Stop trying to calm down

by Lauri

It’s 1937. Just as Sir Laurence Olivier is about to step onstage at the Old Vic Theatre for the Royal Shakespeare Company, he excuses himself to go throw up. 

Sir Laurence Olivier is widely considered to be one of the greatest actors of all time.

Rumor has it, he threw up before every live performance. 

Great speaking, like great acting, is ALIVE (not calm). 

I gave one really calm performance back in the mid 1990s.

I’d shown up to the theatre expecting a brush up rehearsal.

(Brush up rehearsals happen after you’ve opened the show and been off for a few days for the first time in months. You often rehearse in your street clothes, sometimes even “marking it” like you would when practicing a dance. Very seldom do you “go all out.”)

When we arrived, the director told us we would be doing the show in full costume so we could record it. She’d invited two of my closest friends, who couldn’t see the show during any of the real performances, to watch.

I thought, “This is great! I’m so calm.”

My body hadn’t been expecting a live performance, so none of those sensations we call “nerves” ever kicked in.

It was my worst performance ever.

(And since it was captured on video, it will live on FOREVER….)

So why is everyone telling us to calm down? 

Because most of the Western world doesn’t know how to be in their bodies.

We don’t know how to be in our bodies on a normal day, let alone during a heightened moment like speaking.

Heightened moments like speaking come with all sorts of “stuff”.

We’ve got our own stuff – sweaty palms, heart pumping, lungs working overtime – and then there’s the audience’s energy and all their stuff pointed straight at us.

We don’t know what to do with all that sensation!

So our soul suckers and inner protectors yell, “Danger! Danger!” takeover our system, and try to suppress all that sensation.

That’s a mistake.

That sensation is a sign that we’re alive.

(Don’t worry. You don’t need to throw up like Sir Laurence. You just need to befriend that sensation.)

Befriending sensation is an important gateway to unleashing our unique, one-of-a-kind radiance.

It’s also the fire that fuels transformation in our audience.

With passion & love,


PS: If you like the sound of that, book a breakthrough session now. It would be my honor to support you. I’d love to see you there!


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