Stranger 16. On a busy Friday night I walked into a bar (well-known chain) and asked to speak to the bar manager. I told him that in the past I have had extensive bar work experience (also known as “I’m an out of work actor”) and that I would love to serve behind his bar for 20 minutes, therefore giving a member of his staff a break. Would this be possible?

I got a No! 

He told me health and safety was the reason – they wouldn’t be insured if anything detrimental happened in the 20 minutes that I was working. He also said his staff do get breaks. I assured him I wasn’t the secret police, thanked him and we parted.

What struck me as I walked away was how he considered this a reasonable request. Yes he said no, but he didn’t question me, he didn’t recoil or frown at me, he didn’t  laugh at me, he answered seriously and in a measured way. Considering I thought it was an odd request or offer to make, his demeanour in response is what stays with me on this occasion.

You can really ask for anything 😀

Stranger 17. Moments after the experience in the bar I stopped a stranger in the street and asked him if he would be willing to have a conversation with me, right there and then, for 10 minutes.

I got a yes!

I set my timer on my phone and we had a gorgeous conversation. What do you know, turns out this man is an actor. We spoke about the craft of improvisation, touched on what is “character” and he gave me the name of a great book to read – The Self Illusion: Why There Is No ‘You’ Inside Your Head by Bruce Hood.

The timer went off, we hugged and we parted, both smiling.

When I got home my eyes were drawn to one of my bookshelves and standing tall was the very book that he had mentioned! I realised I had bought it on impulse some months ago and had not yet opened it. Now I’m reading it and the timing seems perfect.

About the Author

I coach high achievers in the performing arts and music industries, together with entrepreneurs and leaders in corporate. I'm drawn to work with pioneers and innovators. "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes" Marcel Proust

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