On being a shallow human being

I've discovered recently that it's very difficult to be a shallow human being. My assumption until last weekend was that shallow, one-dimensional people had it easy: no soul-searching, no decisions about how vulnerable to be. But it turns out that it's actually incredibly difficult to remain shallow, at least for me.

I am playing the role of Coach in High School Musical On Stage. The Coach is the typical Disney Dad: completely disconnected from his kids and reliving his own childhood through his kids. He's very, very hard on his basketball genius son because he was also a basketball genius in high school.

The role is well-written, with all the lines leading naturally to the next. I read it through and figured it was a no-brainer. Focus a lot of directive energy into my voice, leave no room for doubt about what I'm saying, deliver my lines in a very direct manner and throw some liberal doses of anger in.

During rehearsal, however, I discovered that my natural inclination is to reveal some depth in the character. For example, a few of the lines hint about the Coach's great disappointment in high school, and I almost subconsciously revealed a little of that to deepen the character. Nope, bad idea. High School Musical is a black-and-white show, with cardboard cutout characters. It really is a typical Disney happy show, and revealing depth is distracting. So the director kept catching me doing less-than-shallow decisions and I kept realizing he was right.

How do shallow people do it?


  1. That's easy. Shallow people generally use less of their brains, and aren't very intellligent. I mean, LITERALLY are not as intelligent as deep people. That's a fact.

    There are two types of shallow people though, and some are intelligent, but act vapid because they weren't taught any other way.

    Herein lies the challenge of eking out the ones who might be worthwhile once you got to know them.

    How did the performance go?

  2. I'm curious what research you've run into that points to a link between intelligence and shallowness. However either word is defined.

    The performance was a blast. Thanks for asking. Went really well and I really enjoyed it.