Playing the Part

Bryan Cranston, the star of Breaking Bad (or the dad from Malcolm in the Middle, as I will always consider him), gives some wonderful advice to aspiring actors.

In case you can’t watch the video, he says that actors shouldn’t show up to an audition hoping to get a job. They should be there to showcase their talent, to perform. It’s an approach that can be applied to any job, I think. Or any aspect of life.

When you go to a job interview, don’t think about just ‘getting a job’. Really show the interviewers who you are and how you fit into that role. Picture yourself working in that position, and speak to them as if you’re already part of the team, rather than just trying to impress with your accomplishments to improve your chances. Whether they hire you or not is out of your control, but at least you represented yourself and your talents.

Think of any situation where you need to speak to an audience. A presentation, or a debate, or teaching a class. If you just throw out facts and details in an attempt to impress or wow your audience, that might work. But if you actually present those facts in a way that reflects your viewpoint, that teaches something while also showing who you are, people will be more likely to listen. Once again, you can’t force people to agree with you or learn anything from you. But the impression you’ll make is undeniable.

Approach every situation as a chance to show who you are, instead of just going through the motions. Give every role the performance of a lifetime.

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