Talking heads

Talking Heads

The worst crime an actor can commit is to be a talking head. This is one of my pet peeves as an acting coach. What is a talking head you ask? When an actor does not know what he is saying or why he is saying it. He/she is just saying lines, completely disconnected from their body.

“If I were a director looking at your audition tape, I would have fast forwarded after the first two lines. You might as well be a floating head.” Okay, so maybe I’m not that hard on them… ahem, but I wish I had a penny for every time I preached about insisting on knowing the specific, organic reason why you are saying a line or performing an action. If you don’t know why, don’t say the line. Insist on asking WHY until you do! If it’s not in the script, make it up. Anything but mindlessly saying lines without any real connection to the truth. Because guess what? If you don’t know why or what you are saying, neither does the audience.

The same goes for real life, folks.

Once again, I find that my approach to life coaching is complimented by and directly related to coaching actors. Only now, I am listening to that deep whisper from within that is yearning to deal with “real life.” It’s the same process but why stop with a pretend character that only lasts as long as the performance? Why not use all these insights and techniques to get to the truth of your essential self, that self who existed with all entitlement when we were very young? Why not figure out when that truth became masked and muddied.

How often have you found yourself as a talking head in your own life? You wake up and wonder how you got there? When did being fake and false become so easy?   Seriously, I think I spent an entire decade as a talking head. It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t get me very far, but it did give me perspective.

Just like an actor, dissecting a character, we all have to play detective in our own lives. It’s hard to have long-term goals in life if we don’t have a clue as to our purpose, our intention for walking into a room or pursuing a career. It’s what I call purposeful living.

Living in that space where “your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Frederick Buechner.

Discover what makes you shine –

Xo Liz.

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