PRECIS: Performance is life

I believe what Schechner is trying to portray in this piece is that the lines between news, performance, sex, and life are blurred. It would be support Shakespeare's line about the world being a stage and the people merely players--where do we draw the line? He gives examples from New York theater, for example a very sexually explicit theater in which people interact with sadomasochistic actions. The theater is run by real people rather than actors, and yet it is still a performance. The people are real, just as the people that are shown in the news. But this, he says, is even becoming more and more entertainment-based. And how much of "reality" TV is scripted? "How do you distinguish between performance and nonperformance, between art and life?" he asks (308). How much of are actions are real and how much of it exists due to outside influences?

This leads Schechner to the discussion of what is "raw" experience and what is "cooked." I've often wondered the same thing. Since I was a little girl, I would watch my mother scream at me and then answer the ringing phone in a cool, calm manner, and wonder what could possess her to do that. I was never able to fake my feelings, emotions, thoughts or manner in order to fit the accepted social mold like some that I knew. And even today I question how much of what people say and do is just a performance.

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