SL: Guess who? (and a little skinny “extra”)
“What the hell is Peter doing?”
Theatre days are looooong, and Peter wasn’t making this one any shorter.
As scenes go, this SHOULD have been an easy one, especially for Peter. He didn’t have to say or do anything…
All he had to do was stand in the background looking inconspicuous.
His entire job was to go unnoticed… to be invisible to the audience.
But right now he was the exact opposite…
Right now the audience’s eyes were drawn to Peter, the skinny guy at the back of the stage…
… the man presently toying with a piece of gum under his shoe.
As the seconds ticked by, more and more of the audience became hypnotised by his antics – oblivious to the show – as they watched him pluck the gum from his shoe, stretch it out, before getting tangled in a big gooey mess.
The director was losing patience.
Lead stars as divas he could handle… but extras?
Unsurprisingly, Peter was fired that day, giving the director chance to create the scene he’d always wanted (sans bubble gum antics)…
Peter never made it as an extra.
That’s the thing about extras… you want them to blend in.
But Peter didn’t want to blend in.
He wanted to stand out.
And stand out he would, but not as an extra, clowning around with a resin and wax-based consumable…
– – –
“There’s no such thing as dead time… just an opportunity for interaction.”
I’ve said this a few times, but like most good advice (and that meatloaf I had last night)…
it’s worth repeating.
There are always moments – in business and life – where your expectations about anything interesting happening are close to zero.
Maybe it’s sending a “here’s your invoice” email…
Maybe it’s waiting in line for a coffee…
You don’t expect memories to be created from moments like these. It’s just a thing you have to do.
But what if it wasn’t?
What if you saw every potential moment as a chance to throw in a bit of personality into the mix….
What if you began to look at how to make every moment a bit more memorable?
What if instead of sending a curt “pay me now!” email, you sent a funny email that put a smile on the customer’s face, making them feel a little bit better about paying you (and more likely to do it)?
What if instead of staring at your phone while waiting for coffee, you struck up a conversation with the person ahead, or asked that old lady where the fuck she got all those pennies from and WHY DOES EVERY ONE OF THEM HAVE TO HAVE AN INTERESTING STORY?
If you’re wanting to be a successful TV and Film extra, standing out isn’t the way to go, but…
If you’re wanting to give your customers a reason to choose you over the rest of the competition…
Standing out is THE way to go.
The easiest place to start is with “zero expectation” moments – out of office emails, unsubscribe links, “no seriously… where the hell is my payment?” emails… stuff like that.
Doesn’t have to be anything hilarious or shareworthy. Just something that makes you different from everyone else.
The upshot is, the more you do this in business, the better the clients you
attract charm lure tempt entice seduce *END OF SYNONYMS* get.
For Peter, standing out may have cost him his career as an extra, but I’m sure he didn’t think about it while playing Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Who (in two movies), or Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars.
I can’t say for sure, but I’m reasonably certain Peter Cushing doesn’t regret fucking around on stage with a piece of gum.