Joseph Roach // September 17, 2020


Joseph Roach
September 17, 2020

Savor the unintentional irony of the standard internet advice:

“Presence is the absence of a filter between you and the audience. It’s You authentically showing up as You. Your camera presence is your alignment visually, verbally, and emotionally. If you are worried and distracted, it will show up in your eyes and facial muscles.”

So know that to be emotionally aligned as “You” (capitalization original), you need to suppress your real feelings. “You” is not really you, alas, but something or someone better.  In fact, one version of another of this paradox of presence has haunted theatrical theorists for centuries, and “Camera Presence” will bring them to your screen unfiltered, authentically worried and distracted down to the last facial tic, for the Age of Zoom & Doom.

Joseph Roach is Sterling Professor of Theater and Professor of English, Emeritus, Yale University. From 2003-20016, he was Principal Investigator on a sequence of three grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which funded the World Performance Project and Interdisciplinary Performance Studies at Yale, including curated performances by over forty visiting artists and companies in the “No Boundaries” series with Yale Rep, research grants, travel funds, and full dissertation-completion fellowships for Dramaturgy DFA students.