Podcast #383: The Virtues of the Masks of Masculinity

In the past few years, there’s been a lot written about the ills of the “masks of masculinity.” These supposed social masks are the source of personal problems in the lives of men as well as countless societal problems. 

But what if the problem isn’t the masks of masculinity themselves? What if the problem is we don’t teach young men how to wear these masks in a way that’s productive and pro-social? 

That’s what my guest today suggests. He makes his living teaching actors how to put on the mask of the masculine soldier. His name is Dale Dye, and he’s a retired Marine captain who served in Vietnam, and he’s the owner of Warriors, Inc., a company that consults actors and filmmakers on how to make war movies more realistic. Today on the show, Dale and I discuss how he went from a career in the military to a career in film and what many filmmakers get wrong about war. Using war historian John Keegan’s book The Mask of Command as a starting point, Dale and I discuss why social masks are necessary in leadership, war, and even being a man. Dale share his insights about the masks of masculinity from years of teaching actors how to be soldiers, why it’s important to have multiple masks in your arsenal, and knowing when to put them on in different situations. 

Show Highlights

  • Dale’s resume as a Marine veteran, leader, and Hollywood consultant 
  • Why Dale says he’s spent much of his life “raising other people’s children” 
  • Did Dale aspire to be a leader? Or did it fall to him?
  • Why caring for the people you lead is the foundation of leadership 
  • The importance of reading for those in leadership positions 
  • How Dale experiments with new ideas 
  • How do you learn the various “masks of leadership”? 
  • Dale’s love affair with movies, and why he thought Hollywood poorly portrayed war films in particular  
  • The role Dale played in the making of the legendary movie Platoon
  • How Dale gets actors to walk in the shoes of military servicemen, and how it changes them 
  • Older war movies that Dale thinks are great 
  • How Dale got into writing and publishing military novels 

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