Reverse transform

Eye transform and brain reverse transform

When an actor is on stage, they don't speak like a normal person speaks; they project, using their diaphragm and abdominal muscles to increase their volume far above normal without sounding like they're shouting. They wear makeup, not normal makeup that you might wear to go out, but garish makeup that exaggerates every feature of the face. However, when you see them on stage, their voice sounds normal and they look normal. The projection cancels out the effects of distance, and the makeup cancels out the harsh stage lighting. If they had spoken normally or worn normal makeup, they would have looked abnormal.

After you set up a high-end sound system, it's common to calibrate it. The amplifier itself will distort the sound signal in some way, as will the speakers, the stands the speakers are on, the shape of the room and everything in it. You could say the sound is transformed by all these elements before it hits your ears. To fix this, you take a microphone (whose distortions you also have to take into account but are usually known) and record the sound system sweeping through every frequency. From that, you can calculate another transform that, when you put sound through it, will cancel out the original transform. In other words, the reverse transform.

A common piece of advice is to "be yourself", which is not great for a few reasons, but one of them is that it ignores that your actions and words are transformed before they reach other people. Perhaps you see yourself as reserved and thoughtful, but in the eyes of other people you are awkward and shy. Assuming you want other people to see you the way you see yourself, acting like yourself is terrible advice. Instead, you should act the way that will cancel out the distortions between yourself, your thoughts, your actions, other people's perceptions, and their eventual opinion of you.

But, wait! That's not being true to yourself. Maybe. But you have to ask, is an actor being true to themselves when they speak softly or go on stage without makeup, knowing that the audience won't see or hear them? Is a sound system being true to itself by generating the most exquisitely accurate waveform only to have it immediately distorted by the environment? If a tree is true to itself in the woods where nobody can see it, what does it matter?

Besides, it's not like you have to change the way you see yourself. Your identity can (and should) be defined on your own terms, not by your effects on the things around you. But that doesn't mean those effects don't exist. If your aim is to achieve a certain result, to be seen a certain way, to be heard a certain way, you have to work with the mechanics of reality, and that includes its distortions. Figuring out and applying the reverse transform is how you make up for those distortions and project yourself as accurately as possible into reality.