Authenticity is king. So how does acting = content management?

I’m a trained stage actor who’s been in over 20 productions. I’m also a writer who’s been putting pen to paper and keystroke to screen for over 30 years.

Are the two related? You bet.

Critical to the success of both an actor or a content producer is to know your audience. If it’s a comedy, then the content is presented a lot differently than if it’s a musical or a horror play or historical drama. Just as in creating a blog, a podcast or a how-to video, you are striving for a distinctive reaction to what’s being presented. For the stage:

Comedy = laughter

Horror = real nervous energy you can feel from the audience.

Historical drama = sadness/empathy. In Diary of Anne Frank, I played Otto, Anne’s father. Otto delivers a monologue at the end after he’s discovered his entire family has been wiped out in concentration camps, including Anne. The director advised me to hold back the tears and let the audience feel it with me. I was able to hold them back. The audience wasn’t. Believe it or not, it feels good to cry when the reasons are worth it.

Musical = escape to a happy place. Rehearse till you don’t have to think, give it all you’ve got and they will love you and want more. Oh, and talent is helpful, yes.

You can track the success of the production by the reaction of the audience, and their willingness to share the content you’ve presented by encouraging their own family and friend network to buy tickets. It’s the same with publishing your company’s content, isn’t it?

I‘m not saying you have to be an actor to deliver effective content to your audience, but you do have to custom-tailor the tone and media used for your message. 

The magic word these days is AUTHENTIC. If the viewer/listener/reader feels the author and the company he or she represents is real, and the message is relevant (another magic word), the content will not only be valued—it will be shared and acted upon. It’s the same on the stage. By the way, in Anne Frank, my real daughter Megan played Anne. Talk about authentic.

So put on the hat that suits you—blogger, podcaster, video subject—do a few dress rehearsals to a subset of your audience, get your lines down, work on your authentic delivery. And if you have cast mates to rely on, do it.  It makes you all better.

Oh, and break a leg.