action is character

Action is character wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Syd Field expanded the idea to “what a person does is what he is, not what he says.”  Now that was written in the context of creating characters for screenplays, but as I digested the statement, I thought how would that apply to me as a character.  What do I actually do from day to day, moment to moment? And how does what I do, define who I am.  How much stuff do I say, but not do?  And how much of what I say is a reflection of things I’ve already done, or put another way, how much time do I spend talking about what Bruce Springteen called the glory days?

I don’t have answers yet because the questions stopped me dead in my tracks.  I glimpsed a reflection of the answers and froze.  Could I really answer the questions objectively?  We have a perception of ourselves that is different from how other people perceive us which is different still from reality, whatever that is.

If someone were to write a biography of me, I wonder what they would write…

1 Comment

  1. Tim Clague June 12, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Good post Clay – will blog it myself.


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