It’s opening night…
You wait in the wings for the curtain to draw so that you may make your cross and begin the affair. Everything is as it should be. The grips have even tweaked that stage-right couch the meager 15-degrees you’d asked, so now your incredulous look in the third act will read to the audience all the better. You have worked at this for months, throughout all the tweaks, the critiques, the adjustments, the inevitable self loathing and the evenings of crying yourself to sleep — and now all that’s been left in the past for this one true and shining moment.
Here it comes.
You step out, you begin the show — and you’re flat. The show flops. What was the problem?
You didn’t enter the scene full.
In Acting, it’s called “Emotional Preparation”. See, in order to enter the scene full and give a solid performance, the last thing in the world you’d want to be thinking about while standing in the wings on opening night, is all the work that had gotten you to where you are. That type of thinking should be reserved for after the final curtain, at the end of the run — but never before the first!
For entertainers, entering your scene full is essential; it implies that you’re in touch with who your portraying, and, more specifically, where they had been before they’d entered the stage. After all, your character hadn’t just been born out in the wings, swabbed clean and shoved out in front of the audience — they’ve had a whole life leading up to this moment — and, as an actor, you should probably be portraying a starkly different characterization for someone who’d just come from a funeral, as opposed to someone who’d just cashed in a winning lotto ticket — ya dig?
Similarly in the real world, entering your scene full is just as important of a skill, though all too often overlooked.
It’s true. All the way from applying for a job at good ole’ Mickey Dees, right on up to giving a proposal pitch to a room full of top-tier executives — if you enter the situation full and mentally prepared, than you’re far more likely to succeed. Oftentimes with life though, and particularly in these recent more modern times of ubiquitous (and somewhat attention thieving) social media, we can find ourselves so overwhelmed with all the little details that brought us to an idea, that the execution — something of equal, and, if not, than of greater importance — is drowned out. We forget who we even are. We forget what brought us there. We forget to be full.
We get so caught up preparing the plan, that we neglect to prepare the execution.
You can have the best idea in the world, but present it poorly and no one will notice.
Ask any reputable actor, a good show takes far more than just careful preparation — it takes a masterful execution — and a HUGE part of that execution is birthed of your mind in the wings, and right before you “Enter” the show. You have to know everything you’ve been working on so well, that you can just cast it aside and forget. That’s right, forget everything that had culminated and manifest into the opportunity that you presently see before you, and find a way to just live fully; within your reality, and within the context of the moment. You have to forget your ego, you know, who you think you should be — yea, leave that at the door. You must find a way to just be; realistically, honestly, and within the moment (wherever it takes you).
Know that you’ve prepared, and let it bring you confidence — now toss it away.
Know who it is that you are, and let it bring you pride — now toss it away.
Now, take comfort, as all you have to do is be true and live — so relax.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that this is easy…
But it’s worth it.
It’s a philosophy that will make you proud of everything that you do, and will also ensure that you’ve done all you can to make it great. Sure this is a concept born of the acting world, but it’s also one which applies to all other aspects of work and life. You might be a File Clerk making a recommendation for a new folder, you might be an acrobat trying out a new trick, you might be a father teaching his daughter how to ride a bike, heck, you even might be a politician debating whether or not to stamp that new bill, enter your scene full — execute with everything you are, and with everything that’s brought you to this point — and all parties involved leave content.
Live life on purpose: Be full!
And be happy. Being FULL can mean a lot of things, but what it is at it’s heart is knowing yourself, trusting yourself, and being yourself — FULLY — which is precisely what entering your scene full is all about. For it is far better to have lived with purpose and found yourself to be flawed — than it is to have lived without and never know either way… Without the earnest effort involved in the attempt of entering full, you have no real chance at being anything — right, wrong, deranged, enlightened or indifferent.
You simply cease to exist…
Which is the worst fate of all.