I’m obsessed with physical expression. It’s what I focus on in my work with my clients.
And I’m passionate for incredible performers and their performances. That’s why I’m speechless about the work of Sarah Jones. She’s an incredible observer of humans in all their glory. And she is the master of miming – imitating them to a “T”.
What makes her so gifted is her ability to adopt the signature of another – a voice, a repetitive gesture, a posture, a face.
What’s significant for us is that we all have our signature expression – vocal intone, facial expressions, gestures and movement patterns. It’s what makes us uniquely us. We also have a cache of characters that we play daily too.
I don’t know about you, but I can listen to someone on several successive phone calls and I can tell you who they are speaking to – their partner, their boss, their mother, their child, etc.
When I was studying in the acting conservatory and performing a scene for my teacher, Mike Nichols, I was part of a stage family – the mother of three daughters. We spent a good deal of our rehearsal time observing each of our signature expressions and then adopting one that would deem us a family – not by our words from the script – but by our actions (that’s what acting is). It was a fascinating experiment. And it worked. The audience was astounded.
Now you don’t have to enroll in a two-year program to learn this. By being highly observant of ourselves, aware of our signature expression, as well as the others we add, we can then know what has value for us – and for the other person. This is persuasion at its finest.
So watch – look and listen. Having a deep sense of yourselves moving gives you a deep sense of who you really are – and while observing others – who they really are.
Enjoy the Ted.com Talk by Sarah Jones, a genius at work: