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.

Hello!

There are a lot of songs about saying hello; these are just a few. I find it funny that a simple little word causes people such anxiety.

It in its simplest form it is a greeting; in a more complex manner it is a way to begin a conversation, which I guess, is why it causes people so much stress. You never know how someone is going to respond to your “hello”, do you?

Have you ever had someone honk at you or run into you in the grocery store cause they are in a hurry and you simply look and wave and say, “hello”. It’s amazing how quickly their anger dissipates because you catch them off guard and they aren’t expecting someone to be nice to them, let alone notice them.

I don’t know too many people who would be absolutely prickish if out of the blue someone said hello to them. Actually, off the top of my head I can’ think of one. Even people I don’t think so fondly of would probably be taken back if I said hello.

It’s just hello. A word. It has no power over us. In fact, the only meaning or power it has, is what we give it.

The world needs a little more hellos. See how many people you can say it to today and take note of their response. It will probably make their day and yours too!

Good morning from New York and Hello!