The Changing Face of Screen Performance
CHAPTER SIX: Performances of Mediatized Actuality 221
221 CHAPTER SIX Performances of Mediatized Actuality So far in this book, we have been exploring the idea that performance — especially media/screen performance — has become a major point of focus for how we now see ourselves in the world. We have become attuned to the idea that all behaviours are types of performances. Theoretical ideas of social performativity have made significant incur- sions into popular discourse, with the notion that we perform particu- lar versions/aspects of ourselves depending upon social context now commonplace. Beyond this, it could reasonably be argued that we live in such a performance-driven culture, that the need to show is now every bit as important as the need to be. This performance-driven culture is also a media-saturated one and, as a consequence, our own social behaviours/performances are strongly influenced by the myriad of media performances that surround us. Due to the ubiquitous pres- ence of media in our lives, along with an emphasis on the need to show who we are to others, it is apparent that the idea of having a media presence, and an audience to our performances, is an increas- ingly significant mode of validation in a culture that places such em- phasis on recognition, branding and celebrity. The performance of actors in fictional roles (especially in the cin- ema) has traditionally been the primary arena for thinking about screen performance, including our emotional engagement and/or iden- tification with actors, and the ways in which our relationship to celeb- rity and stardom fuels...
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