This time it was Tom Hanks' turn.
Bravo hosts a show called "Inside Actor's Studio," which each week features an interview with a well known actor. No, you won't see latest dirt hovering around their sexual life, or hear about their fight with director. Instead you'll learn their insights on craft of acting.
The Audience consists of students -- future writers, actors and directors -- currently enrolled in Masters Program at New School in New York City.
You can watch show a hundred times with a hundred different actors. When asked by moderator "What is one piece of advice you can give to our students here?, they all say same thing. "Listen."
Listening is key to success for actor, director, writer.
Listening, too, is key to success for marketer.
Listening is key to success for human being.
"You convert yourself from a person who is pretending," Actor Hanks said "to a person who honestly is." Doesn't this remark apply to all areas of life?
What exactly is listening? Is it a function of ears? How many times have you had to ask "What did you say?" to someone after sound waves left their mouth, swept across room or telephone and pounded on your eardrums? Isn't listening function of mind?
The actors will tell you that when they listen with their minds, they'll respond in a different and spontaneous way to other actors lines even though they already know what those lines will be! Listening involves taking in face, body, environment of other person. Yes, it includes "listening" to body language.
More than one actor on program like to tell stories about Jack Nicholson, a master at inducing spontaneity in his co-workers. No scene is ever played same twice -- even though his lines remain word for word.
Shirley MacLaine told about a scene in "Terms of Endearment" where Jack plays her neighbor. She knocks on his door; he opens it. Simple enough. But everytime she knocked, Jack would make sure that something unexpected would happen. One time he opened door with a woman hanging onto his shoulder.
Directors need to listen (and that includes watching) their actors. They need to be attentive to everything happening on set. They need to know when something is right and works and when something goes wrong. They need to listen to their photographer, their lighting people, their crew. Good directors sprouts eyes and ears in every part of their body.