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What The Corporate World Can Learn From The Actor's Process

March 11, 2015

“The truly great advances of this generation will be made by those who can make outrageous connections, and only a mind which knows how to play can do that.”   ~ Nagle Jackson

Trained theatre actors have always known the benefits of play. Its powerful and transformative potential lay coyly hidden within the acting and theatre exercises and activities. These very same exercises and activities, once adapted, can be of great benefit to the corporate sphere. It fosters creativity, builds authentic connections between individuals and develops a sense of loyalty and community within the workplace. Here are just some ways they do that.


Collaboration VS Competition

The very idea of acting and theatre is based in collaboration, not competition. Within any scene, the focus is always on your scene partner(s). It is actually not about you at all. Actors go through extensive training to work on their active and deep listening skills, both to distinguish between what is being said and what is underneath the words (the subtext).


Following Your Impulse

Innovation can only occur when one is open to new ideas. It is about saying “yes” in the face of doubt, committing to trying it out anyway, and seeing if it works or doesn’t work. In the world of actors, this is what improvisation is all about, cultivating the “yes” muscle, diving right in and seeing where the journey takes you.

Letting it Flow

Impulse, and in turn ideas, can be blocked by simply not breathing properly. Actors train in letting their breaths drop into the diaphragm. This is where the world of images, impulse, ideas, openness and presence lay. If this “flow” is blocked, oxygen cannotdistribute properly and ones body is literally tense, which can result in being tired, feeling sluggish and heavy and decreasing ones focus. 

Presence and Play

There is no other bliss like the pleasures of play. Within the act of playing, not only does tension release, you are also more present. Your level of happiness rises and this is the vehicle in which you can use to truly build strong connections with your teammates. In the words of Lao Tzu, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”So how do these principles from acting transfer back into the corporate world? In developing these values and skills, companies will have the benefit of having employees who are present, great collaborators, innovators and active listeners. Together they will become real contributors to the common goals of the company. And who wouldn’t want that?

Chantria Tram - Rize StudiosChantria Tram is the co-founder of creative team building company, RIZE Studios.

RIZE Studios helps corporate teams and entrepreneurs to embrace their creative and playful sides in the workplace. To learn more about their creative team building workshops, visit www.rizestudios.com.