Heroes & Monsters

It’s exhilarating and beautiful to see one’s dreams slowly becoming a reality. Little hints you’re heading in a direction where success has travelled through; a package for the next big blockbuster movie delivered to the special effects studio you happen to be working at that day, a plaster cast of your head made in a room surrounded by the many moulded faces of heroes and villains you’ve grown to love over the years, hanging on the wall with closed plaster-cast eyes, silently welcoming you to the club, further synchronicities that suggest you’re being weaved and threaded to a larger storyline at precisely the right time and place. 

It’s humbling. 

And there’s very little one can say and do other than gratitude for the unfolding events, thankful for the hard work I put in, thankful for a universe that has guided the way, and terrified in how it all works, unsure wether you’re heading in a direction to be celebrated or hated. 

It is a weight difficult to comprehend. For me to get here, at precisely the right time, it seems I had to be there, in the wilderness, where I left potential destruction in my wake. For me to return home, I had to burn down everything, with a match lit by the hand of a timely puppet master. 

Have I accidentally become a monster in another person’s story? 

Does it even matter?  

I can’t help but understand reality through the lens of a storyteller. 

That’s not a bad thing. After all, we are surrounded by layers upon layers of storylines tangled like a bowl of spaghetti. 

There’s the tale you have in your skull which you can’t help but carry wherever you go, the ones in the heads of the people near you, all the people you know dotted around the World, as well as all the strangers, passersby that fill the environment you visit, and every clickbait headlines and gossip articles that fill your television, laptop and phone screens. 

If every person is equally alive as you (and by that I mean, that they’re not just a projection of your subconscious or virtual renderings in your personal simulation), then each individual is as complex as you, and that makes the World a fascinating place to explore.

I’ve done a deep dive into my self, unearthing various components of my being which has simultaneously alarmed and empowered me. A dance of light and darkness which should be integrated if one is to get a better picture of the whole. 

The intrusive thoughts I used to get are no longer threatening noise that torment my desire to be a good person, they’re now just options. 

Something wildly inappropriate, edging on dangerous, criminal and terrifying pops up in my mind as if whispered by another to tempt me down another path, and I see all the possible forks down the road. 

It appears I am now capable of listening to these suggestions without judgment, and gratefully brush them aside. Having had a career in stand up comedy, I consider this sinister voice as my inner Joker flirting with chaos, a court jester teasing his King.

The dark thoughts are not there to drown you, they’re there to strengthen you. 

The first punch to the face may hurt, but a dozen more helps you realize you are not only strong, but capable of either taking or evading oncoming blows. 

To defeat a monster, one must think like one, feel what it is like to be in its shoes, and after a few steps, it seems the inevitable lesson is that being an angel or demon is not just a possibility that threads through the hearts of all humans, it is a matter of perspective. 

I see monsters in the crowds. 

Most of them are camouflaged for fear of being shamed, doing their upmost to suppress their infernal desires, others hide it for the opposite reason, so that they can lure prey into their dungeon and devour them, and a select few are secretly villainous to keep the latter monsters at bay from the weak and innocent. 

But who really knows…. That’s maybe a tale I have in my skull which I can’t help but carry wherever I go… Is this a déjà vu?

It’s exhilarating and beautiful to see myself slowly become something other. 

Me but more. 

I’m scared that I have no idea wether I am a protagonist good guy, perhaps an anti-hero, still good but questionable, or if I am edging towards the role of a monster. I see hints and don’t know wether I am to stay away from the temptations of indulging in the madness or if that is what I am meant to become. 

I want the safety and confines of a movie set, but that would be too convenient. Life has become Shakespearean, the whole World’s a stage, on the streets shared by others, inconspicuous to what might lurk underneath people’s masks.

Am I becoming monstrous to make people believe in something bigger than themselves? Or might it just be for the fun of it? 

“Do you believe in Heaven? You don’t? Then let me show you Hell.” 

It won’t take long for them to pray and cry out for a Deus ex machina ha ha.

Little do most people know that “angels” just have a great PR team, and are as ugly and terrifying as demons.

I just haven’t figured out who or what I am yet.

Now that I believe in eternal life, it’s all too very tempting to play the bad guy.

I’m scared that I’ll enjoy it, that I’ll be good at it, that I’ll show no remorse because I know you’re actually safe in a sensationally real play, and then we die, blackout, wake up.

This week, I went to the BAFTAs as my agent had some tickets for her clients and I gratefully accepted, a reason to wear some nice clothes and be in a space and time with other like-minded successful creatives. But despite my decade plus long career in Theatre, TV and cinema, it seems I am still at a loss with what it is; the more I learn about storytelling, metaphysics, consciousness, and other ethereal concepts, the more I get the feeling we could very well be in the Matrix, and if so, I’m not sure if I want to really know the truth. Because if we’re in a movie, my darker side really wants to play. 

It’s funny, television is such a hard thing to get into, and once you’re inside, it doesn’t taste quite as delicious as others might think. It’s a playground for the archetypes to meet under the disguise of disguises. 

Someone once told me they didn’t want to date an actor because we wear masks professionally, we’re so good at it that it’s difficult to know wether we’re authentic or deceitful. The sad fact is that I don’t even know if who I am is the real deal. I experience of cornucopia of different selves. Would you say the mimic octopus is unnatural? Maybe my transformative nature is authentic, maybe I’m not in charge of the reactions. Are the leaves to blame when they turn red in Autumn?

Hard to know,

All the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts.

One eye missing, like Scar, like Koba, like so many… What does it mean?