Creative Reflections – Acting Graciously

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Today: thoughts on acting graciously  

“No crying allowed.”  “If you don’t get cast, you have to congratulate the person who did.”  Those are two of the rules Kennedy Center stage mothers enforced, Judith Martin, (Miss Manners), relays in the September 2014 Opera News.  When her son Nick was performing in operas, she became an opera stage mother.

Those children learned how to be gracious winners and losers.  In sports it is called sportsmanship.  The loser of the match shakes hands with the winner.  My mother called it acting like a mentsch. 

What is your usual reaction when someone else is cast, is appointed dance captain, or is hired as the music director?  Try an experiment.  

First, imagine you have been hired.  Write out your self-talk script after hearing the news.  Assume you know who else was being considered.  Now write out a script for talking to the person(s) who did not get the job.

Next, imagine you did not get the job.  Again, write out your self-talk script.  And, write out a script for yourself talking to the person who got the job.

Do your scripts change if the other person is a friend or someone you don’t know; if it was an open call or a company ensemble audition?

Go back and look at those scripts.  Now that the anger is out of your system, what changes are you willing to make to comply with the “congratulate the person” rule?  Any changes you would make to the you are hired scripts?

How willing are you to say a kind word to the person who landed a role you wanted?
Try it once or twice.
Notice how your inner dialogue changes while talking with the other person.  

Let me know how it works out for you.




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Written by Arona Fay Roshal
Motivating dancers and actors to be creatively realistic 651-699-2275