Nobody is going to tell you how to say what you need to say

As an actor, I work well with a script. Wouldn’t it be nice in life if we all got one? I mean, imagine how great a conversation would go when you knew you needed to talk to someone and they got the script ahead of time. Pauses would be built in the script, along with places that said, Cries, Laughs, Yells. You would even say the location of where it’s happening.

This way when we see someone and we have something to say, we would just look at them and say, “Just so we’re clear, we are meeting in my living room, you are sitting in the green chair and we are reading from the Script for Effective Communication. I’m starting on Page Two, Line 14 and you sit and listen to me until your part, which is on Page 25.”

But we don’t get scripts! We get nada. Except of course the ones in our heads.

Have you ever gone over what you were going to say to someone in your head and it went perfectly fine? It was like a top notch performance. You got things off your chest, you felt great and you imagined the person you were talking to hearing everything you said and agreeing.

But then in the real world, not the script one, when you actually had the conversation or at least tried to, noting came out. Or if anything managed to eek its way out it was something about the weather or shoes. You didn’t even touch base on that Academy Award winning speech you gave in your head! And of course the minute you leave, it all comes back to you.

I like acting for many reasons. One of them is the script. It’s pretty logical. There is no guess work with what they want you to say. The problems is…how do you say it?

Do you have any idea how many ways you can say, “Robert, is that you?” Go ahead, try it!

Casting Directors don’t tell you how to say things, they expect you to know. But am I putting the emphasis on ROBERT or on YOU? Am I sounding like a question after Robert? Or waiting till the end after you? I mean, there are so many ways to say that one stinking line!

You can understand now why I might fudge an audition from time to time. I call it burning the potatoes. You have the recipe, you know how to make them and yet the simplest dish can be ruined if you get caught up with the whole idea of making them.

By the way, I said the line with the emphasis on you and then I had to pretend I was killed. THAT was a whole other thing and I’m sure I probably screwed that up.

Have fun whatever you are doing and don’t think too much about how to say what you have to say or how to say it. We’re all learning. Nobody’s perfect and unless you’re auditioning for a television show, it just doesn’t matter. What matters is that you speak your truth.

Shakin’

I heard this song the other day and it reminded me of a session I had with a prosperity coach named Annita. Just writing that sounds funny, but let me explain.

On any given week I can audition up to three times. Before this disastrous piece of shit known as covid came into our lives, sometimes it was four or five. “Back in the day” I had the opportunity to get up in front of people, now like you, when I want to meet people I am potentially going to work for, I have to sit at my computer.

While most of you probably don’t worry about your background or lighting when taking these meetings, I do. It’s a production! I have a ring light that I cart around the house with me to try and find the best background.

Generally I would use my make-shift studio but my husband’s office is in the basement so I can’t go there. The kitchen is off limits, as is the dining room and living room, because my youngest son is at home now being taught on his computer and he has decided that being near the refrigerator is the best place for him to work.

I get it! He literally eats every two hours! The kids weighs 180 and is rock solid muscle! I like having him home; he’s a real charmer and it beats the three hour commute he takes daily when he is in school where I worry about him non-stop. I don’t know how many times you can tell a kid to make sure they call you when they get on one train to head to another, but this guy has been told at least a thousand and still…no call. The up side to him working in the kitchen, aside from the fridge, is I get to hear when he isn’t paying attention. “Do you have an A in this class?” is all I need to say and he quickly re-engages.

With all that said, I usually go upstairs to take the meetings because my two older boys are off at college and I have my pick of two rooms. They are complete opposites in taste and style, but have an equal amount of brilliance, so it all boils down to where I can’t hear anyone downstairs. My family is loud. I hate loud!

I don’t know about you, but trying to find a room in your house that isn’t like you are in surround sound is becoming a hot commodity. It’s not normal for people to be home together all the time. Men left the cave at some point to go hunt for months at a time! The only hunting going on over right cheer (read here), is me trying to find quiet space!

Sometimes, like last week, I log into the meeting early (I am always early to everything) and just sit there and go over my lines. I’m always prepared but then the committee gets involved and I start to get nervous (the committee of course are the million thoughts in me head that ask why are you doing this, followed by you will never get it!) Sometimes my hands sweat and my mouth gets dry. I start to forget the lines I have so well rehearsed. It’s at this point that I want to cancel the call and say f%^& it! And I have!

Well, I never understood this behavior because I like acting more than anything. Annita, who happens to be a Human Design expert, looked over my body graph chart and started explaining open centers and lines and I was blown away. Apparently I am a Projector (only 20% of the population is). Not only does this type have to wait for the invitation, they can burn out when they go after things they haven’t been invited to. . Me, wait? I’m a go-getter. I don’t wait for anything, which explained why I feel burned out a lot of the time. She also said that due to certain numbers and lines crossing and being unidentified, I will reject things before they have the chance to reject me.

The lingo was quite intense but the message was very clear. Keep doing me but don’t push. Allow for the opportunities to show up instead of trying to make them happen and most importantly, feel the fear and do it anyway, because fear shuts down abundance and fear is nothing more than excitement without breath.

In the 30 minutes I talked to her, I felt as though someone finally got me and on top of that, everything she said made perfect sense. I now go into auditions with that shortness of breath and stop for a moment and realize this is nothing more than excitement because I have an opportunity in front of me.

So, my message is learn to love the shakin’. It means you are excited and that an opportunity for something really awesome is right in front of you. What you do with it is up to you, but I now embrace the nerves because I know on the other side of them is happiness.

And may you find quiet space in your space and covet it. I personally live for Saturday and Sunday when my husband drives my youngest to New Jersey to train with a coach. Ahhhh….I can almost hear the nothingness now.