I love Halloween. Let me rephrase.
I am obsessed with Halloween.
For the entire month of October my heart beats just a bit faster and I have an extra dose of adrenaline rapidly pulsing through out my body. Four full weeks of orange lights, fake spider webs, corn mazes, pumpkin shaped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, plus watching “Hocus Pocus” and “Halloweentown” as many times as physically possible. And finally, after the anticipation is no longer containable, the entire Holiday season culminates into one celebratory night. A night where I can abandon myself to the wayside for a few hours and be someone completely different; someone that I would never get to be in the real world. Yet, this is what fascinates me. Why do we have so much fun being someone else? But perhaps there is no harm, it's only once a year after all.
But it's not for me, not necessarily. I'm also an actor. I put on a costume and pretend to be someone else all the time. In fact, I do it professionally. I have a college degree in it. For four years I studied how to become another person and be that person so well that I could be paid for it. And I love it! It's my passion; my vocation.
Now, don't get me wrong. Acting is an incredible profession. One that holds a mirror to society so that they may critique what they see and be impacted by it. But this art form also holds a mirror to the practitioner. An actor is in their most vulnerable state while they are performing and there is no telling what an actor may see in that mirror, or how they will respond. Sometimes, an actor may realize some goodness in them that they've never seen before, or recognize a beneficial piece of information that positively impacts themselves and their relationships with others; perhaps even with God. But other times, an actor will stumble upon something about themselves they don't like. Something that scares them, or disgusts them, or they'll see their reflection and not recognize themselves.
So what do we do? What do I do--whether in the art form or outside of it? What do I do when I look in the mirror and don't like what I see?
I dress up. I put on a mask and then put on a show. How could I not?! I've had so much practice! Not only have I passionately done so every October since birth, but now I do it for a living. Of course, my natural reaction is to, simply, be somebody else.
And this person/mask changes as my life changes. Take a look at my resume:
The Perfect Christian A kid with a perfect family. A kid who didn't care about being bullied. A sexually experienced young adult. A sexually innocent young adult. A straight-A student. A person who is confident. A person who believes in themselves. A person who accepts their faults. A person who never struggles with shame or guilt. An optimist. A pessimist. And everything inbetween.
Eventually I found myself with enough masks to fill every haunted house in the nation. But while I gasped for air behind my heavy disguises, I was reminded of a song:
“Wonderful, beautiful, is what you see when you look at me. You're turning the tattered fabric of my life into a perfect tapestry. I want to be me.
"You see the real me. Hiding in my skin. Broken from within. Unveil me, completely. I'm loosening my grasp, there's no need to mask my frailty. Because you see the real me.” -The Real Me, Natalie Grant.
We are beautifully and wonderfully made! We are designed by the creator as artistic masterpieces! And I try to remind myself of this daily, as I make my way through insecurities, doubt, fear, and desperation. Those are very real things; things that make me dig back through my trash can to find a mask to wear. I am tempted to put it on when I meet new people, audition for a show, feel convicted at church, try on a piece of clothing that doesn't fit, or really any time I pretend to be doing better than I actually am. And though I may feel comfort for a moment or two, I soon realize that I don't recognize the person in the mirror. And with the help of God, and an unbelievable set of friends who love every inch of imperfect on my body, I find the courage to remove the mask and toss it back in the trash.
So, by all means, dress up Batman this Halloween. Then, be 100%, completely, wonderfully, beautifully YOU for the other 364 days.
Tim Beeckman Davis is an actor/writer/director who just recently moved from Los Angeles to The Twin Cities in Minnesota. He has an avid passion for creating in the image of the Creator and is pursuing a career in Musical Theatre. After falling in love with writing during his time at Azusa Pacific University, where his first One Act was produced, Tim is proud to be finishing up his first full length play! His mission is to spread Joy and Love to the world. Isaiah 6:8
To stay up to date with Tim's adventures, visit http://thevoyagerjournal.wix.com/the-voyager