All of life is a performance.
When you get up in the morning, you enter the stage and you don’t exit the stage until you go to bed at night. All day long, you are in front of the audience, both your admirers and critics. And just to keep things interesting, it is always improvisation. There is no director, no stage manager, no script. We each must seek our motivations and speak in character.
As with all performance, you will have some “on” days and you will have some days when you are really off, days when you’ll want to hide backstage and not re-emerge until the next show. You will sustain injury and heartbreak. You will experience an entire change of cast. But the show must go on.
If you act out of character, or refuse to appear, you may be boo’d or deserted by your fans. Critics will wonder aloud what happened to your mojo.
When the performance is over, when the show finally closes, your obituary is your review. The friends and the critics will finally weigh in on what they thought of you. Sadly, you will not get to read these reviews. In fact, while the performance is running, you may never know for sure what anybody thinks. But you must perform anyway.
Because all of life is a performance.
[With a tip of the hat to Erving Goffman. I’ve not read The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, and can only say that this piece was born of my own experience. But I did read Asylums in college and was deeply impressed.]