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LIFE: An Acting 101 Primer- 101a Listening


By Chris McGahan, Accelerated Career Coach

Acting 101a: Listening
You know, I have been successful in a lot of avenues in my life. I have been an actor, a producer, a director, an artistic director, and a writer. I have been an athlete. I have been a world traveler. I have been a dancer and a business analyst and am now a coach. I mean, I’m no Tim Ferriss… but who is?

At Accelerated, we talk a lot about how business skills are universal, and how they apply to a career in the arts. I realized something just as startling and surprising as I looked back over my successes, my missteps, my growing pains, and my learning opportunities: Every tool I needed to be successful, I learned in my Intro to Acting Class.

Imagine how surprised my mom will be when she realizes that a theater degree was useful after all!!!

Look, it may be shocking to hear, but I promise you that it’s true! It is all right there- every tool you need was handed to you when you weren’t even paying attention.

The first tool to being successful? Listening.

In acting class, Listening is something very specific, very basic, which can still be very challenging to master. “Of course,” you may assume “I know how to listen. I do it all the time, Chris!” But do you? Do you REALLY? Or do you hear and wait for your turn to speak? Do you ignore the “unwritten dialogue” and cues from the world around you?

In life, like in Acting 101, Listening is more than just hearing words. It is taking them in, digesting their meaning, and allowing them to impact you.

Out here in the “real world” Listening is even more key when responding to the world: the successes it piles on you, the challenges it puts in your way. Listening is reading a room- it’s energy, it’s tone- and reacting accordingly. Listening is hearing the things YOU say and do to represent yourself to the world.

Listening is, at its core, the most basic and fundamental piece of acting there is. And Listening is the most basic business strategy there is. It is almost impossible to be consistently successful without listening to the messages the world is sending your way.

So, what is the world trying to tell you? What are you trying to tell YOURSELF?


Wanna know more about how to convert your acting 101 skills to a successful career? Schedule a free 20 minute consult with me now.

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