Interested Not Interesting

I don’t know whom to attribute this idea. Many can tell me when they heard it and who they heard it from.

I was in a rehearsal the first time I heard my friend Kirk say it. I asked him where he had heard it, and he attributed it to Avner the Eccentric.

I was at a conference where I heard Jim Collins talk about the rebuke he received from his mentor, Peter Drukker.

“Jim,” he said, “it seems to me that you spend far too much time trying to be interesting. Why don’t you try being interested.”

This idea has completely revolutionized my take on performance and leadership.

As soon as I find myself faltering or losing focus, I know I have lost touch with this principle.

As soon as I feel the suspicion that I’ve begun to lose the audience, I can come back to this idea, reinvest, and win them back.

It has been said that good stories put ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

Or they put extraordinary people into ordinary circumstances.

Either way, there is plenty interesting happening.

Whether you are performing in a multi-million dollar multi-media extravaganza, or a sparse production of Our Town, your responsibility is to be interested in the action and the characters around you and to simply tell the story.

Let the material worry about being interesting.

You just be interested in it.

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