Jasmine's Performance Essay

1116 words - 5 pages

Erving Goffman once wrote, “all cynical performers are interested in deluding their audiences for purposes of what is called “self-interest” or private gain” (Goffman 18). Everyone is a performer, and the roles we play are subjected to our setting and those around us. The projection of ones personality is based on the role that is played. The front region, the side of ourselves that we display to the world aids us in masking our back region, our secret self; we do this by highlighting, exaggerating, or misrepresentation with other people. Studying Jamsine, my suitemate, in her work environment compared to the role she plays at home I found difference in her personality. Jasmine holds a ...view middle of the document...

Watching Jasmine work I noted her difference of manners with certain people. Her behavior was different depending on the person she was communicating with. When a male came up to the booth her voice raised an octave and was much smoother, compared to when dealing with a female she was dismissive of them. Jasmine was not rude to females; she did not pay particular attention to them. The maintenance people that came in and out, I said good morning; Jasmine, on the other hand, nodded at them and barely gave them attention. I believe her intentions were not to be rude, but that she frankly did not notice them. Furthermore, I came to the conclusion that subconsciously Jasmine had a sense of superiority to the person that was working maintenance. Depending on whom she was dealing with, Jasmine slipped into different roles.
There are two components in playing a role. The first one, simply playing a role according to Goffman, you can get lost into it. Famous actor Marlon Brando was infamous for getting too into a role and losing himself in it. This is dangerous because it may get to a point where it is difficult to remove the mask you wear to play that role. Playing at a role, on the other hand, you are aware that you are giving a performance For instance, when going into a job interview you are aware that you are putting a mask on highlighting and exaggerating your strong points. Goffman prefers playing at a role, because it is a lot safer.
While doing her job, Jasmine, was playing at a role, especially when a male was around. She would smile politely and take their card, once they were out of sight her facial expressions and body would relax. However, I found that Jasmine did not take her job too seriously because of the role that highlighted her abilities was directed at a certain group of people.
There are different types of performances: highlighting, exaggerating, idealization, misrepresentation, and mystification. Highlighting is putting a spotlight on the front region. For instance, in a resume a person puts the most prominent abilities at the top. Exaggerating is simply what it means to aggrandize an ability such as saying you have photo something, and instead...

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