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for the sake of what do you speak?

August 20, 2012

Recently I decided to go back to school.

To practice being a better actor.

One of the tutors said that the biggest mistake an actor can make is to think that it is all about them. About their character. They become inwardly focused and get lost inside themselves.

What we needed to realise that an actor must always have a target. Something or someone outside themselves that they are seeking to have an effect on …

… to seduce

… to impress

… to annoy

… to reproach

… to comfort

… to incite

… to consider.

Every character in every play wants something. Every time they open their mouth to speak it is because they want to do something to make things better or to stop things from getting worse.

As an actor if you open your mouth to speak and you do not have a clear idea of who your target is and what you are trying to get them to do you are in trouble.

It is a powerful lesson to learn.

Woman aiming a bow

Recently I decided to go back to school.

To practice being a better leader.

One of the tutors asked us a question. “For the sake of what do you speak?” Apparently, the biggest mistake a leader can make is thinking that it is all about them. About their character. They become inwardly focused and get lost inside themselves.

What we need to realise is that as human beings we have the power of speech and there is only one reason that we ever use it.

We speak to create a particular future.

Think about that.

We speak to create a particular future.

I wrote those words to you just there because I want to have an effect on you. I want to create a future in which you take the time to stop and consider the implications of that statement.

I say the words “Can you bring me a glass of water?” because I have a particular future that I wish to create. One that has me drinking the water that you have brought to me.

I write (say) these words, in this blog, because I have a particular future that I wish to create. One in which I am someone who writes for sure, but if I make the mistake of thinking it is all about me and forget that there must always be a target then there will nobody to read (hear) my words. You are the target, the person I am seeking to have an effect on …

… to seduce

… to impress

… to annoy

… to reproach

… to comfort

… to incite

… to consider.

It is for the sake of a particular future that I wish to create that I speak. Always.

That lesson will make me a better actor.

The same lesson will make me a better leader. It can do the same for you.

The next time (and every time) someone speaks ask yourself the question…

for the sake of what do they speak?

What is the future they are trying to create? Do they want …

… to seduce you into their bed so they will no longer feel lonely?

… to impress you so you will hire them?

… to annoy you so you will be distracted from you current course of action?

… to reproach you because you have hurt their feelings and they want you to stop?

… to comfort you because your pain is their pain and they also want to stop hurting?

… to incite you to take action to change the course of history?

… to consider that what they are saying might change your world the same way it has changed theirs?

They are speaking because they want you to do something to make things better or to stop things from getting worse – for them. And you are their target.

Think about that.

***

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Beth Stubberfield permalink
    August 31, 2012 3:53 pm

    Very insightful and provocative blog….

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