The perspective I took was that being labeled as a celebrity was a challenge to the self. Celebrity stories provided a gateway to a discussion of how any of us respond to being labeled. Here is an excerpt from the speech -
“For celebrity, the transition from a taken for granted belonging and solidarity with others to being separated as famous is an experiential turning point in the self.” (from David Giles Illusions of Immortality). So too in our own lives, any event may become an experiential turning point in the self. The Alexander Technique is designed to help us navigate those turning points with authenticity, cooperating with an evolving self.
“[One celebrity […} offered that, in the face of [the media attention], ‘You constantly have to reassess who you are, take [the fame] off of you and make sure you are centered as a person.”
In actor training, I use the Alexander Technique to help actors sustain the illusion of truth in imaginary circumstance. When a moment onstage is inauthentic, it is accompanied – in the coordination of the actors - by the characteristic overwork between head and spine. And, since acting imitates life, the quality of our coordination in our everyman/everywoman moments also reveals to self and others…our truth. The Alexander Technique turns out to be a powerful tool in cooperating with the evolving truth of ourselves.
The genius of the Alexander Technique, in addition to recognizing the importance of the head/spine relationship as monitor and preserver of coordination of self, is that it recognizes that knowing what we don’t want is, by itself, ineffective, in recovering an effective Use of our Self.…… We need to know what we do want – to actively research our desires - and to actively/volitionally invite ourselves to organize in service of those desires. This return to conscious cooperation provides us with a replacement to what we may perceive as inauthentic….
The endowment of celebrity and its challenges to authentic communication is serving as an example of any interaction that causes DISCONTENT.
Both previous speakers in the series, Odai Johnson and Ruby Blondell had referred to the adornments of celebrity – and I decided to give everyone an adornment – bow ties. At the end of the evening we used the bowties to “celebritize” ourselves.
“The moment of being set apart, of being labeled in either everyday or multi-media celebrity, is a challenge to the self – and the moment offers a choice to be a victim of the label, or to respond to the perception as a pioneer, coordinating to our own truth in the pursuit of our desires.”