From the outside in, it is always easy to assume how one is doing. I have had a busy and blessed year so far. I have an incredible husband, loving family and mighty friends. But all of that being said, the past few years have been some of the hardest years in my personal life.
In our careers, as actors, we see each other at events and always ask “How are you? What are you doing?” People want the answer to the first question to be “I’m GREAT!” As for the second question…well, it’s sometimes genuine or loaded with a deeper subtext. I feel we tend to tell each other “I’m GREAT!” because that is easier, because that is what we may feel is expected, or needed…
I have very few really close friends, those I would tell anything to. This is my choice, since, as an Actor, so much of our lives are public. I am blessed to have a huge group of good friends, who I talk to, play with and love dearly. And then there is the amazing Theatre and Film community full of people I know and admire.
But I wanted to post because I was recently asked “how are you?” Before I quickly responded with “I’m GREAT!” I looked at them a moment and asked “Do you want the truth?”…they said they did and I started to cry, and I started to share, and I felt free.
This was not one of my closest friends, or even a friend I see often, this is someone in my life, who in that moment, really did want to know how I was. It is moments like these that make me think, and feel. It is moments like these that remind me, when we are truthful with our emotions, we experience an amazing freedom.
I know how easy it is to put on that mask, to smile and nod and move forward in life. But if we all took off our masks, never assumed, and let go…I imagine us all exhaling for the first time, together.
So, I really want to know…How are you?
Great post, my love!
This is a daily struggle. I find it tough with my non-theater/film friends. They always expect me to be “on”, “funny” and “bright”. I sometimes feel like a dancing monkey.
We give ourselves fully so much, to the characters and the script, that I find it difficult to do with friends. It can be easier to say, “I’m great”. Move to the next moment and keep living.
The lesson is, open up, find moments to free yourself. Ask others how they really are, and really connect.
Love you boo!
I appreciate this, Angela. In my other life as a musician, in my twenties, long ago, during a particularly rough stretch, I wrote a song “common courtesy”. One of the verses went:
When you say “Hello, how are you?”
I wonder, should I answer true?
My back is broken and I’m on my knees
I didn’t mean to overstep the boundaries
Of your gracious formalities
But, my back is broken and I’m on my knees
And I can’t concentrate anymore
Thanks for sharing.
You are the most amazing woman…truly!