When I'm with people, I try to imagine who they think I am, and pretend to be that person. I write family visits off my taxes as an acting workshop. Dad's a table-pounder. I gotta work hard to match that energy. Sure, I could be myself and develop sincere relationships, but why give my family more reasons to reject me? I use my actor's notebook.
I practice accepting offers and agreeing with the other characters onstage. Yes, mom, whatever you say. I'm not really accepting them, I'm just moving the scene forward. I'm a professional. I used to avoid conflict, but I've learned that powerful moments erupt from conflict. But the "method acting" defense doesn't hold up in court. "Why did you throw a beer bottle at your brother?" "I was following the natural flow of the scene."
Now I'm in mandatory anger therapy. Great. Another workshop. I've already planned my emotional breakdown. My crying jag, my speech about learning to feel. Very Matt Damon in "Good Will Hunting." I'm goin' for the Oscar. I'm kidding. I love my family. How was that? Did that come off as sincere? Good. I've been practicing.