Bad acting is painful to watch. The actress who cries through every line of the play to prove the character is sad. The actor who yells and pounds his fists in every scene of the movie to show the character is angry.
When bad acting happens, the audience tunes out. The message gets jumbled and the connection between the audience and the story is lost.
One of the common reasons for bad acting is the belief by the actor that every word of every line is should be expressed with equal vigor. They forget the adage:
If everything is important, then nothing is.
Of course thespians aren’t the only people missing the boat.
Think about websites you’ve come across that left you so overwhelmed by advertisements and bold fonts and exclamation marks (!!!!!!!!!!!!) that you couldn’t find the information you were searching for in the first place.
The message gets lost when the delivery is over-saturated.
This is also true in our day-to-day lives and careers.
By placing equal importance on every project we start, every goal we set for ourselves, and every task on our to-do list we become either:
A. Paralyzed with indecision. We have too many priorities so we procrastinate doing any of them.
B. Manic. Like the actor shouting every line, we barge our way through our to-do list with reckless abandon.
So how do we determine what is most important?
For example, looking only at career priorities, right now I earn my income in three ways:
Producing web videos
Each of these jobs requires their own off-shoots of responsibilities. I’m also back in the audition circuit, which often feels like a job and certainly requires the time and attention of one.
Oh, and there’s the e-course I’ve created but seem inept at adding the finishing touches on. And then there’s the book circumnavigating my brain, and the movie short I’ve briefly outlined.
And these are all just a few items on the Important (!!!) To-Do List. Sigh. I’m sure many of you can relate.
So lets turn to another page from Acting 101 for help:
In every scene it is imperative to ask:
1. What does my character want the other person in the scene to do?
2. How will my character go about getting them to do it?
None of us are alone, even if we like to be alone.
Therefore, during times (like now) when I’m feeling unsure of where my priorities lie, I find it helpful to ask myself:
1. What do I want to incite other people to do?
In other words, what kind of inspiration can I offer the world?
2. How am I going to get them to do it?
In other words, what steps can I take to make that happen?
Ultimately, that which is most important to us isn’t actually us. It’s them. When we turn the spotlight towards others, our own priorities will shine through.
Note: Our Share Your Story September In-Studio session is already half full! Sign up before midnight this Sunday to secure your Early Bird discount. This is a terrific opportunity to share your story with a professional video for your website.