‘Tis the season for masks. Of course, you might say we all wear masks of sorts all the time, but I’m talking about actual, physical masks.
There’s something powerful and a little creepy about masks. From the outside, we see a frozen, possibly distorted persona. Even a very human-looking mask is a bit disconcerting.
Here’s an unfinished mask I made using my own face as a mold. Personally, I don’t think it looks anything like me.
From the inside, though, the mask hides us and, perhaps, sets loose parts of ourselves we didn’t even know existed.
In his book, Impro, Keith Johnstone has an entire section devoted to Mask and Trance and repeatedly warns students not to take mask work lightly. While I have not done much with masks (beyond making several), I can imagine that covering my face and seeing what the mask invokes could be a trippy and powerful experience — especially if I used a mask like the one I made for that very purpose: