Act Like a Leader: An Actor Prepares (for life’s pivotal moments)

3 hour workshop.

An early lesson that actors learn when learning to play a role is the importance of the dramatic arc.  Though their words are provided by a script, actors must layer in the actions, personal emotions and interpersonal tensions that lie beneath that text – in other words, though they know where they need to end up, they must plan carefully to “earn” their dramatic payoffs.  In the real world, life has frequent turning points (or at least they would be described that way in a memoir, years later) – those too are the product of all that comes before them: the job talk that wows (or doesn’t) new colleagues, the story told by the collected evaluations of your students, the moment your tenure submission leaves your hands entirely, etc.  Your ability to “write” your own preferred outcomes at each of these points is a combination of your ability to anticipate the actions of others, the quality of your strategies to influence those actions, and your skill in executing those strategies.  This workshop will help you think about ways to take a proactive and long-term view in building your professional relationships and credibility by walking through exercises designed to offer the wisdom and perspective of several types of theatrical professionals: writers, directors and actors.

Key takeaways:

  1. Introduction to the concept of charting “emotional arcs,” identifying “beats” within scenes, and other script preparation techniques that can be used in preparation for anticipated, important interactions.
  2. Practice with the concept of kinetic response, and discussion of training (or retraining) your instincts to create more productive “gut” reactions and responses under pressure.
  3. Creation of a “character profile” for use in mapping for personal development goals.