Ever heard the old saying, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason?” What about, “If you aren’t listening, you aren’t learning?” As actors, we already know the huge role that listening plays in our work. We listen to our scene partners, directors, writers, stage managers etc. But what we often fail to realize is that listening equals learning. Whether it’s learning your scene partner’s truth, new stage directions or what your director thinks of your performance, a closed mouth means open ears. Recently I have started to exercise my “chops” by listening to podcasts. Why? Because actors are students of the human experience and what better way to learn about that than through podcast? Take a look at my top 3 recommendations that I think every actor should be listening to.
Many of you are probably somewhat familiar with this podcast even if you’ve never actually heard it. The show is hosted by Terry Gross and features interviews with some of the world’s most famous people in show business. While every person has their own journey to success, it’s important to understand what people who are already successful have done. Furthermore, it is even more crucial to be knowledgeable about our industry. Go ahead ask me a question, any question.
2. Intelligence Squared: U.S. Debates
This show is hosted by John Donvan and is formatted in the style of a debate. Questions are posed such as: “Can We Trust the Promise of Artificial Intelligence?” and are subsequently discussed by a handful of experts who debate either in favor or in opposition in front of a large crowd. At the end of the debate the winner is determined by the percentage of audience members who have changed their original opinion based on the debaters argument. This podcast is great because of the variety of questions ranging from the scientific to the philosophical. It also reinforces the persuasive nature that is a staple of any convincing actor.
3. Joel Osteen
This last podcast is more of a personal choice, but I think it is imperative that every actor listen to someone who inspires them. Joel is a hugely successful pastor based in Texas whose broadcasts air Sunday mornings across the globe. Joel’s words inspire me to treat others with respect, kindness and love. While not necessarily relating to show business, his podcasts help to keep me grounded, motivated, and passionate. If you aren’t religious give a listen to The Tony Roberts Podcast. Tony is a world renowned motivational speaker and he speaks on topics ranging from Finance to entrepreneurship.
Listening regularly to these podcasts has without a doubt expanded who I am as a person. I now find myself in a constant state of listening, and for an actor, that is a pretty good place to be. What podcasts are interesting to you?
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