Gut Rumbles

December 09, 2007

People watching

Originally published June 19, 2004

I have a habit that drives some of my friends crazy. I enjoy watching movies with the sound turned off on the television. Without sound, I can pay better attention to body language and the physical techniques of acting. You should try it sometime, then apply what you learn to watching people in a grocery store or a Super Wal-Mart.

Everybody is an actor, every day. Some people are just better at the craft than others.

Anybody ever been subjected to morris massey? I was, years ago. I watched the tapes and read a couple of his books. I agree with a lot of what he has to say, especially the part about having all your values set by the time you're six years old and the "comfort zone" you seek to find after that. But I still believe in free will.

Why do people get tattoos and weird piercings? I've never felt the urge to decorate my body that way, even though I was a semi-professional musician for several years. A LOT of people I knew back then did, but I didn't. I've never had a permanent tattoo and I've never worn an earring, let alone a nose-stud, a cock-dangle or something that resembles a fishing lure stuck through my eyebrow.

That crap was out of my "comfort zone."

I like to watch people and try to figure out what sort of comfort zone they have. Take the 350-pound woman in the bright pink stretch pants at Wal-Mart. Watch her walk the aisles where her ass will barely fit between the rows of merchandise. Deep down inside, she knows that she's fat and a hideous sight in those day-glow stretch pants, but that's her comfort zone. She's never gonna change.

Same thing with the acne-faced kid of eighteen with the nose ring, tattoos all over and a sunken chest, which he displays in a ratty tank-top shirt with an obscene logo on it. Looking like Fido's ass is his comfort zone.

Businessmen and "executives" are just as bad. Take away the suit and tie and you take away their identity. They couldn't do business nekkid.

Think about it. If you put the coat and tie on the fat woman, put the pink stretch pants on the teenager and dress the businessmen in ratty tank tops, they'd all have heart attacks and need EMS to come rescue them. Once you change their CLOTHES, you've driven them out of their comfort zones. They'll nut-up. They'll panic. They won't know who they are anymore.

I know my comfort zone. I'll probably spend the rest of my life trying to figure out why I'm comfortable there, but I'll never change. I picked up my values a long time ago.

Everybody's comfort zone is different. That's what makes people watching so interesting.

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