beneath the surface you can ever get to the point where you ever actually are yourself. There’s an internal performance that we all engage with in a day-to-day way and a performance for other people. Neither are real. It’s all performance.

If life is all performance, does that mean it’s less about searching for who you are than discovering the character that fits?

I think so. I think we’re constantly building ourselves, and the issue is who we are reflexively can be out of sync with our self-perception — and who we are is very much decided by our environment and outside forces.

Brandon Cronenberg Will Now Perform an Interview
The director of the provocative horror film “Possessor Uncut” argues that none of us are ever truly ourselves: “There’s an internal performance that we all engage with.”
Jason Zinoman
NYTIMES

Tom Wolfe’s White Suit

Wolfe adopted wearing a white suit as a trademark in 1962. He bought his first white suit, planning to wear it in the summer, in the style of Southern gentlemen. He found that the suit he’d bought was too heavy for summer use, so he wore it in winter, which created a sensation. At the time, white suits were supposed to be reserved for summer wear. Wolfe maintained this as a trademark. He sometimes accompanied it with a white tie, white homburg hat, and two-tone spectator shoes. Wolfe said that the outfit disarmed the people he observed, making him, in their eyes, “a man from Mars, the man who didn’t know anything and was eager to know.”

Wikipedia

Werner Herzog Listens to Paul F Tompkins’ Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog’s Yelp Review for Trader Joe’s on Hyperion:

Madness reigns. The first challenge your soul must endure is the parking lot. You wait with your vehicle half blocking traffic, creating a perfect circular vortex of anger that encompasses the street and the entrance to the store. Once you attain access to the lot, you discover that this is a false achievement; other motorists stop and start with no apparent thought or plan— turns once begun are quickly abandoned, the drivers seemingly immune to geometry. At last a space opens up, but the price is having to enter the store. Inside, human beings scramble like beetles whose rock has been upended. Though the aisles are wide it is impossible to avoid physical contact with your fellow shoppers. It is a grotesque parody of the bazaar at Marrakech, as if dumb animals had been granted only the amount of sentience required to mock humanity. The aisles are not labeled. You must search for every item. The constant walking up and down causes a numbness that borders on profound despair. Your conscious mind registers merely annoyance, impatience. But on a cellular level, your body cries out in weariness. The fatigue you feel is a warning: millions of years of evolution trying to save you from becoming mired in the tar, from sinking into the warm blackness and ultimately being reclaimed by the earth itself.

Be sure to get the dark chocolate peanut butter cups, they are right by the register.

via Reddit

See also – Josh Gad Impersonates Jenifer Lewis on set of The Wedding Ringer

Personality/Temperament, Situation and Mind

SPIEGEL: On the board, Mischel drew three circles. The first represented personality – your traits, your temperament. Then he drew a second circle.

MISCHEL: Here are the situations, OK?

SPIEGEL: But in between the two, Mischel drew a third circle. This, he said, poking the board, is your mind – that wonderful, curious thing that houses all kinds of invisible stuff.

MISCHEL: Like your expectations, your stable expectations about what happens if you do certain things. It has entered your way of construing or seeing or framing or depicting different situations. So when I’m in a large group, do I feel terrified because it’s a scary situation? Or when I’m in a large group, do I see it as a challenge because here’s an opportunity to really reach a lot of people?

SPIEGEL: All this stuff in your mind – these beliefs, assumptions, expectations that you’ve gotten from your friends, your family, your culture – those things, Mischel explained, are the filter through which you see the world. Your mind stands between who you are, your personality and whatever situation you’re in and profoundly influences how your brain interprets the world around it. Those beliefs, expectations, assumptions – they direct what your mind pays attention to quite literally – even what it physically sees in a situation and how it feels about what it sees.

And so when the stuff inside the mind changes, people change. They begin to interpret their situations differently or themselves differently, and so situations act on them differently.

MISCHEL: People can use their wonderful brains to think differently about situations, to reframe them, to reconstrue them, to even reconstrue themselves.

SPIEGEL: This is why Mischel sees people as fundamentally flexible. He tells me that is the single most important thing that he has stood for in his whole professional life.

MISCHEL: What my life has been about is in showing the potential for human beings to not be the victims of their biographies – not their biological biographies, not their social biographies – and to show, in great detail, the many ways in which people can change what they become and how they think.

The Personality Myth, Invisibilia