The Starving Artist: Chapter 29: Playing Dress Up

I can remember being the Nonna, a vixen and a giddy school girl. I can remember being a cartoon, a police officer and Robert Goulet. I can remember the hours I spent becoming these people. The way being someone else made me feel. How the outside appearance helped me be the person I needed to play. The way they sit, the way they laugh, the way they listen. They say it’s what’s inside that counts; well, I’ve always been me on the inside, it’s the outside that changes. And in this esthetically motivated world, the outside is what people see. It is the cover that my book is judged by. Each costumed character playing her part in secret. Hiding the scared, lonely girl inside I play dress up at work.

When making my foray out into the regular world, I dress in costume. Or theme at least. Finding comfort in the implied meanings of my ensemble. The black clad beatnik, the about-town party girl and the all business Bee itch. All these fractured part people thriving inside me, their costumes acting as personality catalysts; launching toward a whole identity. Transforming me from self-deprecating to all powerful. I use my suit of armour to deflect my insecurities. Playing dress up, so I can feel tough, strong, silly and all those other things that help me be unlike myself. By developing the ability to hide in plain sight; I am comfortable inside and out. This is the reason I love costumes so much.

There are days when I know I should be a vixen, a cartoon and a police officer. Days when I feel like the fool. And not in the wicked smart Shakespearean way either. Each one of us playing the part we were cast in. How we choose to walk, act and sound are all part of who we are. But we have the chance to change our clothes, change our outlook. Somedays I long to play Cleopatra, Lady M and Marilyn. All tragic and beautiful. Then the next sun rises and I long to be the tortured genius. With lightning strikes and lost documents. The ability to quick change who I am with the ease of a cardigan or pair of shoes. And as I change my clothes these whims are easily washed, wrung and rinsed of their power. Hung in the closet to await a new morning and another characteristic charade. Now, if only I could dress up like a million investor or silent partner. But then again silence has never been my strong suit.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 29: Playing Dress Up

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