From Acting to Authenticity- Reframing Performance
I’m a raw, bare my heart, emotionally free, spontaneous, highly present, and
deeply vulnerable performer.
I don’t act, I Be.
I fully give myself over to the present moment and share my heart from this place! And in my opinion, anytime someone shares a message from his or her heart, it IS a performance. So If you’re one who is longing to share your gifts with the world, and have an impact, performance skills can come in handy. I want to inspire you to get curious about this.
So let’s look closer at the valuable skill-set performers cultivate, which allows them to share what they’re passionate about with the world.
Performer… When you hear this word, what comes up for you?
Someone who is acting, putting something on, like a character or a persona? Only actors, dancers, singers, etc., perform? Perhaps you think of someone overdramatizing something… maybe even for attention? With these associations of this word, a person is not being her or his authentic self -- she is masking, disguising, and role-playing, and being something she is not. This creates separation instead of wholeness: Separation from both self and audience. Separation means someone is trying to be something they’re not. And a friend -- or an audience -- knows when this is happening.
Now, let’s drop a few layers deeper into what else “performance” could mean to see if there might be some value in the skills honed as a performer that could be relevant to you.
Consider performance as authenticity and believability, intimacy, vulnerability, presence, aliveness with the moment, and letting yourself be seen. Perhaps these aren’t words you usually associate with performance? Try these on as well: fully embodying, inhabiting and becoming that which you ARE and -- from there -- sharing, offering, or, you might say, presenting it, just as it is.
Well, these are the qualities I bring to the stage. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scripted role, an improvised character or story, or a physical theatre piece. It is my practice to lead with these qualities every time. And I’ve worked my booty off cultivating these abilities so that I can have them available to me during a performance and in my everyday experience.
I believe performance is a gift to my viewers, a sacred gift, an offering, and an opportunity to reveal a shifted perspective on my and our human experience. I am giving MY ALL, my everything, to the audience (my witnesses), at the same time I’m also receiving from them. I am riding the energy of the moment, allowing it to transcend my personality, my small self that has judgments and “shoulds.” It is in these moments on stage when I feel I have made sacred contact with who I am, and what I am here to share, that I feel the most alive.
How does this pertain to you?
I encourage you to see it the same way. Whenever you are speaking and sharing yourself, you are giving a gift to the world. It might be with one person, a few people, or a crowded theatre, but each time you are offering your unique perspective, ideas, insights, or contemplations to others. Every time you share yourself authentically and vulnerably, you are performing. You are performing your greatness, sharing wholeheartedly, not leaving any parts of you behind, hidden or abandoned.
It’s when you fully show up that you find your message transmits more clearly into the hearts of the people you are sharing it with.
And this can feel scary and vulnerable, right? It has for me, and it’s why I’m so devoted to my training as a performer and the skillset I’m developing through practice.
These practices and skills are what I want to offer to you.
Performing in front of others and being seen -- imagine if, instead of shutting you down, it opened you up to more of what’s possible? To new levels of presence, of consciousness, of awareness, of receptivity. And picture that, within this opening up, you were able to extend your heart further into the hearts of your audience, compelling them to feel something new, different, and inspired.
Imagine your mind in sync with your body and voice, all synced up to the present moment, and that’s what poured out in your message, your offering. It is a gift of communion, of transcendence, of connection. But not if you’re getting stuck in your head, or freezing in your body, or blanking in your mind, or scared what they are all thinking about you.
When the You, that is your mind, your body, your voice, and your awareness, are all happening in the same place, NOW, it’s a “with-ness,” no longer a you vs. the audience. What you feel, what the audience is experiencing, flows into an experience of conjoining, amplifying, expanding, and harmonizing.
Now feel for yourself, the dream you want to share with others.
Imagine being receptive to your present audience, engaging, without self-consciousness or insecurity. Riding each moment like it’s own beautiful exquisitely cresting wave. Your breath is easeful, your words are flowing, your body is animated and expressive, your mind is clear and articulate. You feel free to let your bigness, your message, stream through you.
You are able to stay connected to a larger field of infinite support, moving beyond the “small you” running the old tapes that have filters, judgments, and inhibitions. You feel your “grand” self, and your brilliance as the channel of communication of your dreams, direct into the hearts of your audience. Feels good, eh!
So that’s my re-frame on performance! The more you can share vulnerably, authentically, emotionally, and stay tapped into and riding the present moment, then your GIFT of performance is received and reciprocated from your audience, who is with you.
Enjoy this re-frame and let me know how it goes!