Actors and masks. Actors have relied on masks for more than 3,500 years. Parading in the pageants of Ancient China. In Europe between the 16th to 18th centuries performing commedia dell’arte, a theatrical form reliant on masks. The union of actors and masks dominated Ancient Greek Theater, considered the cornerstone of modern western theater. Masks amplified the Greek actor’s voice and character. Two masks commonly utilized had a basis in Greek mythology. A mask symbolizing the Muse of Comedy. A mask symbolizing the Muse of Drama. These two masks paired form the universal emblem representing the profession of acting. Ironic that despite the iconic acting trade emblem there are anti-mask actors. Actors rejecting the wearing of a mask as protection during a pandemic crippling their business of acting. Anti-mask actors willfully endangering themselves and their industry. The anti-mask actors are not being asked to wear the non-porous wood, leather, or cork appliances which engulfed the faces of their thespian predecessors who performed in sunlight. But a small, cloth mask. Covering only mouth and nose. An aide to protect the anti-mask actor from receiving or spreading a deadly virus. As infection and death rates rise related to COVID anti-mask actors, who professionally traffic in fiction, choose in life to dismiss the reality of science recommending masks as a safety protocol.
An anti-mask actor recently shared on Facebook a post by an unidentified anti-mask author irresponsibly alleging, “the recommendations [for wearing masks] have never been about health or safety they are about control and compliance.”
The anti-mask actor added the hashtags #UncomfortableTruth #KeepingItReal.
What the anti-mask actor fails to recognize are these uncomfortable truths:
“Masks are a key measure to suppress transmission and save lives. Masks reduce potential exposure risk from an infected person whether they have symptoms or not. People wearing masks are protected from getting infected. Masks also prevent onward transmission when worn by a person who is infected.”
“TOKYO — There are no laws telling you what to do, but everyone knows the rules. Wear your mask, keep your distance, sanitize your hands, have your temperature checked. Don’t touch, don’t shout. Don’t cheer at soccer matches, and don’t scream on amusement park rides. (But if you catch the virus, it just might have been your fault.)…
“Months before the rest of the world woke up to masks and the dangers of confined spaces and dense crowds, Japan set out to find a way to live through the pandemic without a draconian lockdown…
“The virus…. spreading through microdroplets — not just through coughs, sneezes and contact, but in microparticles floating and circulating in the air, [is] what scientists call ‘aerosol transmission.’…
“Mask use was critical in containing a virus spreading through the air, while scientists concentrated on spotting and eliminating clusters of infection….”
“A CNN investigation of 17 Trump campaign rallies finds that 14 of the host counties — 82% of them — had an increased rate of new Covid-19 cases one month after the rally.
“The 17 rallies occurred between August 17 and September 26. CNN evaluated the rate of new daily cases per 100,000 residents at four weeks before the rally, on the rally date, and four weeks after the rally at the county level and at the state level…
“CNN’s analysis also found that in 10 counties, the new rates of infection were growing faster than the overall rate for the state…
“Some of the rallies that were surveyed included the Trump campaign’s September 12 rally in Minden, Nevada. In the month before the rally, cases had begun to fall. But four weeks after the event, the rate of new cases in the county skyrocketed by 225%, outpacing the 74% increase the rest of the state experienced in the same time period…”
Uncomfortable truth: The chance for transmission is higher due in part due to lack of social distancing and many attendees not wearing face coverings. Trump rallies are attended largely by anti-maskers not wearing masks.
The anti-mask actor claims her fiction is “keeping it real.” Here is keeping it real reality:
Broadway is shut down until at least May 30, 2021. 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city.
Live entertainment nationally: theater, tours, performance in dance, concerts—any live performance attended by a large audience cannot occur until COVID within our borders is controlled and/or eradicated.
“SAG-AFTRA’s Protocols Based on ‘The Safe Way Forward’ require that actors hired, go through multiple rounds of testing, quarantine before and after the contracted work, and that while on set when not being on-camera, masks must be worn.”
Many anti-maskers are of an opinion that the COVID pandemic is a “scamdemic.” A conspiracy perpetrated by the U.S. Democratic Party during a presidential election so as to discredit the rival Republican occupying the Oval Office. COVID pandemic deniers don’t understand that a “pandemic” is basically a global epidemic — an epidemic that spreads to more than one continent. American COVID pandemic deniers explain away the 46.3 million COVID infections and related 1.2 million deaths globally by suggesting media and governments in all nations are co-conspirators aiding the U.S. Democratic Party. Russia with your 1.6 million COVID infections and 28K-plus deaths, are you listening?
Anti-maskers who believe that suggestions for, or mandates requiring, wearing a mask during a pandemic violates personal freedom, is unconstitutional, or a diabolical plot for control: a question. When you’re outside of your home and among the public as you shop, run errands, get take-out, or attend religious services: are you naked? If not, why do government mandates/ordinances requiring you to wear clothing covering your genitalia, and other areas of your body not violate your personal freedom?
ABOUT PAUL RUSSELL – PAUL RUSSELL CASTING
Paul Russell has been in the entertainment industry for over forty years as an award-winning casting director, director and the author of NEW & EXPANDED edition of ACTING: Make It Your Business. He’s cast for 20th Century Fox, HBO, Broadway, and regional theater. Featured in American Theatre Magazine, Paul has directed premiers, and at the Tony-award recognized Barter Theatre. He teaches master classes at university BFA and MFA actor training programs, and privately online with actors globally. Paul began his career in entertainment as a successful working actor.
Visit Paul & Paul Russell Casting @ PaulRussell.net.
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