Main Character Syndrome
Mentor: Beth Saur
In this collection of personal narratives, Main Character Syndrome sets out to shift a traditional approach to personal narrative storytelling through considering events from perspectives and points of view other than my own. The collection offers essays that chronicle experiences from my life detailing relationships with my family as a child growing up in Orange County, CA; my experiences in community college, navigating life as a “stay-at-home daughter”; and lastly, adjusting to a four-year university environment where I grappled with the inevitable changes to my identity. Retelling my personal experiences through perspectives other than my own allows for introspection and making peace with past situations that have felt unresolved or ambiguous. Through revisiting events from perspectives and points of view other than my own, the narratives offer insights into empathy, forgiveness, and the complexities of identity. Practicing empathy, a true understanding of another’s feelings, even when they don’t align with our own, ultimately grants freedom and a healthy detachment from past experiences. This project creates space to see myself from an outside perspective, which allows me to give myself the same compassion I am giving to others by retelling these stories through their eyes. Playing with perspective challenges the audience to consider their own daily interactions, stories, and moments in life where hopefully they too can pause, detach, and forgive. Main Character Syndrome explores the notions that truth is a subjective concept, forgiveness is the first step towards freedom, and that identity is consistently transient.