Posted by: Take Flight | August 2, 2011

Shakespeare was Right–All the World’s a Stage

“All the world’s a stage” said Shakespeare. As I learn more about performing in my intermediate acting class at UCSD, I agree with Shakespeare’s wisdom. In life we have the chance to fully develop our characters, become more in touch with our emotional intelligence, and for some of us, life can be quite a “drama.”

 We interact with each other and sometimes it is believable, what actors strive for, yet at times it seems artificial, contrived, as if we are mouthing the words that only others wish to hear. It is as if we’re reading from a script rather than speaking from our own hearts.

 Here are some of the life lessons I’ve learned from acting:

(1) Do not talk over your scene partners

In acting and in life we must listen to whom we are talking with. When they are finished talking, then we can speak. Often we’re so consumed with our own thoughts that we don’t hear what the other person is saying. We’re so focused on speaking ourselves that we’re quick to blurt out what we have to say, often speaking over the person we’re communicating with.

 (2) Never put your back to the audience

 In acting and in life we must face our audience to engage them. Our audience can be our life situations which we must not hide from and instead deal with head on to resolve them. Our audience can represent the person we’re communicating with—to look them in the eyes when we’re speaking to them. It can also mean being willing to be seen and heard by others. Expressing ourselves freely rather than hiding in the background. This is the only way to build our confidence.

 (3) Imagine you are hearing the lines for the first time

 In acting and in life we benefit from bringing a fresh approach to each day of our lives. On the “stage” we want to be fully present to others and imagine we’re hearing the lines for the first time, and on “life’s stage” when we’re in the now, seeing this moment for the first time, we can feel more alive and energized.

 (4) Pick up the Pace

In acting and in life we often bring more energy to ourselves and situations when we pick up the pace. On the “stage” we sometimes need to speak our lines more rapidly to hold our audience’s attention.  On “life’s stage” we can move our bodies with exercise, get up from our computers to take a break, or change the momentum by starting a new project. When we pick up the pace, we don’t over think our lives which can sometimes keep us in a rut. Instead we move with life’s flow and feel more “get up and go.”

 (5) Know your objectives

In acting and in life when we take the time to research, reflect, and know our objectives we communicate more clearly with conviction. We then have a much better chance of attaining our goals. We not only want to know our objectives – it is also important to understand others’ motivations, our scene partners on the “stage” or those relationships closer to us on “life’s stage.” When we have a better understanding of one another, we are more in sync and harmony.

 Suzan’s eBook, Women at P.L.A.Y! Peace, Love, and Acceptance of Yourself after 40 will soon be released. Stay tuned!

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