I’ve written a lot before about acting and masking. For the cheap seats, it’s a prevalent theme throughout the Asperger’s/autism spectrum community.
The way I see it, “masking” is the idea of putting on a proverbial mask, one that covers up your true personality, your true self, etc. In essence, hiding who you truly are. “Acting”, on the other hand, is related, but different; one either adopts the characteristics or even persona of another, or perhaps constructs a new persona altogether.
I’ve acted and masked all my life, from my second year of kindergarten onward (yep, you read that right; I spent two years in kindergarten. Long story. Not due to intellectual or cognitive impairment). Acting and masking are survival traits of sorts for me. I couldn’t have “functioned” in this world without them. Masks and acting roles construct a hologram of me that is deemed acceptable by my peers.
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