In a previous life

they taught me so much

I used to spend my time playing dress up in high schools. I have left this work behind. The work is still teaching me.

I would tell the students

Every play is simply a set of rules for a game to be played by the people on stage so the audience wins.

And

Every mask is a set of rules that you can either play with or in opposition to so that you, the mask, your partners on stage and the people watching can all have a good time.

*A good time?*

*Yes. Would you prefer famine?*

Here is an example of a play we used to do. It was called the mask fashion show.

Masks are interesting. Especially when I think of "Staged Authenticity" - this is an idea I'm chipping away at here...

Masks are incredible artifacts of transformation. As objects we hide behind them physically. Once there, we have a felt sense of safety, our guard drops and people see us with less edifice and pretense.

The authentic emerges through the performance tool. This is the amazing paradox offered by masks: by covering up who we are, who we are emerges more freely.

The clown's red nose is known as the hardest mask to master. It’s the smallest. It hides the least and reveals the most. It is the mask we learn last. Final stage. It is the mask where we can share our humility, our embarrassment, our imperfection, our glorious humanity and know that we are loved.

Masks however, allow us to hide at first. With a felt sense of being 'hidden', we feel much more free to be physically, emotionally and impulsively expressive.

We used to take the masks out into the school. We would interrupt tests. Take over the library. We would die spectacularly on tables in Classrooms. Students would steal the teachers chalk and write all over the board. It was a feast of fools. I have always loved the idea that all the worlds' a stage.

If all the world's a stage and life's a play that would mean that life is a game. I can live with this as a premise. And. Let's make it an infinite game. The more who can play and win and continue to play, the better for all of us.

The rest? That's just setting up conditions that make it so we enjoy playing together.

What costumes do you wear for the games you play?

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One Derful Thing

Batteries not included.

Find as many ways as possible to use the sentence “Batteries not included” today. Keep track of how may times you say it. Post in the comments how many times you manage to do this. The winner gets a postcard mailed to them in the mail. I will be the one mailing the postcard. So. That’s the prize. Go.

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