The Best Life Acting Lesson You Could Ever Have In Your Life!

The best life acting lesson you could ever have in your life

Hello! This is me wanting to tell you a story, which is intended to be the best life acting lesson you could ever have in your life. It’ll only take a couple of minutes up. I know, I know, this may sound pretentious, I mean, me giving anyone any lesson at all, because, quite frankly, I’m not a good example of anything, honestly. And I’m not here to set myself as an example or a model of anything either. That can’t be of any value. I just want to share this story with you, because I believe it can help you. This is important, seriously. There are thousands of people who’ve spent loads of money on training courses done by “super gurus” to know what you will know after I finish if you listen to me, and I’m going to do it for free.

It’s a true story! It all happened to me many years ago. I was much younger, daring and probably very naive. I was that kind of person who thought he could really go places, and, it’s true, I went places, literally, because I travelled the world, I was even lucky enough to go on a world tour once, but anyway, that’s another story. So, as I was saying, it all goes back to the times when I used to work as a tourist entertainer on ships (one of the many jobs I’ve done in my life so far), on cruise ships. And I remember, we were somewhere, sailing around the Mediterranean Sea, in the south of Europe or the north of Africa, and one night, one of the passengers, he was an actor and a singer, he came to me and we started chatting, we were speaking for a while, you know, having that kind of interesting conversations, interesting conversations, you sometimes have with perfect strangers and he said to me: “You know, I like you, you seem to be quite a nice guy, and I’m going to tell you the best trick you can ever have to perform on a stage and be the best actor, and I’m going to give it away to you for free”, he said, the same way now I’m passing it on to you for free. So, he went on: “Because otherwise if you’d really like to know this trick, you should enrol on an incredibly expensive acting course in the United States. So, you’d better pay attention, boy!”, he said. “Do you want to know that trick?” “Yeah, sure,” I replied. By the way, do you, the viewer, you who are watching me now, listening to me, do you really want to know that trick?… So, he took me by the arm, tapped on my back, taking me to a separate place and said: “Imagine this is a stage, your stage. Here you go, listen carefully, pay attention, because this is the trick: you get on that stage, you say what you have to say… and then you go!” That’s it! Simple as that. “You get on the stage, you say what you have to say and then you go.”

This idea of “saying what you have to say and then you go” has been in the back of my mind for a number of years already. And although I might not have quite understood what it meant, the thing is that, over a period of years, I came to realise how powerful this idea was, because: what is life? I think life is a stage to run the scenes of your play. Since the very moment you’re born or even a bit earlier when you are still in your mum’s womb, you are on that stage. You have your audience from the very beginning: maybe your parents, your relatives, your parents‘ friends and acquaintances. And at the same time, they are also actors in your life, on your stage. This is a cast of actors you haven’t chosen when you were born, that’s true. They are given to you, either you like it or not, the same way the atrezzo, the props around you when you were born. You didn’t choose them. They are there on your stage.

Then, as you grow up, you may become the casting director of your life and you choose which actors, your relationships, you want in your play or not. You can choose them. But this power of choice is limited. Sometimes you may want someone to play a certain role in your play and that person doesn’t want to play that role, or otherwise: maybe someone wants you to play a role that you are not willing to take in and you may not even want to be part of their play at all. Isn’t that funny? I mean, this interactivity: you have your stage, you’re are the main actor of your life, but at the same time you share your own stage with other people who have their own stages and think you are part of their stage the same way you think they are part of yours. And this “stage sharing” makes your performance even more interesting… and complex, of course. And this is where “listening” really comes into play, because there will be no way you can perform, at least satisfactorily, if you are not listening, because listening is understanding. You don’t just listen with your ears, you listen with your whole body. And when you are listening, you are intereresting, and when you are interesting, people will pay attention to you. You, now, you are listening to me because, for some reason, you feel I’m listening to you, I’m taking you in, that’s why you are listening to me.

Some of those actors will stay in your life for a long period of time; some others will go, maybe even sooner than you expected or wanted. Some of them will have important roles, some others will have minor roles, they’ll be supporting actors. But there’s one actor who will stay your entire life with you, and that is “you”. So you’d better listen to yourself as well.

Next time you are called on the stage, remember this: go there, say and do what you want and need to say and do, and then you go. Try it! You can apply it, maybe today. If you run the scene well enough, your audience will get excited, you will have your curtain call and they may even clap and say bravo. But remember you can’t please everybody. There will be good performances, excellent performances, and bad performances you won’t be proud of, for sure. You won’t please everybody, even when you are at your best. Being the best listener you can be is all you can aim at, because this will make you the best actor you can ever be.

There’s something, though, I haven’t told you yet. One day we all will have our final curtain call: you will have your final curtain call, I’ll have my final curtain call. We don’t know exactly when. I don’t know when, but I know someday the final curtain will call upon me and this time I’ll have to leave… for good. That’s it! Time’s up! Game over! The end! That’ll be your final performance! By that, I mean, not knowing exactly when you’ll leave for good, I don’t mean you should live your life as if it were the last day in your life. Living like that didn’t work for me, it doesn’t work for me anyway. What really works for me is to come to realise I’m on my stage, I choose my cast of actors, my relationships -even when I’m somehow limited- and I run the scene the best I can because I’m listening.

Money -the atrezzo, the props, the technology in your play- money comes and goes. I’m not saying it’s not important, it is important, but it just comes and goes. Your body, my body, will change, it’ll decay as years pass by. That’s just wrapping.

You may be in your twenties and you think it’s impossible to get a job because the situation of the job market is not so good, or you may be in your forties or fifties and you’ve just lost your job, because you’ve been laid off, that job you’ve been doing for so many years, that now you feel miserable and think you are not good enough, because of that. No! YOU – ARE – GOOD. You are the actor of your life or the actress of your life if you’re a woman! I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s not. It’s hard actually: it can get really hard sometimes to be the best actor you can be and run a scene…

I believe what really makes you have a happy and healthy life is the cast of actors in your play. It’s not only the quantity but rather the quality of your relationships what wins.

I wish someday, you and me, you who are watching me now, you who are listening to me, I wish someday we have the chance to run a scene together, sharing our stage, and have a good time, even if it’s just momentarily, for a limited period of time, even more limited than the already limited time we’ll spend on this planet Earth. I wish after running that scene, we could take our bows together and say: thank you for being part of my play, even if it’s just been for a couple of minutes. And in my case, I also wish someday I come across that special loving woman who will stay, “just a little bit longer” as the song goes, so that we can run the very scene of our lives together before the final curtain calls upon us.

There is a play by a Spanish poet and playwright from the 17th century, Calderon de la Barca (1600-1681) -the play is called “Life is a dream”- and in this de la Barca’s play there is a very famous line that goes like this: “For life is a dream and dreams are only dreams”. The thing is that instead of that word, “dream”, I’d transform that line and rather say: “For life is a play and plays are no more and no less than a play”.

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Well, I think I’ve already said and done what I wanted and needed to say and do. I’ve made my point several times by now. And if I told you this stoty well enough, I hope it can help you. Listen, say and do what you have to say and do, and then you go. So, I wish you luck with it!

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