Stage to Page is celebrating local writers all month long by publishing their perspectives on themes related to our production of Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath. #stagetopageptc

Le Anne Lindsay is the Editor of Tinsel & Tine, a blog that celebrates film, food and Philly events. The site features a #PhillyCalendar including social media blasts for film, food/drink, theater, art and small biz events in the city. Tinsel & Tine also contributes a weekly radio segment on That’s Show Biz with Chuck Darrow and offers preview screening passes to subscribers.

 

We all have at least three stories: the one in our head, the one of how others perceive us, and the one we’d like to shape to perfection. Think about yours.

Changing Your Story

By Le Anne Lindsay

Lucas Hnath’s play Hillary and Clinton begins by discussing the Sci-Fi concept of Alternate Realities and other Universes which mirror our own, sometimes with slight differences or possibly vast differences–think Bizarro Superman or the TV series Fringe. Wouldn’t it be gratifying to be able to see into one of these dimensions and realize the you of this plane has a much better advantage than the “you” you see over there?

There’s a scene in the play where Hillary’s husband Bill explains that to win an election you have to tell a story about who the public thinks or wants you to be. He tries to convince her to be a mother figure to the country, that her story should be about being nurturing. Hillary wants her story to be about being capable, strong and admired for her leadership abilities. However, she admits that the running story the public never sees past is Hillary as someone so power hungry and addicted to politics that she’s willing to stay with a man who has humiliated her time and again, putting up with it because despite everything, they’re stronger as a power couple than they would be apart.

Of course, perception stories don’t just apply to those in the public eye. We all have at least three stories: the one in our head, the one of how others perceive us, and the one we’d like to shape to perfection. Think about yours.

Getting back to a political figure for a moment, I recently saw the documentary Weiner, which follows disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner’s run for Mayor of New York in 2013. The story in his head was that of someone who was perhaps a little quirky but had enough passion and fire to fight for the common man. That story was taking on public perception until the story of “Carlos Danger” came to light. Then his perceived story became Anthony Weiner, a man with poor judgement and even less impulse control. The story he wanted to shape into perfection was that of a devoted husband to a brilliant wife, who looked up to him with admiration (real-life Hillary Clinton Advisor, Huma Abedin).  A loving father, and a man who could take New York back from Wall Street and give more power to the people. At this point, particularly after this documentary, he’ll never come close to making that story stick.

What about me?  The story in my head is that of someone constantly disappointed in my failure to have created a more fabulous life. By now I should be financially secure, at least not living so precariously. I should have experienced at least one big love of my life romance. And travel! It pains me that I haven’t used my passport in over a decade. I should be halfway through my travel bucket list. Were all this to be true, I’d be able to shape a perception of a sophisticated widow or divorcee who’s well-traveled with complete freedom to blog for recreation. No longer trying to make it work around some dull day job, often vexed that there’s little to no money in this venture.

However, thankfully, the feedback story that I receive from others is that I’m generally held in good standing and found easy to be around. Also that the time I get to spend at the movies and attending events is enviable.

And truthfully, I am very lucky. No matter which of the three Le Anne Lindsay stories told or perceived, it’s all pretty lighthearted and devoid of tragedy and remorse. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if I peeked through to another dimension to see that the other Le Anne was enjoying a month-long holiday on the Amalfi Coast, racing a red speed boat by day and enjoying wine bars with spectacularly panoramic views by night. After all, one of us should.

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