In response to last week’s opening, Leigh asks:
In the event of having a series published and readers overnight flocking to consume every page, are you okay with them knowing “Marshall The Person” with a film degree and a wife and child and home with Mexican-inspired interior decor in Austin, TX, or do you plan to cultivate (or are you already cultivating) your identity as Marshall The Author? Are they one in the same, or would you, like me, strive to draw a clear delineation between the two? Are there boundaries, or is your life the metaphorical open book?
As you can probably guess form context, Leigh is someone I know personally; she’s been in my home. So she has something of a leg up on knowing “Marshall the Person” over “Marshall the Author”. But the question is a good one.
I’ve had inklings of experience, having been an actor/director/producer/playwright in Austin theatre, with having a “public face”. And armed with that knowledge, I can say it’s challenging to form too hard of a line between me the Author and me the Person. It’s more work than I’m personally interested in doing to delineate it too much.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t boundaries, of course, and on my end I define them by how much I’m willing to put out there. I mean, I’m a pretty easy person to find, via Google or other search engines. My name is unique; search for me, I’m who you find. There’s just a limit of how much I can hide. With that in mind, I tend to have a pretty strict “think it over before you post it” rule about anything. The internet never forgets, and I’ve been out here using my actual name for a while now.
Basically, what I’m saying is, like most professionals, I’m putting forth the public face that I’ve crafted as what I want to present. But it’s not an act, it’s not really too different from who I really am.