Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Friday, October 06, 2006


It occured to me last night that the world has become a mighty fearful place.

I don't mean the type of fear caused by the threat of terrorism, sky-high prices kicking the middle and lower classes in the ass and really terrifying things like no health insurance coverage.

I'm talking about the fear of letting other people see who we are.

Unnecessarily keeping secrets.

Protecting ourselves from illusionary boogie persons (I don't think all boogies are, you know, *men*) and people we are afraid will somehow hurt us -- who are not really in a position to harm us at all.

Governments sometimes help that state of fear.

My parents have never really recovered from the McCarthy era, when there was a fabricated fear fomented in the USA by a paranoid, alcoholic, megalomaniacal senator who looked for would-be communists.

The committee on unamerican activities set a notion in motion that somehow the government could see everything you do and that if you stepped out of line or were even assertive, you could be punished.

Many people raised at that time are afraid of speaking up to authority figures to this day, including doctors. It's very disturbing.

So many people come to my coaching practice afraid. Afraid of ... anything and everything, but mostly of being themselves.

Then when they start expressing who they truly are, they are afraid the people around them won't like them as they really are. Say what?

Meanwhile their partners are afraid their developing artist significant other will be seduced by some terrific looking actor and romantically whisked away to LaLa Land.

First, beauty is as beauty does, and beautiful people have their own problems.

Second, communicating with each other should be a pretty exciting time with all the changes taking place in both people. Alas, many are too frightened to try to deal with this or quit just as the going gets better.

These fears, BTW, pale in comparison to many of the fears I hear expressed by the folks with whom I work.

In the end, really ... what is the *worst* thing that could happen? Think about it. How realistic is it that those fears will *ever* manifest in reality? If the fear is based on reality, perhaps it's an ideal time to seek resources to address the fear in a healthy way - to deal with it in a way that leaves you feeling empowered and safer.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the vast majority of the fears I see people suffer with day in and day out are not founded in reality. They actually do have a very real fear ... I mean, it feels real therefore it is real.

But once it's brought out into the light and seen clearly and dealt with it's almost always dismantled or diffused or even annihilated.

It reminds me of the old TV series, "The Avengers."

Dapper John Steed and the ultra cool, hip and martial arts-trained Mrs. (Emma) Peel would have to deal with a faceless enemy.

Writers would give the show lots of angst and *gulps* as we witnessed *parts* of the bad guys make mincemeat out of their victims -- sometimes including Steed and Peel. The bad guys were generally objectified, which made them very very scary!

When only one part of the body is seen by the camera, it's called "objectifying" the person. We'd only see a threatening hand turning the door knob or pulling the switch to a torture tool or the mind control machine.

Our imaginations would give the person objectified way more power than they have in real life. This includes starting a scene showing a woman's leg -- it's generally a sexist ploy, but it may not be depending on the context.

Anyway, when the climax of the show came? Heck, we saw a picture of the whole person. There was the bad guy we'd been so afraid of - an ordinary man behind the robot or monster or brainwashing bit or wha'evah!

The bad guy was *just a man.*

So of course Peel and Steed made mincemeat out of them because they knew how to fight and overcome any *person.*

I wish more people could be able find the (ordinary) man behind the hand.


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