I am an actress, acting teacher, writer and coach. I coach both professionals working on their public speaking skills and actors.
Over the course of my acting career, I have brought many characters to life. During the rehearsal process, I would make choices in terms of their beliefs, attitudes, movement, likes and dislikes.
Over time, this character would become a part of me, yet also remain distinct. Once a character was very clear and visceral to me on emotional, intellectual and physical levels, they were able to help bring a story to life on stage or set, while being true to themselves.
It occured to me that if I could intentionally create a character who had an Appalachian accent and felt poor and desperate, couldn't I also create a character who LOVED to straighten up and had a really good attitude about unpacking after a trip?
Straightening up and unpacking were not behaviors that came naturally to me. Eating healthy? Sure! Wearing sunscreen? No problem. Dealing regularly with the random unfiled scripts, junk mail, insurance statements and numerous AAA renewal reminders that seemed to materialize from nowhere on my desk? No thanks.
I took a step back to examine all of the habitual attitudes and behaviors associated with this aspect of my life. I gave these collective behaviors a name - Ramona.
Ramona was the character that needed to be recast.
Ramona found dealing with receipts, unpacking, putting laundry away and filing to be incredibly boring and of not much value. She much preferred to read, write, create or connect with loved ones. Even though the resulting messiness was stressful and annoying, she really didn't give a fig. "Oh, it's tax time? Sorry about that....I know you mentioned that you wanted me to regularly deal with receipts? Well...I just had a lot of fun stuff to do and so...yeah...."
If I were to hire someone to take care of these things for me, I would want someone who DELIGHTED in order and everything having its place. I would hope for someone who took great pleasure in an empty suitcase (that is not full of wrinkled clothes until the next time I hit the road), that is quickly out of sight after an adventure.
So, I created Jacqueline.
I used my acting chops and decided what she believed, valued and how she saw the world. I envisioned how she dressed and I explored how she moved.
Jacqueline loves order, but isn't tense about it. She's got a sunny disposition and takes care of business from a place of self-nurture.
And I let Ramona, who HATED doing all of that tidying up, know that she didn't need to worry about any of those details anymore. She was free to focus on the areas where she thrived.
Ramona: "Oh, I never really worried about those things anyway. BORING."
Having taught acting for over 15 years, I am confident in my ability to guide students with little to no acting experience to create characters. I thought that Inhabit You workshops and coaching would be really fun and practical ways to modify behavior and help free people up to be the people they desire to be.
I was brainstorming my ideas with my dear friend Sarah and after hearing my plans she came up with the word INHABIT.
I fell in love with the word, I am excited about how it works on numerous levels.
So, come have a fun, creative adventure to shift away from those pesky habits that prevent you from being fully you!