I’m deeply inspired today by a great teacher- the late, great Al Mancini- an actor, director and teacher of both acting and life.
I never really wanted to be an actor in a professional way. But I deeply wanted to know how to be more self-expressed, and that drive led me into this very transformational acting school in Los Angeles when I first moved here. The scenes in class were akin to watching theater on Broadway. The notes afterward were like watching someone re-born as themselves, free of the social conventions and habits picked up in life that were obscuring their genius. Many superstars were born in that room.
Not only did I meet friends I will have for life (and have had for over a decade), I learned one thing that I will never forget, and it echoed in my mind this morning.
What made Al Mancini a wizard was his philosophy on making bold choices. He pushed everyone to be themselves and to stand in their choices- bold choices- and use them with abandon. When a scene was re-directed with his enouragement to make it personal, astounding chemistry would play out on stage.
His words: “You walk into a room, you walk onto a stage, and you show them: “It goes like this!””
Today, you can take these words and use them in your job, in your day, how you cook, how you think, how you plan… You say how it goes!
(art by Jen Stark… so much more of her coming soon… so inspiring!!!)
What would happen if you made the very personal choice to dress the way you want to dress? Dye your hair a color you’ve dreamt of? Take a year long sabbatical to pursue a passion? Say NO instead of YES to things you don’t want?
Where could you stand to make more personal choices?
Where could your life benefit from a bold move?
I’ve come to realize in my own business that I only trust and feel moved by people who live what they teach and are aligned in their life and their words. These people take the bold moves, they make it personal and they find their own way.
You can’t walk through life trying to make carbon copies of other people’s actions and expect to reach greatness. I mean, would you really be fulfilled by doing exactly what someone else does, making the choices they would make, living a life you imagine they’d live? Where do you fit in that equation?
The reason this class changed my life a decade ago to a vast degree is that I learned all of these tools and then I was challenged to make them my own. They didn’t work unless I had the confidence to make them my own.
You’ll know how much confidence you have when you try this. Make a bold decision to be more of your own style and your own mission in every day and you’ll see how steadfast you feel.
If you are not quite there yet, feeling shaky about what people will think, what will happen or if you will fall on your face for making a big decision… drum up your confidence first!
Al had us change the way we ate- quitting sugar, alcohol, cooking, eating for energy. He challenged us to exercise, to insist to our friends and loved ones that we needed time to take care of ourselves and work on our art and our confidence. He had us spend time doing things like window shopping, writing letters to people we admired, reading books and watching classic films.
All of it built a foundation of confidence.
From there, the risks could fly free!
Stars were born.
Talents even completely unrelated to acting came to light.
If your days are falling flat, if you are searching for thought leaders, if you are following examples rather than using knowledge as a foundation for your own creativity…
Try making it your own.
Personalize things. Take what works for you and use it. Improvise. Add your own spin on your day. Stand in your choices.
And when you need a little encouragement, remember, you say how it goes. Show the world “It goes like this!”
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