They say that a really great actor is someone you can believe in, someone real. Whether they are playing a ruthless boss or a gentle lover, when they on the stage or screen you don’t see them as acting but rather as just being themselves. I still wonder if I ever meet Jack Nicholson whether he would be just like Melvin Udall in ‘As good as it gets’ or like Edward Cole in ‘Bucket List’?
The point I am trying to make is that a great actor adjusts their style to suit the demands of the role they are playing. And in a way, we all do too. Think about it. When you are at home with your loved ones, I can imagine that you do not behave the same as you do with your workplace colleagues? Your style of speech, your gestures and body language will all be very different. So the question is: who is the real you? The you in the office, the you at home or the you out with your friends?
I can get upset when people say ‘just be yourself’, I mean who am I? I can be ultra positive or grumpy and complaining, I can be jokey and frivolous and sometimes I get them mixed up and end up upsetting someone.
When I first became a manager I used to consciously adopt roles in order to ensure that I stayed in control while displaying a powerful emotion. For example, if I was angry or upset with someone, instead of just letting rip I would think of a particular teacher from school and pretend to be him. Thereby ensuring that I got the maximum effect while retaining my full cognitive processes. Good actors are always in control of their emotions, they learn how to display just the right amount for any given situation.
There are some people, however, you can describe as – ‘what you see is what you get’. And I like to think that nowadays I am one of them. But deep down I know that I still adapt to varying situations, the only thing that is different is that I have learned that the only thing that ever really matters is you must always retain your integrity. Once that’s gone, you are little more than a simple liar.
Have a good week,