Are we all actors?

“The uniqueness of self cannot be pigeonholed! The self is always changing, always in transit and it’s preposterous to think it can be nailed down by a definition. Only small minds would think so.” Moranna from An Audience of Chairs by Joan Clark.

The character of Moranna echoes my sentiments. Yet, the concept of self is one of the most fundamental concepts of sociology. Goffman aptly described the concept of self as a sense of who one is. He didn’t directly state whether self is always changing or not,  instead, he described how we have an on and off stage persona. Does that mean we are always acting when people are watching? Are we always giving a performance? Are we all actors in our own right? (oh how wonderfully dramatic!)

While everyone has varying viewpoints about this concept, I don’t believe that all of us are always acting in front of others. Instead, I believe that we choose to hide some of the aspects of our personality to portray a more favorable image of ourselves. Is that called acting?

Sure, there are people who portray a completely different image from what they are but we don’t call them normal people we call them reality stars;)

What do you think?

8 thoughts on “Are we all actors?

  1. I think we all act the way that we believe we should within our society. In life we all play different roles and we become good at “acting” those out. At work you act the role as the hard working employee and keep many aspects of your personal life private. At home we are a daughter, mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, fiancee. We learn how to fit into each role and although sometimes we want to maybe run down the street screaming. We know that society would say that is crazy. Therefore we cannot do that.

    I think we all have a natural instinct that has been tamed through society and we try our best to act that we fit in.

    • hahhhah I would love to run down the street screaming but that would probably result in a referral to the mental asylum!
      But is keeping some of the aspects of our personality private, really acting?

  2. Yep, we’re all actors! Dramatic as it may be, we all play set roles, trying to conform as best as we can to societal expectations! You know, Sartre summed it up by saying, “the barman imitates the barman.” Nice, right?

    • Do we all try to conform? Isn’t that a bit of an over generalization? But I guess most people do look at it from that point of view.
      There are people who try to break the mold but I suppose they could be trying to fit into the ‘different’ mold without admitting to it?
      I like the quote you used!

  3. In certain situations we are all guilty of “acting” but I believe there are those of us that are very much what you see is what you get. There are certain parts of my own personality that I suppress, but that is because I do not find them attractive or favorable so I work everyday to remove them completely from my very being.

    During job interviews we are all actors. We all know that jobs look for certain types of people, and we will all act like that type of person until the interview is over. When we are young and in front of our guardians, we act like the perfect little angel who would never do anything to embarrass or disgrace our parents. (knowing good and well that we just snuck back in thru our bedroom windows, lol) Basically there will always be aspects of our lives where we cannot completely be ourselves.

    What I do is pretty much be myself unless something very important requires me to be someone else. At work I am me. At home I am me. With my kids I’m mommy and I’m a great actor in front of them because I don’t want them to pick up my bad habits. But if my son asks me a question I always answer with honesty. If a bad habit is revealed I tell him it’s wrong and why it’s wrong. Then he will usually proceed to tell me that I need to stop doing it. LOL.

    My boyfriend is a good example of a person that doesn’t know how to act. He is just him in every situation. Take it or leave it. Sometimes I swear I can’t stand him, but I love him to death. I like the fact that he is just himself and doesn’t know how to be anybody else. I wish more of us were like that….

    • hahha when I have kids I am going to tell them, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That’s some sound parenting advice from That 70s show!

      Your son is adorable!

      And I too wish that more people would stop acting!

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