By: Mike Pniewski
“I’m not trying to re-create what the song was like on the record. I can do that, but there’s no purpose. I’m searching for the song to be alive now.” --Bruce Springsteen, Esquire, August 2005
I’ve spoken several times about my abundant admiration for Bruce Springsteen. I’ve been listening to his music for 26 years and am not ashamed to say I’m a huge fan. (My wife would call me an embarrassingly huge fan!) His endurance and ability to remain significant amaze me as much these days as his talent.
I read the quote above and it really spoke to me. There’s great meaning in it for me as actor since we, too, strive to create a new reality each time we work. Not trying to replicate what we did before, but breathing new life into the work each and every time the cameras roll. Each roll we take on has it's own characteristics that only apply to the context in which he or she currently exists. The magic always happens in this moment, in what’s currently happening, not in trying to copy what you’ve already done with a different character. Casting directors expect me to come into their office and use my talent in a unique way that serves this current project, not what they cast last week!
Yet, too many of us take the safe road by continuing to reproduce the same effort, the same presentation, the same level of work instead of trying to breathe new life and originality into each and every opportunity. Treating each customer or client as just one more float in a long parade of sameness.
We do our best work and create those moments of pure magic if we take what we do best and bring it to life in the present moment, creating a unique impression and connection every time. If your work is not prolific in this way, maybe that explains why you find your work uninspiring. Others may be thinking the same thing.
Each and every time you step out to do your job, you do so in a new reality. Today is different than yesterday, tomorrow will be just as unique. Clients and customers we see today are also part of a changing reality. Find ways to make today’s demonstration of your talent interesting, engaging and effective in a way it’s never been before. Make it alive now, not a rehashing of past success.