Sunday, 18 January 2015

#BLOG Alert Old Bag


#Hollywood actress Bea Arthur and her baggage.  In 2003 Bea was a guest on a radio show I was working on.  She was in London plugging her one woman show.  Still working at 81 years of age Bea was an incredible actress both on and off Broadway.  She was also in American TV shows like 'All in the Family' and 'The Golden Girls.'  So a formidable talent and an equally formidable woman.

"Good afternoon Ms Arthur, how are you today?" she replied "I have the fucking flu, this fucking country is so fucking damp, I feel fucking terrible."  Apart from being rather taken aback by the amount of profanities coming out of this very tall octogenarian, we were all worried that this was going to be a car crash radio interview.

With a fierce determined look Ms Arthur stalked her way through to the studio, as she sat down I noticed that she gave the host a warm smile.  The commercials ended and Bea was an entertaining, funny and delightful guest, with not a mention of her 'fucking flu.'

When I teach broadcasters, I work hard to get them to leave their unwanted emotional baggage at the studio door.  My rule is that you can only take into the studio one small carry-on bag of usable curated positive or diffused negative emotions.

You should never bring to your performance that wave of negativity you are suffering from say after starting the day arguing with your wife, missing the train and spilling coffee down yourself ... UNLESS you can diffuse it and then re-use it in a positive show-making way.

Bea Arthur took the decision to just leave everything negative at the studio door, even though she was clearly unwell she knew that all that negativity wouldn't get her bums on the theatre seats at her one woman show. 

She ended the interview by saying that London was "her favourite city in the world." You and I may now know better, but you have to admire her professionalism and her longevity - she died of cancer in 2009 aged 86.


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