I recently saw a stage actress I know in an episode of a popular TV series. This was a new experience for me. I’ve watched any number of writer friends hold forth on talk shows, and I’ve even tuned into David Letterman to see a band whose members I know quite well. But all those people were being themselves, more or less, whereas my actress friend was pretending to be someone else. Of course she was in one sense wholly herself (I knew her smile in an instant/I knew the curve of her face), and the part she played drew deeply on her familiar energy. Nor was she made up in any deceptive way: she looked like the person I know. Yet some uncanny transformation had nonetheless taken place, and I found myself to be more than a little bit disoriented as I watched her on the screen….
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