What's It Like Playing A Character Similar to Yourself

What's It Like Playing A Character Similar to Yourself

This was the first character that really, body and soul, was who I am, who I aspire to be.


I cried taking my makeup off last night.

No, this wasn't some weird thing where I'm overly attached to my face with a bunch of foundation and eyeshadow plastered all over it. This makeup was orange, yellow, and brown, and made me into "Mousefasa," as our makeup artist called me.

This was closing night of Corban's production of Alice, and I was not ready for it.

I'd already cried with my roommates over our friends and castmates who would not be coming back next year, whether because of graduation or life circumstances. I'd mourned the loss, if only a temporary one, of my friends. Now it was time to mourn a more permanent one.

Mourning the character I've come to love playing.

I removed one cheek of whiskers before breaking down. "I don't want you to go," I whispered to a fictional character I'd just finished portraying. "Don't leave me."

Because weirdly enough, this character is me. And I hadn't realized how wonderful it was to finally play myself onstage.

I'm told I'm cuter than most of the characters I tend to play. My usual role is either cranky or evil. I'm also usually old. (A notable exception from high school being Gertrude McFuzz). But this was the first character that really, body and soul, was who I am, who I aspire to be. There was just one catch to that.

She touched at one of my deepest insecurities.

Because she's a supporting character.

Don't get me wrong. This isn't an issue of vanity. I am proud to take a supporting role in any theater production, and especially a role as fun as the Dormouse.

But it scares me about my real life. If this character is me, and she's a supporting role, is that all I am? A supporting role in someone else's life?

Am I doomed to constantly be happy for and proud of my friends, and yet never have my own story?

I sometimes don't feel like the protagonist in my own life, to be perfectly honest.

But this morning, as I once again began weeping because I hadn't said a proper goodbye to my hat, I realized something:

I, at least, believe the Dormouse existed before Alice entered the garden. She has a backstory.

And she will continue to exist long after Alice is gone.

The Dormouse has her own story, this time it was just her time to take a secondary role in Alice's. And it is much the same for me.

I'm in a bit of a waiting period of life, after a time of massive movement. And that plays on my insecurities of mediocrity, of only being the cute little one who sits off to the side and occasionally makes a well-timed funny comment.

But that's not who I am, and it's not who she is, either.

Dormouse, I love you. You have taught me much, and I guess I don't truly have to say goodbye to you. Because, much like my castmates, you will never leave me. You'll always be a part of me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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