For a performer, the process of reviewing memorabilia and a lifetime of professional work provides an opportunity for life review. According to Robert Butler, a pioneer on aging and ageism:
Life review is a personal process by which a person evaluates his or her life as it nears its end. This spontaneous psychological event is seen especially when one is confronted by death or a major crisis, although some individuals may not be fully aware of it and may even deny that it is happening at all. The intensity and emphasis placed on putting one’s life in order is most striking in old age … The strength of life review lies in its ability to help promote life satisfaction, psychological well-being, and self-esteem.
The Curated Life Review exercise is a short film in which a performer reflects on his or her life and career. Recording and editing this footage, by yourself or with assistance, is an opportunity to process these stories, gain perspective, and create a lasting, shareable artifact. The video might take the form of a first-person recollection of anecdotes, an interview or conversation, a close-up of memorabilia with voiceover narration, or many other forms.
Please consult our guides on how to create your own Curated Life Review video.
See excerpts from curated life review videos created by our initial cohort of Performing Arts Legacy Project actors in Spring 2017: