Monday, March 28, 2011

Acting

Every workday I fein interest in a bunch of things that I'm really not interested in at all. I empathize and sympathize and smile and nod. Some of it is real, and sometimes my mind is somewhere else. I think that I'm a good enough actor that not many people can tell the difference.
Pretending isn't new to any of my current jobs. In every job I have ever had I have had to pretend to be something I am not or to feel something that I do not. Dress codes are a strong example. At many jobs, "extreme hairstyles" are not allowed, and the dress code is split into a dress code for men and a dress code for women, with very specific implied gender roles. I am so strongly opposed to gender roles that I painted my fingernails for my wedding, but I have to comply with the dress code where I work.
I am actually pretty okay with pretending to be something I'm not at work. I suspect that just about everyone does some pretending to do each of our respective jobs. I especially like playing against character, in myself and in others, like Henry Rollins as AJ Weston on Sons of Anarchy. My problem is that changing roles is so difficult. Once we become a lovable character, employers have a hard time imagining us in a different role. The situation is extremely unfortunate because we need to be able to change to be able to grow.
I think we need to change jobs more often. If we don't, we run the risk of becoming what we were only pretending to be.