Attention, Tone & Subtext: A Communications Challenge

When I started PLANK, I mentioned that there might be some random musings … well today is one of those days. 

I was thinking the other day, as I was learning my script for Days of Our Lives, that it’s very interesting how you can take any sentence or phrase and say it at least 10 different ways … all with different subtext. As an actor, this is always interesting to explore, and there are even acting exercises dedicated to this very thing. 

This plays out in our everyday lives, too, in how we interact with people. As actors, we consider our character’s motivation and make conscious choices about how we deliver lines. But in life we often let emotion alone drive delivery … and sometimes our intention is lost in the mix.  Our communications can so easily be misunderstood, especially in today’s world where texting and emailing sometimes replace actual face-to-face conversations.

You Asked: Mary Beth Takes Your Questions

In my first post of the year, I asked you what you’d like to see featured on Plank this year. You sent in so many great suggestions and we’re excited to tackle some of those topics! Overwhelmingly, you said that you wanted “more video blogs.” I love the idea of getting others to join me in future video blogs, but for this first one, I wanted to respond to some of your questions.

Once again I asked for input and the response was HUGE – so many questions that I don’t think I got to everyone. But I did my best to respond to as many as possible.

Thank you all for your questions … and as always,  your continued support/readership/engagement here!

Taking the Stage … and a Leap of Faith

Many times, as I am daydreaming out the passenger side window while someone else drives, I am captivated by the passersby. I often imagine the day of the other cars’ occupants … their lives, them getting ready and getting into their cars to start the day.

Like those people in cars, we all move around on this planet in our designated or chosen groups or families.  How do we create our little circles? And why are we so easily ruffled or annoyed when a stranger stands too close or otherwise infringes on our circle? Sometimes, I think we close those circles in so tight that we find ourselves stuck … maybe we want to branch out, but we no longer know how.

Meeting People, Making Friends & Dancing!

As this Summer unfolded, I was dismayed by my lack of plans. My family and friends had busy summer schedules, and even though I worked, I still had some free weeks. I am never one to sit still, so, as always when I have no plans, I got moving.

First, I re-committed to exercising more (I know I always say that, but it’s true!). Then I looked for “crafty projects” – did you see our blog on cupcakes? When the weekends rolled around, I grabbed them with gusto! My husband and I rented (junky) boats and challenged our seamanship, went paddle boarding and hiked … anything outdoors! We made the most of those two days, so by Monday we felt we’d really had a vacation, albeit a mini vacation. And that seemed to make all the difference in the world. Each week, we came back refreshed, rested and connected … which, I have to say, after being married almost 31 years, is invaluable.

Then, after not really leaving home all summer, I have spent the last three weekends traveling. Two of those trips were spent reconnecting with viewers of Days of Our Lives, first in Nashville and then in NYC. As I have mentioned before, for me and my fellow castmates, it often feels like we work in a warehouse with just our friends, and we rarely see anyone else at the studio. Plus, we are all working our hardest to keep up with the lightening speed of the production each day that we have very little time to even socialize with each other.