States of Being, Roles you Take

This page is about gathering thoughts about the different roles and states of being that performers and audience can take/have – and the kind of relationship that this creates towards each other.

Viewer / Spectator / Witness / Experiencer / Co-Author / Judge / … (please add to this list of all the roles usually attributed to ‘audience’)

Actor /Performer / Agent / Initiator/ … (please add to this list of roles usually attributed to ‘performers’)

Being present – Is there a role I can take that oscillates freely between all the above and makes the choice of how I am present less binary? (Participant?)

Quotes from What IIIF2019:

For the first part of the afternoon, I was a viewer. It was such a relief to be there and just to hear. I was not PERFORMING. I was as attentive as a performer, watching for things, surprise and mystery.

There’s a difference between performing as a verb (doing it) and performance as a noun (something that happens): Someone can watch me as a performance even if I am not performing

To just be, and be present, moment to moment, in its intrinsic value, and to be witnessed.

What are you doing this for? for an audience, for the collective, for yourself, for your practice, to think better, to feel better, to feel worse? (I am not here to entertain, or am I ?)
If they don’t laugh, am I doing my job?

In performance, I try to be completely OPEN and ATTENTIVE to everything (my internal world, other performers, my surroundings and the relationships between all these things evolving moment by moment, on so many levels).
In principle, that would be a great state for real life as well, but to be honest, in real life I really cherish the possibility to CLOSE MYSELF OFF and just have a partial attention for things, eat food, stroke the cat. (and how lovely, the possibility to be NOT ATTENTIVE AT ALL, just day-dreaming 😀 yeah!)
So, notwithstanding all philosophical and artistic ideas about blurring the borders between reality and performance, there is certainly a big difference for me between the state of being ‘in performance’ and being in ‘real life’.

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