Listen up!
Published: July 15th, 2020 by theatretrain

Listen up!

Are human beings programmed to be selfish or is it something they learn? Is it in our DNA?

Take one small measure. How many people really listen when they are having a conversation with you– I mean really attend to what you are saying? Do you get the impression that some people aren’t listening at all, they are merely waiting for you to stop so that they can carry on? Like two dialogues happening at the same time and not connecting.

In life this can be annoying because it seems the other person doesn’t care about you but in the theatre it’s fatal. In one of my first school plays the guy playing opposite me had learnt all his lines but also all of mine and in performance he silently mouthed my lines along with me. So, it wasn’t a conversation at all. He may as well have been singing with his fingers in his ears. There has to be flow. You have to speak and then be quiet in order to see what comes back.


“You have to speak and then be quiet in order to see what comes back”


At the other extreme I remember seeing a concert with a world-renowned pianist. It was one of those pieces where the orchestra plays a section, the piano responds and then it goes back to the orchestra. This pianist knew the piece so well you could see he was genuinely interested to see what this particular orchestra would “say” to him today. He listened so intently and then responded. His performance was being created BETWEEN him and them as they went along. This is a high level of creativity and what a life to go from city to city recreating the same piece slightly differently every time. This artistic to and fro has to hold back on the me-me-me and focus equally on the you-you-you.


On stage and in life your interest or lack of it in other people will be found out. Do you follow the programme and take-take-take or do you meet people halfway because you know life and art is also give-give-give?


Our part-time performing arts schools offering young people top-quality training provides so much more than just classes in acting, singing and dancing. The skills our young pupils learn through their training with us are skills for life. So, if you have a child that has an interest in the performing arts or you believe would benefit in attending our weekly classes throughout the UK then visit for more information on what is on offer.