Because they feel so much better.”
“Oh, no,” he said. “I have learned not to move my lips because moving lips would be really, really noisy.” But he knew he was right. Not only was talking quieter, but it could also be more difficult to see your audience. It would be less obvious that you were speaking than when you stopped talking to look around.
To help, he’d written a speech, which, as a bonus, included a section for his colleagues to watch the speech. In this speech everyone listened, but not him. He had always imagined that others would see what he was doing with his mouth, not as a performance for their amusement, but as a way to communicate a particular message.
“And speaking,” he said. “That’s why I have you on your feet.”
And they do. To watch him speak, there’s a strange sense of pride. At the end of every hour, he asks himself: How did I pull this off? As an actor, he has a great deal of control over how he moves his mouth and what he speaks in front of a group, but people’s attention has nothing to do with his mouth. His performance is always, always his, and that’s exactly what he wants.
“I’m a very good actor, but I didn’t think I could get anyone to pay attention to it. So I was just trying to figure out how to get everyone to stop talking.”
Asking people to stop talking is what actors do, he explained. It’s also very, very hard. “People do tend to sit there and listen.” He had gotten the opposite feeling. But he was so used to the attention from other actors, he didn’t see the other actors’ reaction, and, finally, he realized the mistake he’d made. So he wrote that speech, which now felt completely natural for him, “and now everybody has to do it.” To everyone’s amazement.
In any case, the problem with talking in front of people, was that if the other actors were paying attention, it would mean that he was the one on stage. And if that happened, the other actors would be very angry indeed and start talking and acting like they had no idea where the other person was going. Which was why, if he ever got to act in front of a full auditorium, he’d write out the speech in advance and bring an envelope just in case. Otherwise, he’d