Who am I? Do I want to be seen this way?

This week in the Performer’s Edge we explored the way we thought we were perceived by the world and discovered how the world perceived us.

We explored our ‘labels’ such as ‘daughter, singer, Australian, Cancerian, well educated, poor, mother’ etc and also used Johari’s Window to explore the things about us we knew the world saw and then to get feedback on what others saw in us. We discussed how this information might be of use to us as performer’s and the need to consider changing those things not working for us when communicating to the audience eg nervousness, tenseness or seeming cheerful in a serious moment.

I know I am seen as confident, calm, able and independent but will that serve me as a performer if I am wanting to create an ethereal, creative and eccentric image. Probably not. Saying this if the former descriptions are part of my authentic self then it may be wiser work to this image, audience may appreciate me more if I am true to my characteristics and personality traits. Something to explore and experiment with.

We looked at artists such as Lady Gaga and Tim Minchin and discussed how they used their behaviour traits, personality, skills etc to create the performance persona. For instance at times Tim uses a certain nervous tension when singing about what may be seen as a potentially offensive subject. Maybe he sees it as a way of excusing his outrageous and offensive thoughts. Lady Gaga keeps a distance and air of mystery by changing her image frequently, often opting to cover or mask her face. Or does that demonstrate a lack of self-image? What are your thoughts?

By delving into ourselves we open up some fantastic opportunities to uncover our potential as a performer. We also start to focus on the audience and our message. This in turn means we can focus away from ourselves and our performance issues. By sitting down and identifying your labels and the information that you do or don’t reveal publically you may also begin to find your UPS (Unique Selling Point). Try outJohari’s window with a few friends or work mates, you will be surprised, I am sure, at what is revealed. Here is a link to an online version of the exercise

So let me know how you go. What artists do you know that have used certain characteristics, ideals, experiences, views and behaviours to define their artistic identity?

Happy delving,

Line