Listening is the Key to Acting (and Life?)

Alan Alda was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005 and has been nominated for thirty Emmy awards (many for playing Hawkeye Pierce in the television series M*A*S*H). In a 2006 memoir he wrote that acting was all about really listening: "The difference between listening and pretending to listen, I discovered, is enormous. One is fluid, the other is rigid. One is alive, the other is stuffed. Eventually, I found a radical way of thinking about listening. Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. When I’m willing to let them change me, something happens between us that’s more interesting than a pair of dueling monologues. Like so much of what I learned in the theater, this turned out to be how life works, too.”

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