Throughout the process of creating this work, I have had the opportunity to share personal experiences, insights, and perspectives of my interpretations on what it means to be “consumed.” And, as I learned about the widely diverse backgrounds of each cast member, I realized that everyone’s idea of the American dream is quite different. Yet, despite the variety, we all hold the same belief that media and advertising molds and skews that view.
So, once we began to delve into character developments and movement innovation, this concept of looking at an individual in connection to media influence really connected with me. I took into consideration the contrast between the average individual’s every day routine in combination with idly “consuming” media—via constantly checking social media platforms, advertisements in public places, etc.—versus being mentally present, putting away all forms of immediate and readily accessible information, and forming individual thoughts derived from newfound freedom of sensory and cognitive overload. I found that, in any given day in the life of Ansley, I tend to get unconsciously stuck in this “routine.” Whether it’s looking at Facebook on my commute to work, reading seasonal slogans on retail store windows, or heading down the Pinterest rabbit hole in the small amounts of spare time I do have, I fall into a mindless cycle of consumption—it’s inevitable. However, since coming to this realization, I have made a more constant and conscious effort to do the opposite of that. As cliché as it may seem, meditation has helped tremendously, as well as indulging in self-care, having meaningful and tech-free conversations with friends and family, and simply setting aside time to go for a walk.
I will admit that, since reevaluating my connections to these outside sources of influence, I have found value in exposure to media and advertising to some degree. However, I have also learned that how we consume these stimuli directly impacts our way of life. It helped me to question how I was influenced by them, as well as to what degree certain adverts made an impact on my daily activities.
All that being said, I ask this—what consumes you? Are you consciously and objectively consuming all that is around you? Come see the show and see how I, and the rest of the Consumed cast, process and react to these influences.