Behind the façade: The Everyday Wonder of wearing a mask

Everyday Wonder host Brett Will Taylor’s favorite mask (Photo: Brett Will Taylor)

You’re probably thinking about your Halloween costume about now.

But in New Orleans, costumes – and masks – are year-round attire. Two Elvises drinking coffee at a local CCs coffee shop? No one blinks.

In this episode, we step back to explore the human penchant for wearing masks. The oldest found mask dates to 7000 BC. Masks through history have been used to frighten enemies, to perform rituals, to enhance theater. Halloween, as an ancient Celtic celebration, dictated wearing masks as protection from evil spirits that roamed the earth on All Hallow’s Eve.

Modern masks are just as evocative, and powerful. They can involve creativity and fantasy, serve as a way to hide from the world, or offer a means to become someone different. Does the mask you choose show who you truly are, or who you want to be?

Join us as we look at the everyday wonder of wearing a mask and make an gentle pitch for all of us (even you) to try a mask on from time to time.

Renee Peck dons an Iris mask. Photo: Brett Will Taylor)

What does this mask say about Everyday Wonder gust Pam Roberts? We asked her. Photo: Renee Peck)


Brett Will Taylor, a former (mask-hating) Bostonian who learned to love masks as a New Orleanian

Renee Peck, who once made a (bad) giant’s mask from papier mache


Pam Roberts, who would wear masks even if she weren’t an actress

New Orleans, where masks are as ubiquitous (and unique) as potholes

Producer: Thomas Walsh




Everyday Wonder is a weekly podcast that focuses on conversations about the things that really matter. Read more about it here. Send feedback and comments to Brett Will Taylor at or Renee Peck at



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[…] Wonder, the podcast I co-host with author/shaman Brett Will Taylor, we devoted an episode to masks. Their meaning, their history, their power. Does a mask conceal or reveal? Does the mask you choose […]

Big (un) Easy Living: In New Orleans, masks are a way of life – Via Nola Vie