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The World’s Greatest Actor, now a father, prepared lunch for his three children. Humming to himself happily, he slathered pieces of bread with peanut butter and jelly. He put them each into individual plastic containers, then the containers into brightly coloured cloth bags along with plums and juice boxes. He wanted to make sure they ate healthy but enjoyed what they ate. He was rewarded with their smiles when his three children came running in. An elder girl in grade two, followed by a twin boy and girl who were in kindergarten, greeted him. He said good morning and picked them all up in a bear hug, kissing them each on the forehead. They laughed  and ran to eat their breakfasts, cereal which he had poured for them. When they were done, he followed them up the stairs to make sure each one of them brushed their teeth, washed their hands, and picked up their school bags. He watched them shove their carefully packed lunches into their bags and run out the front door. He stood with them at the bus stop, watching his watch as he waited for the bus to arrive. When it did, he smiled at each of them again, said goodbye, and helped them onto the bus. He waved as it drove away.

The World’s Greatest Actor, now a leader, arrived at work where he was a manager. As usual, he was the first one there, ready and eager to start the day. The others came in slowly, dragging themselves up the stairs and into their cubicles. Upon seeing him there already working, they took inspiration from his stoicism, and sat down to work. His confidence and work effort ensured everything ran smoothly, and each one of his staff was happy to work under him. He was fair and kind, but hard when he needed to be, and strict on those who refused to do their jobs. The hours ticked by slowly, and the work kept coming. He remained calm while others panicked, happy while others despaired. He gladly worked through his break and his lunch, administrating and writing. At the end of the day, everything was finished, and the staff began to leave. As always, he was the last one there, letting everyone know that even though he was the manager, he would work as hard, if not harder, then anyone else.

The World’s Greatest Actor, now a politician, went to an after work dinner party hosted by the CEO. All the other managers were there, along with the directors, shareholders, and the highest staff of other companies. He worked his way through the crowed, making sure he shook hands with everyone but never spoke too long to one person, as that would be uncivil towards the others. He remembered every name and every face, greeting them with a welcoming smile and speaking to them with a careful balance of friendliness and professionalism. He discussed the news and local events, showing himself to be caught up on all the headlines. He discussed politics and philosophy, showing himself to be intelligent and opinionated, but not controversial or offensive in anyway. He discussed the market to show he understood his job, but carefully avoided topics related to work itself, as this would be unpleasant for a party.

The World’s Greatest Actor, now a friend, arrived at a bar. He was greeted instantly by smiles and cheers, with dozens calling out his name. He high fived and fist bumped all those he could reach, laughing along with them. He took a beer from the bar, putting the price on a tab. The bartender knew him, and let him take it with full knowledge he would return to pay. He began to drink with his friends between rounds of pool and darts. As they played, they talked loudly about all the latest sports news and games, arguing happily and betting over which was the best team. They watched a hockey game that ran on a hanging television, cheering when the home team score and mocking the referee. The joked and drank late into the night. He had to leave early, and said his goodbyes before leaving in a cab.

The World’s Greatest Actor, now a lover, returned home and walked to his bedroom to find his wife waiting for him. He apologized for being late, and was instantly forgiven. He took her into a warm embrace, whispering words of affection and love into her ears. He ran his hands slowly down her back, over her hips, and over her body. He kissed her neck softly and lovingly. He kissed her lips, and began to make love. Slowly at first, he picked up speed as he gave into desire, moving over and over, faster and faster. Time passed by without notice, and when they were done, they lay on the sweat soaked bed sheets panting, their love and desire displayed in a single, physical action.

The World’s Greatest Actor, now a cleaner, went down stairs to the kitchen. He found a pile of dishes waiting, and began to clean, happy to help his family. He scrubbed each dish carefully, dried it off, and put it away quietly so he didn’t wake anyone up. Despite the late hour, he worked tirelessly; making sure everything would be ready for those he loved the next day. Plate after plate was put way into the shelves until the counter was bare. He then cleaned and dried off the counter, ensuring there was no sign left of what had been there before.

The World’s Greatest Actor, now a human being, stopped for a moment to rest. He looked at the knife he was cleaning, seeing his face reflected on the blade. It gave a distorted image, twisted and contorted. It seemed to display another world beyond the metal, the picture of a complete home and a real man; though he knew it was only a flat, cold image, like a photo that had been faked. He traced his fingers along the edge of the blade, following it as it got thinner and thinner toward the inevitable, sharp point at the end.

The World’s Greatest Actor, now nothing, stared at the point and imagined it cutting into his throat.
A rather dark story about life.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-10-03
~EricAMBM "has a strong vision" (suggester's words) brought to life in the curiously abstract narrative of The World's Greatest Actor. ( Suggested by RhynWilliams and Featured by neurotype )
:iconchanteur-de-vent:
Chanteur-de-Vent Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014
I really would have done the same. It's really true that we can't be perfect in everything we doe without showing to anyone how we feel inside. The pain that we feel is the reason why we enjoy love and pleasure of life. And we have to hide all our pain to never take anything from others, at some point it will definitely explode. When you're forced to be 24-7 happy with no exception you'll feel the most how dull your life has become. 

Wonderful piece. You really work with tension, that just keeps piling on till the last sentence. The feeling that it's impossible to live such a life, makes you want to cry out in the end, just like the main character did.
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014   Writer
thank you.
I don't know if it is fair to say I am glad you related, but I am glad you can appreciate it
Reply
:iconchanteur-de-vent:
Chanteur-de-Vent Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014
You're very welcome.
Reply
:icondarkmaidenstories:
DarkMaidenStories Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014
Very well written and interesting to read :)
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:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014   Writer
I am glad you liked it
Reply
:icondejers:
Dejers Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

This is really amazing,

 

Yet extremely pessimistic... I have to wonder how your mind works to put these out... But on the lines that I have been told nearly the same.

 

Overall very interesting and very good.

Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014   Writer
thank you! :)
And I guess I can be pessimistic, though I am also very optimistic. It is sort of a strange dichotomy where I see all the great things that can happen and am always disappointed when they don't.

This came from studying for the work place where I was basically told all these different ways I'd need to act. It evolved from there.
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:icondejers:
Dejers Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Cool. :)
Reply
:iconrufusmisser:
RufusMisser Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconrufusmisser:
RufusMisser Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconabalex:
ABAlex Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013
congrats on the DD and good work.
very sad though :(
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013   Writer
thanks!
and yes it is
Reply
:iconpatrikia-bear:
Patrikia-Bear Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa. That was a truly captivating story. Amazing job. :)
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013   Writer
thanks a lot :hug:
Reply
:iconsaintofthedragons:
SaintOfTheDragons Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
This is awesome.
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
thanks :)
Reply
:iconrockerjase:
rockerjase Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
I interpreted this in 2 ways:
1. He seems happy but is suffering from severe depression, thus he is the world's greatest actor for always pretending to be happy. Which seems to be what most people are seeing here, although I don't find it that likely that he could remain that energetic with depression, from my experience it really saps the life out of you. But maybe others keep their strength I don't know.
2. He is suffering from severe depression and tries to imagine life if he had all these wonderful things, where he could could accomplish everything he set out to do, but in the end he is taken out of his fantasy and is suddenly reminded of his suicidal thoughts and feels worthless.

I don't know which was intended, hell there could be some other meaning that I didn't notice, but well I guess good literature is supposed to be able to be interpreted in different ways no matter which way was intended. So good job.
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
well those are each valid, and interesting. 
What I wanted to show was that he was forcing himself into all these different roles that are expected to him. Inside he realizes they are hollow and don't truly reflect who he is, but he must put on a show. At the same time, it is likely that the other people he interacts with are the same, taking on artificial roles but everyone is unwilling to mention it. This is the cause of the depression. Obviously he can't do anything about it because of the people of the effect it would have on the people around him. From the outside others would assume he has everything a man could want, but clearly that isn't what makes him happy. Imagine how the others must feel...

Anyway, I think other people's interpretations are equally valid (as long as you don't try to do anything horrible because of it Helter Skelter style), so if another interpreation has more meaning for you, that is what it means. I honestly think your idea that he is imaging it all is pretty cool.
Reply
:iconrockerjase:
rockerjase Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013
That's actually very interesting, and yeah I'm not gonna go all Charles Manson haha xD
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:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013   Writer
so, anyway, if you are asking whether this actually happened or he is trying to imagine a better life, it is ambiguous. Either way, it is clearly meaningless to him
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:iconnixwritespoems:
nixwritespoems Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, this just taught me how to live. 
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:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
wow... well hadn't expected that much! but I am glad I can help and thank you for the comments :hug:
Reply
:iconsigfriedofgaea:
Sigfriedofgaea Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This whole story is true... excellently written. :)
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
thanks for the comments!
Reply
:iconsigfriedofgaea:
Sigfriedofgaea Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconsigfriedofgaea:
Sigfriedofgaea Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That drops from really high to really low instantly...

People would always wonder why he would imagine that... when everything else in his life was going so well...
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:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
its often difficult to really understand why people feel the way they do... this is the burden of the artist, of course
Reply
:iconsigfriedofgaea:
Sigfriedofgaea Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I see, I see. :)
Reply
:iconjustwant2behappy:
justwant2behappy Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is really cool and strong writing...
I suppose this is about someone with massive depression? am I right?
I love everything you write in this piece, and the important part is that everyone can have depression, even though from the outside their life seems really fine/ happy. I learn it by self experience

thank you so much for this, I really enjoy it
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
he does have depression, of course. But a bit more then that, he is disillusioned with the world he is living in. Obviously he has to pretend to be happy, but he also has to force himself into all the fake roles that are expected of him. He is a fake, but so are all the people around him, and no one wants to admit to it.

Thank you for the comment and you are welcome
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
thank you :) :hug:
Reply
:iconfractalbeauty25:
fractalbeauty25 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It's quite sad about how many "world's greatest actor"s there are...
beautifully written! Your goal of hinting at something being wrong was definitely successful. I love the message of this piece. :heart:
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
It is sad isn't it, and yet we all seem to accept it as necessary...
Reply
:iconseraph-azriel:
Seraph-Azriel Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
Wow.  Just...wow.  Talk about dark.
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
thank you, though at the beginning it is sort of sickeningly cheery, isn't it?
Reply
:iconseraph-azriel:
Seraph-Azriel Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
Yeah, like honey thats so sweet it scalds your tongue as it goes down.
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
or cake that gives you diabetes 
Reply
:iconseraph-azriel:
Seraph-Azriel Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
THE CAKE IS A LIE!
Reply
:iconraekia:
Raekia Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
Wow. I expected some kind of twist but not like that. Great work and congrats on the DD.
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
thank you so much! I'm glad it can surprise. What did you think would happen? 
Reply
:iconraekia:
Raekia Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
I thought it might end up being a TV show, or a dream. 
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
oh, I guess that makes sense given the title :)
Reply
:iconserenaharmonia:
SerenaHarmonia Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Student General Artist
OH GOD. I began reading this and it seemed kinda sweet. Then, I read the last lines and i got mindfucked.
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
haha I'm glad it had that effect. You didn't get the feeling half way through something was wrong?
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:iconserenaharmonia:
SerenaHarmonia Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Student General Artist
yeeeesh. Yep i did.
Reply
:iconlowlyworm:
LowlyWorm Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so legit in every way. Pretending that you are so great, as you 'become who you pretend to be', but when you crash back to who you really are and stop acting you see things about yourself you never have seen before... And want to stop acting but still live up to the expectations of you that you have set.
Reply
:iconericambm:
EricAMBM Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013   Writer
yes I think it is something a lot of people can relate to do, or at least I hope.
Is it right to say I hope that? I mean, I hope they like my work, but it is sort of depressing.
Anyway, thanks for the kind words.
Reply
:iconlowlyworm:
LowlyWorm Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome! And, yes, I think many people can relate to it.
Reply
:iconjenndixonphotography:
JennDixonPhotography Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
Wonderful imagery!  I enjoyed reading your work.
Reply
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