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Character Work - Intensifying Yourself for the Sake of Art

November 25, 2017

I think it is important for me to begin this blog post with a very important disclaimer: Before you decide to intensify anything for the sake of art, you have to ask yourself if it is worth it.


Many great artists of our time make a choice - conscious or not - to dive deep into a facet of the human experience, or rather they dive into a hole of the human psyche, and when they come back to the surface, they scrape out every bit of experience they can to regurgitate it into art. Artists do this because the only way to truly understand something completely is to test it in the world, to spit it out and see what the mirror of society throws back at you. In some cases, this can be beautiful and inspiring. In other cases, it can be really concerning and uncomfortable for people. If artists are the explorer's of the human experience frontier, there is no guarantee that everything they find will be a delightful token to place on a middle class family's coffee table.


Human nature is wonderfully chaotic - and I don't intend to use the word "wonderfully" in its typically colorful fashion, either. We're talking the type of wonder that causes you to actively halt your entire world view because a new piece of logic has been introduced that may in fact contradict the entire structure you've built to define the world around you. This uncomfortable sense of ambiguity causes you to "wonder" what else has been viewed in an improper light. This can lead to often negatively viewed emotions such as embarrassment, anger, anxiety, etc.


In fact, there are many works of art that at the time of their creation were considered to be hellish in nature, and were locked away in hopes that it would never reach the surface and disrupt the social narrative that was in place at the time. Over the years, these works of art would in fact surface and become extraordinarily important. These artists live in infamy long after their deaths.


People enjoy killing the messenger when they don't like the message that is being received. People are only willing to play nice once the information has had time to settle and become neutralized. 


Now that you've been warned, let's ask the tough questions. Read the following questions with the idea in your head that you are building a character that exists beside yourself:


1. How far are you willing to go?