A short about acting, influenced (heavily) by the work of Chuck Palahniuk.
The lights dim, and the hundred faceless audience members paying your bills disappear. You say your line, the perfect thought that someone else put into your head, a sentence or two of channelled life, an entire person's essence, that you need to play through, the same way, over and over.
The same lie, every day.
A lie that people pay for.
An expected con.
The conflict unfolds, the entire situation unbelievable, and yet it is absorbed by the willing audience as if it were reality. You fight aliens. Save the world, only to go back to your shitty day job. Life goes on. Working small venues, none of this is anyone's real career. Car salesmen, accountants, the kind of people so mind-numbingly average that they should only exist as census records, enter stage right and become superheroes.
Enter stage left and become a ladies' man.
Enter stage right and become alive.
Most people never get the chance to be someone else. The experience belongs only to actors and con men. Most people will never kill a man. Most people will live without event. The anomalies, the exciting lives, are what actors grow an shed like a snake's molted skin. Every new life is a new adventure.
You come to the conclusion, the 'happily ever after' that leaves a warm spot in the audience's stomach. You complete the character's destiny, you retire old and happy, but inside, there's still an emptiness. You yearn for a life of your own, you try to excite yourself. Every week that nothing happens, you fall deeper into your emptiness and grow more dependent on your fake lives, the masks that you'll shed every evening, the lives you'll leave behind. You drink.
The bottle makes it all easier, it fills the empty spot for a while, but you just dig yourself deeper.
Enter stage right, and become an addict.
You snap. one night, you stumble on to the stage and slur the wrong lines, fuck it, and you projectile vomit all over the front row. You're fired. You join a program.
"Hello, I'm everybody, and I'm and alcoholic" becomes your next line.
Drunk, in the bathroom, you lie in the shower, water red from punching out the mirror, and a bottle of sleeping pills becomes your best friend.
"Goodbye, fuckers" becomes your next line.