What’s Your Motivation?
|May 15, 2012||Filled under Attitude, Motivation||
Why are you here? Why are you reading this post, visiting this website? What’s your motivation?
I learned one of the cardinal rules of acting while rehearsing a high school play. I already knew that as an actor you must do what the director tells you. You must move where the director tells you to move on stage–and you must do it when (on such and such a line OR by this line) the director tells you to. When the director told me to cross (theater speak for move) upstage on a particular line, I did it. The next time we ran the scene, I moved exactly where the director told me to move on the exact line the director told me to move on. When the scene was over the director said, “Rebecca why did you cross on that line?” What??!! I had done exactly what he told me to do! “Because you told me to….?” I was a straight A student, a teacher’s pet, a goody two shoes. I was VERY good at doing exactly what I was asked and delivering what was expected of me.
“That’s not a reason.”
Uncomfortable, confused silence.
“You, Rebecca the actor, moved on that line because I, the director, told you to. Why did Maria, your character, move then? Find a reason.”
In Acting, your Motivation is the reason you–as the character–say the words the playwright wrote and move where the director tells you to move, the reason you DO what you do on stage. For when you do anything on stage that is not “in character” it is not believable; the audience sees YOU, the actor, rather than the character in the play they are watching. Once the audience is conscious of YOU the actor, rather than the character, they can no longer suspend their disbelief–and accept that you ARE the character–as they watch the play.
Lesson learned: An actor must move when and where the director says to, but never BECAUSE the director says to. An actor must find an inner motivation for her character to do everything the director says that she–the actor–must do.
Have you ever done something because you were told to do it? There are times in your life when you must do something because someone–a parent, boss, or doctor–tells you to do it. But if you do it BECAUSE you were told to do it, you get very little out of the experience. Instead find a reason that motivates you. For example, you attend a mandatory team building workshop for work. If the ONLY reason or motivation for being there is because your boss told you to attend, how open will you be to trying activities that may place you out of your comfort zone? How engaged and responsive will you be to the training, discussion or activities? Will you be a positive contributor to the group experience or will your energy have a negative impact? Instead, find a reason to be there that works for you, that motivates YOU. Perhaps it is to learn something new, to get to know your co-workers better, or to experiment with being outside of your comfort zone. Perhaps it is to enjoy being out of the office and away from your desk. While this might not seem as compelling a reason to participate in the workshop as any of those previously mentioned, it is MUCH more compelling than “because my boss told me to go.” You’ll find yourself far more open to participating–and thus get more out of the experience–if you are committed to enjoying yourself, rather than simply being in the room. Let “I was told to attend” be the impetus, but not the reason for being there.
What are you doing because someone–perhaps a parent, boss, or doctor–has told you to do it? Find a better reason! Find a motivation that works for you.