“The more time we spend in silence, the more attuned we
become to the whispers of the soul.”
What a delight! I just had the pleasure of meeting Sandra Joseph, who had the longest run in the lead role of Christine in Phantom of the Opera, the longest-running musical on Broadway. Not only is Sandra a lovely singer, she’s also a gifted motivational speaker and writer (http://www.SandraJoseph.com). In a lively talk, she shared five skills that she believes actors and writers share in common and must nurture to fulfill their calling:
1 Presence: Being in the moment, fully awake and aware is important in writing, just as it is on the stage. Sandra played the role of Christine 6 days a week for 1200 performances. Each time she faced the challenge of making it the first time for the audience. When we’re “in the moment” as we write, we’re open to possibilities, to insights and innovations.
2 Listening: For actors, listening is everything. Acting is reacting. Listening is crucial on stage if you’’re going to give an electric performance. Deep, open-hearted listening is equally important for writers. We need to listen to the voices around and inside us.
3 Authenticity: The best actors are the most honest and the most authentic actors. They are trained to bring the essence of who they are to their performances. We need to do the same as writers. We need to write with honesty and trust our authentic voice on the page.
4 Risktaking: Actors and writers must take risks if they’re going to be successful. Facing an empty page is risky in and of itself — and we need to honor the risk we take just by showing up and writing.
5 Accepting Vulnerability: When you set a goal and take risks by putting authentic self on the page, you’re making yourself vulnerable — you’re living an unmasked life. Our vulnerability is what connects us as humans — and that heart-to-heart connection is what stories are all about. Your vulnerability is a strength not a weakness: it keeps you fresh and open to experience.
What wonderful ideas and insights! Bravo, Sandra. Write on!