Record breaking—three time Oscar winner for Best Actor—Daniel Day-Lewis, is one of my all time favorite actors. His total method acting immersion for living, breathing and completely believing he is the character he is playing is no secret to actors or anyone who has followed his fabulous rise to success. Perfecting his craft takes on dimensions beyond the idea of needing 10,000 hours of experience before calling yourself an expert in any one field. We all remember when living the role of poet Christy Brown, he stayed in a wheelchair the entire time, insisting on being spoon fed and carried around by the crew.
My director has also always taught me to "stay in character," the entire time we are rehearsing and performing. It’s what allows us to recoup a forgotten line, improvise if needed, or overcome nervousness. Of course, I am an amateur actor who tremendously enjoys the acting process, pushing my limits, seeing a performance take shape and then the final production before an audience.
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ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE
"All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time, plays many parts."
This is usually interpreted as our lives being scripted, left to destiny and fate, acting in our relationships as if in a predefined role.
Yet, if we take a cue from Daniel Day-Lewis, we see that he chooses to totally embody, embrace and fully love his character, which by the way, he has carefully chosen to live. Daniel Day-Lewis does not play roles.
What if we applied this total immersion method acting, "stay in character" technique to our own lives? Every minute, every day, we have the freedom to choose exactly which role we want to embody and live and how we want to appear on the world’s stage. How would our lives be different when we consciously adopt the positive attitude of self-love and self-esteem? When we make a conscious choice to love our lives from a place of wonder, learning, gratitude and love, we are indeed "staying in character." We absolutely love who we are!
When we choose to stay in a role of pessimism, jealousy and unhappiness and equally destructive attitudes, we are not staying in character. We are being played by our inner cast of characters who are directing our every thought, word and gesture from a place of fear, suffering and pain. And it blatantly shows up in every performance which garners poor reviews.
Both Daniel Day-Lewis and Shakespeare have it right. In your lifetime, you will play many parts. It’s up to you to believe in yourself and decide how you direct your life and your relationships and be the award winning star in your own life. Like any actor will tell you, when you stay in character, you can easily recover your mistakes. Building rapport with your audience is effortless because you're already believable, credible, authentic and vulnerable and your imagination works to see creation all around you. You don’t have to reinvent anything in life when you stay in character, whatever that means to you.
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So what do you choose? To be or not to be the star who gets glowing accolades every time he steps onto stage? The choice is yours. Keep Reading...
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