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20 Reasons Everyone Should Take Acting Lessons

Feb 8, 2015 | Business, Ponderables

Here’s what my students learn:

  1. Enter a room with confidence, head held high.
  2. Look people in the eyes.
  3. If you shake someone’s hand, your grip should be firm, not flimsy and not vise-like.
  4. Don’t babble, but do speak clearly, distinctly, and loud enough to be heard.
  5. Listen carefully when someone is speaking to you.
  6. The most important thing you do is listen.
  7. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, especially when you do not like how they are acting. Why do you think they are behaving the way they are?  Figure it out. It’s probably not the reason you think.
  8. People have reasons for everything they do. They may not be good reasons, but they make sense to that person at that time.
  9. Very often, they themselves are unaware of the reason.
  10. Be nice to everyone because you never know who you are talking to. Also, isn’t that the way you want people to treat you?
  11. Only (bad) actors show emotions; people do everything they can to hide emotions.
  12. Everything you do is probably motivated either by fear or love.
  13. Every story is a love story. You just have to figure out what the love is about.
  14. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to feel needed.
  15. Everyone has sides to them they don’t like or are afraid of. Don’t be afraid; look at them, but do so with control. Unexamined feelings fester and contaminate everything you do.
  16. We all have deep dark secrets, and most of them are pretty much the same.
  17. How a person behaves is not who they are.
  18. Everyone had a life before they met you and will continue to have one when you’re gone.
  19. Support others, especially scene partners (or co-workers). Don’t try to steal focus from them.
  20. If you cannot treat a person with respect, walk away.

My students need all these skills to create believable characters and to work with other actors, directors, etc. But wouldn’t the world be just a little better if everyone had these skills?

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