Sure. And we all play our parts. Yet, how much of what we "perform," is written for us as opposed to by us?
Even when we think we are the playwright, at least of our own scenes, we might not always be. Our conditioning, our biases, our education and training or lack thereof, our parental instruction or lack thereof, our romantic and platonic relationships with others, or lack thereof, all have a hand in what and how we perform.
Our experiences and influences ghost write so much of our performances, beyond any higher power -- if that is your belief -- or fate or destiny, or DNA. Even our ambitions and goal choices, our decision making which our egos convince us we can and should take credit for are, to varying degrees, dictated for us.
Many may disagree with this and the one caveat I will offer is this, if you are consciously and consistently aware of what I am suggesting and take it to be true, you can choose to overcome it. To do so, however, you have to do more than accept it, you have be aware of it as it happens and work against it, actively choose to go in another direction and "write your own script or play" on the fly. Because the second you don't, even if you know these things are true and accept them and tell yourself you will not allow them to possess the power over you they do over others, if you for one moment divert your attention to other things, the ghost writers are back in control.
In my mind, this is the real matrix, as psychologists have said or theorists maybe, have described the "uploading" phase of life between birth and about age 7 or 8. This is the formative timeframe where, for children the imagination does most of the writing for them as they absorb the physical world and receive instruction from mom and dad about their actions, language, and societal structure. From the point a child's education surpasses their imagination in -- if we think of the child as a vase or a vessel -- the moment the learned content fills more of the vessel than the imagination or whatever consciousness we enter the world with, the self ceases to be the author if its own destiny.
So freedom, I believe, is only wrested back when we make the active choice to see the world as it is, imagine in our own minds how it could or should be, and actively decide to write that new or other world into existence and then play our parts out to achieve it.
I'll go one step further, and try to do it briefly. But I think it is important to note, that our "performances," even when we take back authorship from external forces such as fate or religion, parents or teachers, heredity and society, we still have the choice to hand over ghost writing permission to other people. The second we interact with anyone, their influences and experiences have the potential to begin to dictate our behavior as we respond, as actors, to their performances.
When alone on stage, our monologues reign supreme. Our blocking and sets and lighting, etc., is all our own. When we're no longer alone on stage, especially in an ensemble, there is so much potential to be sucked in to the other players' storylines. And a free thinker might say here, yes, that is what life is all about. And it is, to the free thinker. But how many people "fall into" bad relationships or get "sucked into" other people's drama? Honestly, some actors are just messy and incapable of writing and performing their own play so they lean on others, and again, if this is a conscious and informed decision it can be OK. It might even be temporary as through such honesty and self awareness the actor might grow and learn and gain independence. But often it is not a conscious or informed decision and the actor remains trapped in his or her own codependence, conscripted to a supporting role yet in truth being supported all the while by larger, more capable characters/actors.
Others may not care to write or have control or even input and be content to play their roles, serve their function, carve out their corner of the stage and p
laces within the story and that is also OK. I would hope for their sake this stems form gaining the awareness that their own experiences and influences may have brought them into this line of thinking and performing and understand they could change if they wished, albeit through hard work and dedication. But for many, contentedness is a conscious choice and that ought to be respected, in my opinion.
For those who just always seem to go along to get along and crash haphazardly on stage into the other actors, the other scenes, their lives might present more as a night at the improv rather than a cohesive stage play, but again, this is OK if it is their own decision.
My whole purpose in writing this is to bring the opportunity of self awareness and real consciousness to those who might not posses it, or may have had it and then surrendered it either willfully or unnoticed over time.
And there can be cases made against everything I have said here and I hope there will for at least that shows some actors are capable of thinking for themselves, I just hope those cases are strong and rooted in the self and not the authorship of their conditioning, their religious, familial, societal instruction.
Acting, after all, is a difficult craft one never truly masters because there is always another way to play it, a bigger risk to be taken, a better way to prepare, and there is never a safety net, save perhaps for our fellow actors.
So, if all the world's a stage and the curtain is always up, and the show must and will always carry on, I only ask, no, insist, that you consider the script. And if at any time it or your fellow actors or the scene itself no longer suits you, you do possess the power and will cultivate the freedom to begin to write your own performance. You need only choose to do so, and then do it before the curtain falls.