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.

Saying Nothing Says a Whole Lot

No one can deny this is a beautiful song. But the meaning behind it is rather tragic.

Waiting for someone to tell you how they feel after you have already tried to convey your feelings to them and them not saying anything in return, says more than some of us can handle.

The words we long to hear don’t come, so we imagine the worst and stop giving to someone who is not receiving, and we walk away. Words can be weapons or they can be beautiful, but when we don’t speak them at all, it leaves others to wonder how we feel. And of course, we always imagine the worst.

Why is it so hard for some people to express themselves? Were they shot down as a child every time they did? Were they raised in a house like my grandmother, where they were told, “Children should be seen and not heard?” Perhaps every time they did try to convey their feelings they were laughed at or told it was wrong.

It doesn’t matter. None of that really matters. What does matter is how not expressing yourself and what you really feel just keeps perpetuating your past and denying you of love and authentic relationships.

It can be hard to express ourselves. I work very hard on this with my children. Sometimes we have arguments and they express themselves very well. It’s the apology that has a harder time coming, but it does. Eventually it does.

I have taught them to express themselves their entire lives and I have also taught them that it is equally important to acknowledge when you have said things that are hurtful or done something that made someone angry. I practice what I preach and there have been many times where I have had to apologize to them. We are very honest with one another and share a mutual respect.

This love, honesty and respect can be had in any relationship, but it does require saying something. You can always start with I’m sorry, How are you, I was just thinking about you, or Can we talk. They all work.

An authentic relationship will require you to be vulnerable. Are you ready to say something or do you want to keep having ones that are superficial?