In creating my inauthentic character, I could not help but bring myself to the conversation.* But in creating the character, I wanted to make sure it was as far away from me as possible, while yet being true to the potential target audience.
I chose to appear (though in “costume”), because of the demographics of Detroit. In the sociocultural tradition, how the communicator identifies herself plays a part in the communication. I felt it was true to Sophia to be an African-American female. As a good candidate for City Auditor General, Sophia would have to have some “truths” about her that would help get her elected. So I tried to stick with the theories in the Presentation of Self in creating those “truths.” Hence the extensive experience. the loyalty for Detroit, even the somber clothes and glasses.
Did I feel comfortable playing this character? The short answer is “no.” Imagining another person’s life, creating a character and inventing what they would say was the easy part. As a creative writer, I do this constantly. The part that made it uncomfortable was the presenting and becoming that character for others to see. I wanted to hide behind my “costume”, because I was afraid of what others would think of me by being Sophia. On the other hand, I was also afraid that its inauthenticity would be its undoing. The character would come off as sarcastic and a joke, instead of just inauthentic from me.
I was a little bit more comfortable playing the “inauthentic character online (YouTube) than maybe I would have been while looking into the eyes of a room full of strangers. I think this is the idea of Proxemics in play here.