Okay so I watched the season finale of “The Rehearsal” on Friday and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I’m obsessed with the all of the exploration of perceived reality, performance and social anxiety. But mostly I couldn’t stop thinking about Angela and the practicing of domesticity with a partner.
This scene in particular, where Nathan swaps out the child actor for a fake child, got me thinking of my painting “nursing my desires” and really this whole series I’m working on, which I’m calling “playing house.”
I’m really interested in the ways in which I’ve “rehearsed” these kind of domestic situations with a partner. And in the end they tended to be their rehearsal, because I was just swapped out for another actor when I could no longer play the role to their desires. Which when I think about a lot of the heterosexual relationships I've seen modeled in my life, seems to be a theme.
And with "The Rehearsal" it's the same story. Even though the experiment was predicated on Angela’s desire to be a mother, and it was she who was taking most of the responsibility, it quickly became about Nathan and his experience and values were paramount. They scenes with Adam (Remi) after he left the show were also very poignant. I found it so interesting that Nathan was able to just dismiss the trauma he inflicted on this child by saying “it was just pretend.”
In these moments when all of the factors are mimicking a very real experience, what is it that makes it pretend? With all of the elements of reality present, how do we tell the difference between the pretend and the real?
I find myself really triggered by Angela and I wonder if that’s because I’m scared to be in her situation. I’m scared of the idea that I could desire to be a mother but be 44 and find myself running out of time to achieve a goal of having a biological child.
Having a deeply held desire for your life is inherently vulnerable. You’re setting yourself up for a myriad of things to go wrong. It’s a lot easier to settle for the illusion of it. Or the constant pursuit to be good enough to have something we desire.