Mike Meyers On Work As Performance And Performance As Work

Mike Meyers, the actor and comedian, thinks of performing as a service job. If there is a crowd, it’s the performer’s job to entertain them. If there isn’t a crowd yet, it’s the performer’s job to come up with something worthy of drawing one. Professionally, the same core truth holds – we do our work so people will show up and see the value in it.

Meyer’s told Conan O’Brien he never felt so much that the studio head was his boss. He really felt like his responsibility belonged to the audience. Service is done for those being served first. Everything else comes after.

On the topic of making movies he joked, “It’s a lot to ask of people to sit in the dark and not talk about themselves, you know? You might as well be entertaining.” While every meeting doesn’t need to be an SNL sketch, it’s a reminder that every action with an audience, even of one, is still a performance.

No matter what our work is, we have an audience to perform for. If we keep them in our focus, and if they in turn find their attention’s been kept, we’re doing it right. All the world’s a stage…

*if you need a laugh, check out Mike Meyers’s appearance on Conan Needs A Friend.

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