Written by Karen D. Swim
“First of all, I choose the great [roles], and if none of these come, I choose the mediocre ones, and if they don’t come, I choose the ones that pay the rent.”–Michael Caine
When an actor auditions for a role they are often given a scene to play. The tiny slice of dialogue taken from the entire story may cause the actor to ask, “What’s my motivation?” As things change around us we may feel as though an unseen director has handed us a new part. Thrust into a role with which we are unfamiliar with nothing to guide us we long to know, why we are here and what’s driving our character.
I felt this way for much of March. What had worked before was no longer the solution. I tried out for different roles and very often did not get the part. At the end of the month I found myself longing for that invisible director to call “CUT!” already and put an end to my awful performance. Where were the stage directions? Where was the background? Who was I supposed to be and why was I here? If it were up to me, I would write new dialogue and cast someone else in the part. It was then I realized…it was up to me.
We do not always have creative control over the entire story of our life, and while that may sometimes be frustrating, it is a good thing. (Seriously, think about some of the boneheaded decisions you would have made if you had complete control over everything.) However, we can take the scene and create our own motivation. We can improvise dialogue, change the direction and make the part our own.
I not only decided to own the part but take full producing credit. My motivation is living the life I want to have without fear or apology. It means that I will take the stage each day and give the performance of my life even if no one else is in the audience. I will take risks and be ready to own the good and bad reviews. I will not use a stage name because I want people to know the real me.
What’s my motivation? I am. To live my life to the fullest and own my purpose and potential means refusing to be an extra in the scene of my life. I don’t have to audition, the part is mine and the time has come to deliver or go home.
So here I am finding my motivation and stepping to the stage. Rehearsals are open door and performances are free, so come on in, grab a seat and enjoy.
Have you ever struggled to find your own motivation? What actions did you take?
“Life’s like a play; it’s not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.” — Seneca
Brad Shorr says
Hi Karen, You really have a lot of inner power, and you’re honesty and openness reassure us, because we see that one can have inner strength, yet still struggle from time to time. (In that regard you remind me of Henri Nouwen, who I quoted from in a post last week; I think you know his work.)
Lately I’ve been feeling like I have an overdose of motivation – perhaps like acting in six or seven movies at the same time. Motivated to help my family, to live the right way, to build up my business … and I’m not talking about obligation in the sense of feeling compelled to do these things. It’s just fun. I guess this is a blessing in my life right now, but I think I need a vacation!
Brad Shorr´s last blog post..An Online Marketing Fairy Tale
Ulla Hennig says
I am here also, wildly applauding you. May I just quote you:
“However, we can take the scene and create our own motivation. We can improvise dialogue, change the direction and make the part our own.”
Thanks so much for those words!
Ulla Hennig´s last blog post..My First Book Review
Joanna Young says
Lillie, what a beautiful thing for you to write. You have captured it perfectly.
I so love watching and learning how spirit, love, aloha, friendship… call it what you will… can set our words on fire
Joanna Young´s last blog post..Writing Lessons from the Confident Writing Community
Lillie Ammann says
You will never lack for an audience. You are a hero and role model and inspiration to so many of us, we will always be in your audience wildly clapping … except for those times we’re so mesmerized we can’t do anything.
Lillie Ammann´s last blog post..Miss Guided and Richard Turner
Karen Swim says
Joanna, your friendship makes me feel like a superhero. 🙂
Rosa, your words fill my heart with inspiration. You truly live your coaching and I have learned so much from you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing my belief. Great things really are in store! 🙂
Rosa Say says
Karen I do think that bravery is required of us all every single day in the lives we lead. Getting up on the stage of our own opening acts happens constantly, and with just about every choice and decision we make. So do know that I for one (and like Joanna has said – she is another!) am here wildly applauding you, and waiting with a positive expectancy for each new play you are in.
As for your question, I have always tried to remember the self-coaching that motivation is an inside job. If it doesn’t happen I best look inside my own head first.
Rosa Say´s last blog post..Who says you can’t do that?
Joanna Young says
And this is what makes you one of my superheroes 🙂
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