The Love Boat
The Man with One Red Shoe
The Money Pit
Turner & Hooch
Joe Versus the Volcano
The Bonfire of the Vanities
A League of Their Own
Sleepless in Seattle
That Thing You Do!
Saving Private Ryan
You’ve Got Mail
Toy Story 2
The Green Mile
Band of Brothers
Road to Perdition
Catch Me If You Can
The Polar Express
The Da Vinci Code
Charlie Wilson’s War
Angels & Demons
Toy Story 3
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Sure, his best work may have been in Bachelor Party or Bosom Buddies, but Tom Hanks has done alright for himself.
With the release of his latest flic Captain Phillips, Tom Hanks is working the publicity circuit. The Chicago Tribune did a Hanks feature & he shared some of his insights on acting.
Two comments in particular resonated with me.
When I’m in Spanish mode, I’m a bit of a different person.
In a way, I’m acting.
“All of acting is a battle against self-consciousness.”
– Tom Hanks
In Spanish mode, I’m acting a bit.
Not a fraud, mind you.
Probably more like Jerry Seinfeld in Seinfeld. Sure, he’s acting in the show, but he’s not working too hard at it. Jerry the character and Jerry the person are pretty similar.
In Spanish mode, I’m more out-going, more gregarious, more active. I flail my hands more. My voice fluctuates more. I make more of a scene. I’m not exactly a shrinking violet to begin with, so this type of behavior isn’t too far off.
The volume is simply cranked up a notch.
Part of this I do consciously. I need to forget to be self-conscious. When a tall, skinny redhead wanders up to a drywall crew full of Mexicans and starts speaking Spanish, it becomes a one-man show fairly quickly.
It takes a while to let them process what’s happening. Then a bit longer for them to engage. That leaves me on a potentially awkward and lonely island for some time… if I think of it in those terms.
It is a battle against self-consciousness.
And I can’t lose.
“The job of an actor is to forget that he’s in a movie.”
– Tom Hanks
Red Angle recently completed a custom Zero Energy State (aka Lockout/Tagout) video trio in English, Spanish & Polish for a Client. After the Spanish version was deployed, I received a call.
“The guys liked it. They were surprised at the humor. It got some laughs. But they thought you sounded like a game show host sometimes….”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing. Did the game show host keep their attention?” I asked.
“Oh yeah. It held their attention the whole time. The guys were talking about it afterwards. That doesn’t happen with most my training videos. Whatever works.”
I don’t purposely create Lockout/Tagout training videos with the role of a “Game Show Host” scripted in. It just emerges. I forget I’m a tall, skinny redhead recording Spanish audio over a Safety video. And I think the overall product is better for it.
What about you?
How does your self-consciousness hold you back?
The hard part of Construction Spanish isn’t the learning.
We can teach you what you need to know in a few weeks.
With this knowledge, you can double your leadership potential as you manage & lead Spanish-speakers – not just English-speakers.
No, the learning is the easy part.
The hard part is overcoming self-consciousness and putting yourself out there.
Being strong enough to be vulnerable.
Forgetting to take yourself too seriously.
Sometimes you gotta sail The Love Boat before becoming Captain Phillips.
Bradley Hartmann is founder and El Presidente at Red Angle (www.redanglespanish.com), a training and consulting firm bridging the English-Spanish (and a bit of Polish…) language gap in the construction industry.
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