I started as an actor wen I was 15. As a French girl growing up in Paris, being an actor meant I had to learn beautiful yet very complex pieces written by Molière, Voltaire, St Exupéry and other brilliant authors.
I was a great reader so memorizing words was very easy for me and every one was always complimenting me on my diction and my fabulous memory. I was comfortable with words. I knew many of them and that was one of the few things that “was right about me”.
So imagine my surprise when my first part in a “real play” was completely silent. I was playing a homeless person in “The Four Penny Opera”. I did sing a little but had no lines of my own. I never expected to make an impact on the audience what so ever.
But being silent meant that I could do what I wanted on stage. So I decided to be the best homeless person I could be. I had 3 shirts, 3 skirts, 2 hats and 2 jackets on. I moved around the stage in a weird (ok, clumsy) way and bumped into people. I was being me. Having no words gave me total freedom to be me.
The unexpected happened. The audience laughed at me. They laughed so much that the lead actor had to wait until they were done laughing to say his line.
Every time I feel like I am saying too much, I remember this time. When without words, simply by being me I get more than if I had said the most beautiful words.
Babies have no words but they say a lot 🙂
And I wonder how much I stopped myself because I did not know the right words before?