What is it that the stage does to a performer? Does it make someone transform into a different person? Or, does it unleash the true identity of someone?
After one of my shows, a friend who had never seen me perform before said to me, “Allison, I can’t believe that was you on stage. Do you feel like you have to be someone else when you perform?”
It was a very interesting question, one that no one had asked me before. And, it brought up something that I hadn’t thought about.
I told my friend that I don’t feel that “Allison Merten” the performer is different than “Allison Merten” the person. I just feel that being on stage pulls out a part of me that I normally keep hidden. It pulls out the part of me that feels most alive.
My friend’s question made me think about how friends of mine who are also musicians act on stage versus off of stage. One of my friends is a soft-spoken woman of small stature, but on stage, she releases this extremely powerful voice and she gains the attention of the entire room.
One of my other friends is a calm man, with a deep voice, but on stage a high-energy, jumping, dancing, high-voiced artist comes out.
Who are we on stage? Who are we off stage? Why do we appear to have separate identities?