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Transitions and transcendence of the self: stage fright and the paradox of shy performativity
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 21:09 authored by Susie ScottSusie Scott
This article explores the paradox of shy performativity, whereby people who identify as shy in everyday life can nevertheless give confident displays on stage. Professional performing artists’ accounts reveal that this is both enabled and complicated by transformations in consciousness concerning the Meadian social self. While taking on a fictional persona can provide liberating opportunities for the transcendent subject ‘I’, the critically self-doubting ‘Me’ reappears at certain moments, such as stage fright, transitions in and out of character, and disruptions of a scene’s dramatic frame. Managing the shifting boundaries between contrivance and reality creates ontological dangers, the brave pursuit of which presents a thrilling challenge for the shy performer. Symbolic Interactionist and dramaturgical theories are therefore applied alongside concepts of edgework and flow to analyse shy performance art as voluntary risk-taking action.
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- Sociology and Criminology Publications
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