Family Ties

Family Ties

when the red light
on the camera
turns off
the character and actor
on the soundstage
taking
giving
or asking
for direction
becomes
a little bit 
more
real

more real
but not as real
as when he is
alone
with his thoughts
and ideas and memories
his anxieties
his uncertainties and failures
alone
on a train
a plane
standing in line
waiting in an office
stuck in traffic or driving home
or lying awake
in some bed
somewhere

when he's alone
with nothing more
than what he is
that is when
the actor
is truly himself
knowing
and feeling
what it is
to be real
not some character
in some gooey sitcom
acting affectedly
for some cheap
effect

some actors
will never be more
than the ones 
pretending
for effect and affect
some actors
will never have
dialogue of their own
having never spent 
enough
time 
alone
feeling
learning
understanding
what it is to be real
to be left with nothing
but your goddamned self
for long enough to know
what it is

he'll remain
an actor of affect
for effect
for how can he pass
for being real
without ever
knowing it?

he can't
that's why
when the camera goes on
we know
the whole performance
is so goddamned phony
whatever the flimsy character
written to be sharp
but always wholesome at heart
and the acting
so transparent
so inauthentic
nothing but the affect
for cheap effect
which is all
he has 
to offer

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