In my younger days I aspired to be an actor. I studied drama and became a member of the local theatre group. I even had my three minutes of fame on the stage. It was a time in my life where I relished every moment of the magic of being someone else.
One thing that will make or break a thespian is suspension. Not so much the ‘flying through the air with the greatest of ease’ type of suspension, but the suspension of disbelief. Those in the audience must suspend their belief that what they are watching is not true, therefore accepting the actors *as* the characters and the story *as* happening now. Without that suspension, you’re just looking at some people in bad makeup making fools of themselves.
As a slave or sub, I think there is also a fair amount of suspension that goes on in bdsm play. In my own case, I know there is an awful lot of conscious turning off of the ‘what the fuck am I doing?’ switch. Every time I’m sticking something up my ass or crawling on the floor, or doing something equally as humiliating/degrading/fucked up I’ve got to turn that part of me that cringes in horror off. I suspend it. In fact, the only way I can do most of these things is to detach myself from *myself* entirely. That’s generally when I remind myself that I’m wearing the ‘shiny thing’ and because it’s my get-out-of-it-humiliation-free card, I can go on with my life normally at the end of it all. Afterwards, when I’m doing something banal and domestic I might have a trippy moment and think, Fuck, I walked around a room full of strangers in pony gear, but I’ll be be ok because that was then and this is now and the shiny thing excuses all.
I’ve often thought about the similarities between the dramatic world and the world of bdsm. We ‘play’, we ‘scene’, we have all the necessary props and costumes to set the mood. We play for audiences and have drinks and nibblies at intermission. It is contrived and prepared. We hang our normal personae up in the closet and put on our masks and play.
I’m sure at this point that a lot of people would like to point out that ‘real’ slaves don’t ‘play’ at being a slave, they *are* a slave and that’s what they do. The underlying dynamic is probably there to varying degrees, but John the school teacher and Mary the police officer aren’t the ones up there in front of everyone, that’s Master and slave doing something they enjoy together. They believe that the other person is going to fulfill the role they’ve chosen for themselves. Without the belief there is nothing.
Good actors make you believe in them.
Good doms make you believe in yourself.