A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending an amazing workshop in Toronto with Barbara Deutsch. Barbara is a creative coach who helps artists break through certain blocks they might be experiencing with regards to their careers. This is exactly what I needed: I’ve taken lots of classes, I’ve created my own work and I’m constantly seeking out new opportunities, but when it comes to career advancement, I feel like I’ve hit a plateau.
The class was fairly big, but Barbara is incredibly adept at making sure everyone’s individual needs were met. She’s intuitive and doesn’t waste any time getting to the root of a problem if you are willing to listen.
The vibe in Toronto was really different from what I was used to in Ottawa. I felt it immediately when I walked in. Though the experience level varied (from recent theatre school grads to principals in film and TV roles) there was no doubt in my mind that all these people
were are ‘working actors’ even if they weren’t currently appearing in something. It was an intimidating sensation, at first, as I fell prey to the ‘What the hell am I doing here?/I don’t belong in this room’ doubts. I sat in the front row (keener that I am to absorb as much knowledge as I can) but I didn’t feel ‘present’.
Then Barbara helped me solve a big personal block. I won’t get into here, but the solution was a simple one: ‘Make it about the other person.’
As an actor, I’ve heard this a million times before. When you’re on stage, you’re not working alone (even when doing a one person show, there’s an audience involved) and it’s important to listen to your scene partner and make it about them. I never clued in that this was something I could be doing in my everyday life. When I make it about the other person, I’m not worried about me anymore (‘How’s my hair?’ ‘Does this outfit make me look fat today?’ ‘OMG, they probably think I’m such a dork!’ ect.) and I just relax.
I started using this little trick over the holidays and I can’t believe the improvements I’ve seen in my attitude and my life in general. I’m a much happier person for it.
2010 is going to be a great one! New Year’s Resolutions coming soon!