This makes me think of the Benjamin Franklin effect. This is when performing an action can change how you feel about a thing (or a person.) It’s named after the time Ben Franklin asked his enemy if he could borrow a book. It basically states that the things we do can change how we feel, how we are.
I was thinking about how this impacts actors – how when you’re doing murderous actions day in and day out, you start to feel a bit murderous. How when you’re pretending to be in love with someone, you can end up falling in love with them very easily. I once played a pregnant character and suffered a kind of postpartum depression when I stopped walking around with my pregnancy bump costume.
Sometimes it feels like the way to manage a life in the theatre – on stage – is to learn to both connect and disconnect simultaneously – to allow some part of yourself to be a hypocrite – the soul part. Your tongue can say horrible things every night at 8 but then you can go home undamaged. That’s the trick.