Following my first blog about “stepping out of comfort zone”, this could be a great way to extend one’s repertoire.
At IÉSEG, we have a compulsory course named “Self-confidence & Relational efficiency through drama”, but all I get (for the first time I heard) about it is just “drama”, and I kept wondering “what the hell could we do in drama course, and how does it relate to our professional life?”. Even I’ve heard some good comments, but I still found myself attending the course with full of suspicions & skepticism: “Me! Acting? No way!”. And what’s good about the course anyway? I mean – being self-confident? Okay! Being able to speak and present in front of the crowd? Fine! But there should be something more than that. Something special enough to drag us out of bed at 6am in the freezing-minus-0 degree to be at school at 8am. The sun is still having his last scene of dreaming at that time. I think many of my classmates were having the same concerns.
Our professor is an actor, a real actor. That only draw to the assumption that he would wanted us to act professionally, which is, for us, impossible. But then, we were so relief to know that he wouldn’t expect us to be actors at all. All we have to do is be natural.
The course structure – I think it’s really well designed with many exercises to stretch both body and mind, release and grasp energy, and be interactive with others. This is a really important point because thanks to that, we were able and we felt safe to … be ourselves and express it naturally. Now, don’t underestimate that. We think that being ourselves is obvious, is the easiest thing to do. However, it’s not. Living in a society, most of the time, we were just a version of ourselves. Why? Because we have tendency to act and behave according to other people’s expectations, we adjust ourselves to fit in. We do it often enough so that we forgot who we really are, and even if we still remember, we dare not expose ourselves.
During the course, we were step by step lead to each and every exercises and circumstances where we have to adapt to the situation, to be creative, to improvise, and of course, in such fast-changing-unexpected-situations, we only can just be ourselves. We have no time to think or to consider otherwise, and that lead to natural. Amazing huh? I found that, after all, you don’t have to act as if you were another person, it’s all about being YOU in a different contexts
This practice is really great for one who wants to extend his comfort zone. Really! How many time can you have to do some ‘tests’ of behaving and reacting differently, being more you? Here you have the environment, you have contribute & supportive audiences, and great comments from the professor and from peers. Later on, some classmates admitted that it’s a psychological-safe and secure environment so that they can really be into it and their repertoire are really extended.
As for me, if I ever faced a question such as “Are you a flexible/adaptive person?” or “How flexible/adaptive can you be?”, I would proudly response that “I’ve been in a situation where the context is unexpected, process is unknown, result is undefined and still I be able to coordinate with others to reach to one agreeable common understanding”. And that is, I think, the most important thing when working in team, living in a society, and being human.
By Phuong H. Duong