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Dying for your Art

Every job has its demands, and many people make sacrifices in their personal lives to advance their careers.   However, actors and actresses sometimes experience some peculiar demands on their physical appearance, well beyond the common restrictions in other professions that may simply require neatly-trimmed hair of a natural color.  There are limitations to what can be done with stage makeup and padding. When performers make real changes to their physical appearance for a part, such that they look different in the mirror in the morning, that’s commitment. That’s “dyeing for your art”.

A Brazilian actor was extremely unfortunate recently when he did, quite literally, “die for his art” after accidentally hanging himself while playing Judas in an Easter Passion play.  Tiago Klimeck, 27, was re-enacting the scene in which Judas commits suicide in repentance for his betrayal of Jesus Christ in a performance on Good Friday in the city of Itarare and was hanging for four minutes before fellow performers realised something was wrong.  He was taken to hospital suffering from cerebral hypoxia but died on Sunday.

Initial Police investigations have found that the knot may have been wrongly tied but an autopsy is still to take place.

It certainly brings a whole new meaning to the term “corpsing on stage” … ouch!!!

Unlucky for some?

Today is Friday 13th April and it got me thinking about why we are so superstitious about the number 13 and why it considered to be such a problem when Friday falls on the 13th day of the month?

A fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia which comes from the Greek words for Friday – paraskevi, Thirteen – dekatria and Fear – phobia

Unlucky 13:  It is considered unlucky to have 13 at a table or in a company. The number 13, in the Christian faith, is the number of people at the Last Supper, with the 13th guest at the table being the traitor, Judas.

So why else are people superstitious of the number 13?

  • A witches coven consists of 13 members.
  • Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card, depicting the Grim Reaper
  • There are 13 steps leading to the gallows.
  • 13 knots in a hangman’s noose.
  • 13 feet which the guillotine blade falls.

Added to this, Fridays have been considered an unlucky day since the medieval times.  It is generally considered bad luck to start anything on a Friday – a new journey, job, marriage, business project, giving birth, moving house.  It is unlucky to cut fingernails and hair on a Friday and in Britain, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings.

Furthermore,

  • Muslims tout Friday as the day that Allah created Adam
  • Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday and later died on a Friday
  • Christians consider Friday as the day on which Christ was crucified by the Romans

On that basis, without wishing to tempt fate any further, I am heading back to hide under the duvet until it’s all over … till the next time!

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