December 4, 2017 at 7:25 pm #27635AddisonParticipant
This post is a long time coming, this “life” thing always seems to get in the way whenever I sit down to put thoughts down recently. And I realize this is going to seem like an OSDM spin, but like @bcbishop says, we’re here because of them, so interpreting their actions coupled with how it relates to us in a positive light tends to put a little shine the turd, so to speak.
A few days ago, we were talking about the leaked ritual audio, and I wanted to talk about this quote: “Who you all once were will die tonight. People will look at your bodies and remember you by another name. Smile at them. And nod. Act the part of who they remember you being, but know you are not that person. That person died here, tonight. Tonight, you are somebody new.”
That quote, the idea of dying and being reborn someone new despite having the same outward appearance.. isn’t that what embodying a character is? It’s describing acting.
This ritual supposedly happened during rehearsals for The Tension Experience. Though actors whom excel in immersive theater have some crossover between shows, or may be known outside these shows, for 99% of us, everyone in The Tension Experience: Ascension was a brand new person. Coming out of our experiences with Ascension, many of us had written about how it was impossible to tell if anyone was acting or if that was who they actually were.
We didn’t know anyone’s life outside of the experience. For example: Damien wasn’t Damien, he was Simon. The outside world and Damien as a person didn’t exist to us nor Simon, as it was unseen. We could speculate, but it was ultimately unknown. All we knew was what we experienced – his personality was that of Simon’s, his history was that of Simon’s, everything about this man we knew as Simon was entirely Simon. For us, the audience, the man named Damien was non-existent, it was only Simon. For Damien, the man named Damien died as soon as he slicked his hair and put on his suspenders.
We looked at Damien and remembered Simon. We came back, and he was still Simon. He may have not smiled, or nodded, but it didn’t matter – the man in front of us was Simon and had always been. And the same goes for everyone else in that building.
And now, even though Simon’s gone, more or less everyone is gone, it doesn’t mean that those people don’t still exist somewhere within everyone that once embodied them. In fact, Sabrina even wrote about how Addison Barrow/GK2/Oversser would always be a part of her.
The only reason we know these people as anyone other than their Tension personas is because we looked. To everyone else, those not in the community, the only people that exist are the people they met inside those walls.
This ties into a the central theme of the book “One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand” by an Italian writer Luigi Pirandello. Wikipedia link: One, No One, One Hundred Thousand
The important takeaway from this – “Vitangelo discovers by way of a completely irrelevant question that his wife poses to him that everyone he knows, everyone he has ever met, has constructed a Vitangelo persona in their own imagination and that none of these personas corresponds to the image of Vitangelo that he himself has constructed and believes himself to be. The reader is immediately immersed in a cruel game of falsifiying projections, mirroring the reality of social existence itself, which imperiously dictate their rules.”
So now, what’s all this about “Pledging our desire for their sacrifice and freedom.”
I still think this phrase is to be interpreted as “I pledge my desire for their sacrifice and [our] freedom.” The sacrifice, in this case, is the actors and actresses sacrificing their normal lives. Sacrificing their normal lives so that we might achieve “Freedom.”
And to me, I think that’s what this is all about. The System was all about confronting our flaws, discovering how to better ourselves, and taking steps to change for the better – whether becoming more open minded to new foods, starting to understand how to find happiness, basically requiring us to be vulnerable and own it. But after owning that vulnerability, it was no longer a vulnerability, but just another aspect of our lives. It was a shackle removed, a step closer to freedom.
If we are to believe that The System was used to prepare us for what lies in wait for just over a week and a half from now, we’ll likely be making ourselves much more vulnerable.
And if the OSDM’s fire is still “burning away that which we are not,” we’ll no doubt be coming out of Anointment with new vulnerabilities confronted and owned, and a new found sense of freedom because of it.
December 4, 2017 at 8:29 pm #27636LiaParticipant
This might be my favorite interpretation of the pledge quote. It feels like there are a few different “theys” that keep popping up here and there, but I’ve never considered the actors. Pledging our desire is essentially another way of saying “winding the clock.”
December 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm #27637
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