Everything you ever wanted to know about Masks and why we hide our faces.
The definitive e-book on masks in Drama and Life.
Have you ever wondered about the countless ways we humans try and hide ourselves in front of others? Whether it’s halloween masks or animal masks, African masks or Mardi Gras masks, Homer or Slipknot masks, there’s something strangely empowering about disappearing out of sight from other people! Almost like an invisibility cloak! We even use our own faces to hide ourselves too!
There’s more to it than that. There’s a ritual element too, a kind of magic which we can weave when wearing a mask – or making our faces up with cosmetics, which is much the same thing.
We’ve always known about this strange magic. It was known to the earliest humans who inhabited this earth. Whether conjuring up the spirits who controlled the weather, or seeking victory in battle, body and face paint, and every conceivable type of mask was brought to bear on the task.
Masks soon became a staple diet of drama presented in theatres – whether Greek or Chinese, ancient Indian or modern films. An ideal and easy way of becoming someone else, of changing your own characteristics for those of a completely different person. Once again make-up, cosmetics, achieved the same thing only more subtly. For a start, it made men and women more good-looking than they really were – and still does!
Why do we wear masks today?
Whether we’re off to a fancy-dress ball in a mask to disguise us (and hide our indiscretions!), looking to scare our friends with the ultimate Slipknot horror mask (or maybe just a Homer mask!), or simply having our face painted to make us look like a cat, we still seek this age-old empowerment of being someone else, of hiding our own selves.
And of course have you ever noticed how often we do it even without a specific mask? How we act different roles in life – to protect ourselves, to fit in with others in a particular group, to appear cool, in control, nice even?
Then again, don’t we use masks to protect us in more superficial ways – the protect the face when welding, or paint-balling, or fencing? To protect the nose and mouth when diving, or as a doctor, when operating on a patient.
Masks are one of the most fundamental phenomena of human life. They are used in a massive number of ways – throughout history and today, here and now.
Now for the first time, we publish a unique and fascinating e-book on the subject. This is where you will find all the answers to your questions (well, most of them!).
53 essays and articles by almost as many experts - covering almost every aspect of Masks and the central roles they play in our lives.
Here are some excerpts from the introduction to the book and a list of the contents.
The Role of Masks in Drama and Life
Mask, also spelled masque, derives from early rites and ceremonies, often religious, often based in folk tradition. I’ll use the masque spelling here to distinguish the ritual from the other meaning of face mask (see below).
A masque usually involved a group of visitors arriving, sometimes bearing presents, to hold a ceremonial dance with their hosts.
Now these guests traditionally wore masks, in the word’s other meaning of visors. This was to hide their identity – and in Court circles, these visitors could well belong to the highest ranks.
Masques reappear throughout the history of drama........
Part 1 of this ebook focusses on this fascinating phenomenon of the use of the mask and face-painting throughout the history of drama, and the connection between character and the face, the way we rely on the face to determine the character of others.
Face masks in life follow a separate course (in Part 2), providing in the main protection to the eyes, mouth and nose, and at times the ears, as for example with gas masks in wartime trenches, or SARS protection on the streets of Japan, or for welders, sporting fencers and divers, and never forget doctors and nurses exposed to potential infections or noxious smells, or indeed vulnerable patients needing protection in turn from doctors or dentists with head colds. And of course, masks have had a long-standing use in protecting the identity of burglars and terrorists.......
This ebook looks at the huge range of instances of masks, and associated face painting, down the ages.
In Part 3 of the book, we look deeper – at the face’s unique ability to create its own mask. There are many reasons why we may wish to hide the real “us” from the prying eyes of others, many reasons why we may want to project another “us” to those eyes. In some cases this other “us” is a better, improved version of the original, and in yet other cases, usually dramatic, the other “us” is a completely different character from the original.......
PART 1: THE USE OF MASKS IN DRAMA
Including presentation on any stage, within a ritual, in front of a group audience
Ancient Masks to Hide and Protect
Painting The Face – The First Mask
Central American Masks
Balinese Mask : Spiritual Force Behind
Unexplored Tribal Dance From Jharkhand, India
Phi Ta Khon Ceremony In Thailand
Athens - The Theatre of Dionysus
Ancient Greek Theatre Architecture
Designing and Making Masks
Traditional African Masks
African Art Masks
Just What Does Greco-Roman Mean
Greek Italy...Una Faccia Una Razza!
The Masked Fool
Commedia dell’ Arte
Native American and other Indigenous Masks
A Brief Overview of Masks
Masks in Their Old and New Roles
Chinese Masks And Culture
The Carnival Tradition of Venice
"Mask"erading In The Movies
Face painting is gaining popularity for parties and events
PART 2: THE USE OF MASKS IN REAL LIFE.
Masks for protection – occupational and in sport.
A Brief History of the Gas Mask
The Early Days of the Gas Mask
Horse gas masks
M17 series gas masks
What is a CPAP Mask and Can it Really Stop You From Snoring?
CPAP Masks for Snorers
Masks for Scuba Diving
Is A Full Face Mask For You?
Buying a Diving Mask
The Importance Of Paintball Masks
The Importance Of Respirator Face Masks
Bird Flu Protection And The Measures Taken To Safeguard Ourselves
How Bird Flu Respirators Should Be Used
Can A Respirator/Mask Really Help Against Bird Flu?
The Perfect Face Mask
Make Your Own Facial Masks
PART 3: THE INTEGRATED MASK
The Human Face – when is it True, and when False?
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's the Truest To Themselves of All?
Masks and the Single Person
Developing Commercial Creativity
Acting - Bringing a story to life
Acting - Qualifications and Training
The Mask And The Face: a guide for photographers
Stress Management: How to Take Off Those Masks We Wear
Who is this unique e-book for?
In short for anyone with an interest in where we humans came from and why we are what we are today. There is a whole way of looking at ourselves and our friends and neighbours in this e-book – at what makes us human beings tick and how we protect ourselves.
Today’s Halloween and Mardi Gras masks, Slipknot and clown masks, gorilla and Homer masks, face-painting and beauty face masks – all come from a long and unbroken history that goes back to face and body-painting by warring tribes, and tribal priests invoking rain or sun, fertility or good harvests.
And, yes, of course the interested student of drama will find plenty here that will be difficult to find elsewhere. So too will anthropology and psychology students – students of life, if you like. But above all:-
Ø This is a quirky, fascinating and enjoyable read that is relevant to all of us.
Ø 97 pages of text, with illustrations.
Ø Full of hot links to the experts who wrote many of the fascinating essays in the book.
Ø Available in both Word document and Acrobat Reader pdf file formats.
It’s a snip at $19.95!
What have our first readers got to say about this e-book?
"What a fascinating project! It's set me off on a whole new train of thinking"
(Pam H, Weston-super-Mare)
"This is an extremely valuable resource for mask enthusiasts. It not only contains a wide range of articles by experts in the field, but also guides the reader towards other international literature on the subject. This edited collection is concise, constructive and engaging and should be of interest to art and drama lovers world-wide as well as to students and academics studying the history and use of masks"
(Dr. Monica S., Ph.D, Edinburgh).
A fascinating, well-researched, sometimes scholarly, yet always easy to read look at the world of masks. Some of the uses/rituals did spring immediately to mind and some I had not even thought of, and I found the real life roles every bit as interesting as the dramatic ones. I cannot recommend this book too highly (nor can I mask my enthusiasm!)
(John C, Melbourne).
"A wonderfully informative collection from Michael Barry. Of interest to all, and essential reading for those of us who work in the theatre"
(Matthew O, Actor/director, Melbourne).
Exceptionally informative and extraordinarily interesting. We are all more players on a stage than I had ever realised, hiding behind our masks whether real or imaginary – a tour de force.
(Michael S, Exeter)
Special bonus: purchasers of the e-book have access to a special page of links to mask-related sites – a unique listing of all the top-ranking sites, free to save and use as and when you wish. And the option of some very special offers - STARTING IMMEDIATELY WITH A RED-HOT DEAL you'll really love!
This will take you to ClickBank’s secure site to allow you to pay using any major credit or debit card, or using your PayPal account.
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org