It doesn’t take much effort to notice how powerful and influential actors and actresses are in today’s world. And although they have had this power for a number of years; with the assistance of the mainstream media, this has gradually increased as time has gone by.
One only has to go a film premier or to watch a film premier on TV, to witness how people are affected by them. They are often looked upon with reverence and awe. While it is clear that these people are human beings, to some people they are more than human and larger than life itself.
People can have their favourite actors and actresses and this will mean that they are likely to watch the films that they are in. They can then become identified with the different roles that they play.
Perhaps an actor plays the role of an all powerful super hero or someone who succeeds against the odds. Then there will be roles where they go through a certain kind of trauma and therefore become vulnerable or seek some kind of revenge.
And through indentifying with these roles, one will be able to vicariously experience a whole range of scenarios.
Here one can have the chance to momentarily feel empowered and to have certain feelings validated. There will also be the chance to express anger or to seek revenge without any consequences. One can also experience what it’s like to be a success, to fall in love and to be admired.
These are just some examples of what can be achieved through watching a film. It will often depend on where one is at in their life, as to what stands out and therefore what one identifies with at any given moment.
Now, to watch a film and to become identified with a certain role or to vicariously experience something is neither negative nor harmful. It is a wonderful way to relax and to regulate ones inner tensions.
However, it becomes a challenge and even unhealthy when one takes this one step further and one becomes obsessed with the actor of actress themselves.
Just A Role
No matter what role an actor or actress plays or how convincing they may be; they are still acting. And this means that they are human and have challenges and issues just like everyone else.
What they have is developed a skill that is highly valued by society and as a result of this, they are often paid lots of money and receive high levels of respect and exposure.
This also means that the roles that they play, although they may well be influenced by certain things in their life, are not who they are. This may sound logical or even obvious and yet emotionally this is not always understood.
And due to people seeing the actors and actress themselves as being the roles they play it can lead to projection. Here, one will project certain parts onto them and perceive them a certain way; regardless of if it is accurate or not.
As the roles that they play are often of such power and importance; it could be said that projection is a fairly natural occurrence. So what one feels that they need, at a mental and emotional level, will be what the actor or actress is perceived to possess.
And when one gets caught in projecting certain traits onto the actor or actress and doesn’t realise that they are just that and are therefore an illusion; it will often lead to obsession.
Through becoming obsessed, it is allowing one to avoid their inner tension. Obsession is a defence mechanism and allows one to regulate their emotional pain.
In the short term, the odd obsession here or there is unlikely to create too many challenges. One can watch a film and then feel obsessed for a few days after or even a few weeks. This is probably natural and how long it lasts will also depend on how self aware one is.
If one has become obsessed with an actor or actress, it is important that one looks at what they are trying to avoid by being obsessed. And through this process, one can begin to see that what they had projected onto the actor or actress is often an illusion to begin with or something that they have yet to realise within themselves.
This could require the assistance of a therapist, coach or a healer for example. Or it may simply be a case of one becoming aware of this tendency and choosing another option.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.