walks into a room

Interesting Daily Post prompt this morning.

A roomful of strangers: I feel like I walk into that at work everyday. We all have our business clothes on, our business faces on, our business brains operational. But how much of this is who we are? When you walk into an interview, you have about 30 seconds to convey “who you are,” but of course who we are changes depending on context.

“Who I Am” in a business environment is efficient, creative, serious, and quick. You can see this in the way I dress: I often wear dark, tailored clothes with a hint of flash, and have a fast gait even in 3-4 inch heels. In an audition environment, you need to convey that you can act, take direction, and are easy to work with in 60 seconds or less. But I’m an actor. It’s easy to tell that story. Fake it till you make it.

No one needs four minutes to tell their story, to present themselves to the world. People make judgments in the blink of an eye, and sometimes they’re pretty spot on. You can tell your story in words, but people will sum you up by your body language and by the way you express yourself, which is not necessarily the same thing as what you say. They’ll create a story for you based on minutiae, shaped by their own past experiences.

All you can really do is be who you think you are at the same, and let others fill in the blanks. What your story actually is and the story you want to tell the world are different things. I think it’s a waste of time to put a lot of thought into it. We are who we are, until we change.

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