English Language; Drama & Speech; Social Etiquette. Est. 1986, Hong Kong

Blog

29 January 2016

All the World’s a Stage

If we say someone is acting, we usually don’t mean that in a good way. We often think of acting as something deceptive, as though it’s a kind of trick, or that the person is being inauthentic. However this is not always the case, and the skills of acting and drama are very useful in many situations where presentation and performance are required. Actors have many skills that can be used by everyone.

When you attend an interview for a job, you are often putting your best persona forward. You dress in a business suit and make sure your hair or make up is right. You prepare your appearance just as carefully as an actor does their costume. Even though this is not what you may choose to wear, and the authentic you might want to wear jeans and a t-shirt, we take on this persona to show that we can be professional in a work environment. We are demonstrating our ability to be social.

Similarly, when we are in an interview, we need to speak clearly and eloquently when we answer the interviewer’s questions. We wouldn’t get very far if we mumbled. Actors learn voice projection and correct pronunciation as part of their training. Once again, this is a skill we can all learn, and it is a skill that enables our true selves to come out and be noticed.

Gesture is a very important part of communication. If you imagine a presentation or talk where the speaker stands still and merely speaks, or the alternative, where the speaker gesticulates and illustrates their meaning with body language, you will instantly recognise which one is the most engaging and interesting to their audience. An actor uses gesture as a tool to bring across the meaning of their character and the words they speak, and we can do this too, making ourselves more interesting and personable. Once again, our true selves can shine out more effectively.

So, these examples show how the skills of an actor are not tricks to hide behind, but more they are channels through which we can make ourselves better understood.