Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stunt Doubles and Dopplegangers

The primary idea of one's exact counterpart abroad and with agendas, and the secondary idea of you encountering said double or double goer or, better yet, doppleganger,  has been a living presence in the attic of your memory ever since you first encountered the concept and the Germanic name for it.

Of course the encounter took place within the pulp pages of Weird Tales, or some other platform for stories in which reality is bent and twisted to form shapes that cause you to question and, at times, yawn at the realities in which you live. 

Let the romanticists go on about finding one's soul mate. For your part, you have no objection to a soul mate, but that said, your enhanced interest is in this individual bopping about the universe as though he were you.

The doppelganger theory would explain some of the many times you've been taken for a self of whom you have no prior knowledge, no voting rights in his behavioral or motivational agenda. If, for instance, you were to encounter a doppelganger with an interest in the law or medicine, ave atque vale, as the saying goes, hail and farewell. 

Were this doppelganger to be a librarian, a musician, or an actor, perhaps you might be swayed, but you do see how this works, don't you? In direct proportion to the universe giving little, if any, concern to your wishes, your interest in a potential doppelganger is in your hands, to do with as you see fit.

The closest you've come to success here resides in the times when you were confronted by persons who'd apparently seen your doppelganger, leaving you to confront the results, which you tend to do with characteristic mischievousness.

Not long after you learned about doppelgangers, your career path took you down the perilous slide of the screenplay and teleplay, where you learned certain buzzwords related to the filmed story. In so doing, you learned another term that could influence the end product of a screenplay or teleplay written by you. Quite often, characters are required to fall out of windows, leap off bridges, be hit by a speeding car, or ride a bucking bronco.

These and other similar activities are called stunts. More often than not, these stunts are performed by individuals who specialize in being blown up by IEDs or surviving automobile crashes. You were well aware of the men and women who did nothing but these stunts, some of them chosen for their resemblance to an actor or actress who was otherwise playing a role in a film.  

Such individuals are called stunt doubles, their title a give-away for their part in a film: They are temporary doppelgangers for the actors for whom such stunt activity is thought to be a reach.  

Over the years, you've heard said of a particular actor or actress that he or she does his/her own stunts, this said with a modicum of respect. For your part, you respected, them moved on, not linking the delicious possibilities of doppelgangers and stunt doubles in both real and dramatic life.

Nice as it would be to have the physical abilities to work as a stunt double, you're content to consider the possibilities within the comfort and solitude of your own inner work area. Real life gave you extra long leash when it allowed you to discover that Arnold Schwarzenegger, as actor, had various writers writing his dialogue, one for when he spoke to children, another time when he spoke to peers, and yet another who write his lines in romance-based circumstances.

In retrospect, there are times when you wish you'd had the service of a stunt double taking on various romantic and professional activities on your behalf, enduring for you the high dives, crashes, and calamities.  

But your better self always wins the arm wrestle with your wishes for stunt double intervention, wins and helps you regard yourself in those various moments when you rise from a chair without pushing off on the arm rests or correct your balance when it goes awry, or when you scan the mirrored image of your face when you look to see if you've missed some patch of stubble on your lantern jaw.

Your doppelganger may be out in the world, working mischief, but to this day, you do your own stunts.

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