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This is the time

October 18, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

"Amy, you did it. You took a character with no spoken lines and gave her a voice!"?This was written to me inside a funny greeting card by Jim, the director of "Dearly Departed,"?1995 at a community theater where I used to live.

The character of the youngest child of a decedent who'd made his family into long sufferers, Delightful, was a girl of few words who loved to eat.

In the culminating scene of the play, the eldest son in the family brings their father's troubled funeral to a halt with his rant about all that has gone wrong, and about how he really feels about all the other family members.

"Delightful!"?He screams at her.

She looks at him, wide-eyed, and everyone on stage is fearful of what he's about to say to her.

"Would you like a Dilly Bar?"?

Shocked, and a little afraid of what will come next, Delightful slowly nods, and he hands a Dilly Bar to her and to everyone else.

When you watch a play, you invest a couple of hours (or fewer in many cases)?to getting to know the characters on their journey through a story.

I can admit proudly I didn't flub a single line in the role of Delightful. Not one.

Inhabiting a charactert makes you more of who you are. You can discover parts of yourself you never knew existed. One of the great upsides is that you can bring the best and worst of yourself into delivering the lines, into playing off the other characters, and it will resonate with someone in the audience.

I?did act in my college classmates' black box productions. One such show depended upon a roll of thunder and pelt of rain from the sound booth.

We waited.


The thunder sound was really, really crucial to that moment.

This black box theater room was large, and had apparently been used for a percussion section practice for our university's band. I?hadn't noticed the instruments in the back of the room before ...


It rolled, and bounced with this deep and hollow and frightening rumble.


The sound techs had crept to the timpani and beat it with their closed fists. I?did, the others did it, too, and the timpani was probably sporting an impressive black eye by the time the scene was done.

Acting puts you in situations with others, and you get through them using creativity.

A study from Adelphi University in New York, lists ten ways acting will give you skills and confidence which will make you better at work.

1. Improves your ability to engage with others.

Acting teaches you to place 100 percent of your focus on the other person while conversing. It's the same in business.

This type of focus means there's no room left for things like being self-conscious, or distracting thoughts like this

Acting also teaches you to be more assertive, makes you more open to other people's ideas, to get over stage fright and performance anxiety, help you with your analytical attention to detail, help you become more comfortable with rejection, to meet a wealth of new people, become more comfortable with talking to strangers, helping you to be more comfortable doing things on your own, and helping you to become a more well-rounded individual, which gives you more abilities than you thought you had.

Having a passion, or just trying something new outside of work will deepen your identity so that you're less likely to feel defined by your job title, thus making you more happy and productive.

There's a play happening several weeks out, which is still seeking a couple of actors. Get with me if you'd like to try.



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