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Tuesday, November 1,2011

Elvis´s Walk

By Al Secunda  

 

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Before becoming a successful motion picture actor, Billy Drago worked for Elvis Presley during one of his tours. Billy told me about a fascinating process that Elvis would go through just before performing. Hours before the concert, some members of Elvis´ entourage would arrive at the performing venue. They would then meticulously measure a distance that was exactly l,000 yards away from the arena, theater, or hall. Finally, a large trailer would be hauled to this satellite location.

A few hours before show time, Elvis would arrive and enter this dressing room trailer. From Billy´s viewpoint, Elvis rarely appeared ready or able to work. In fact, even after Elvis showered and changed into his costume, he still appeared to be in a low energy state.

Elvis would remain in this nonenergized state even after he left his trailer and started on his l,000 yard walk toward the venue. Soon after the walk began, however, Billy observed that something incredible always happened. With each step, Elvis would slowly but surely regain his energy, vitality, and focus.

By the time he reached the venue, Elvis would be radiating an enormous amount of energy and charisma. In fact, according to Billy, Elvis´ energy field became so radiant and powerful that the audience would miraculously sense his presence before he ever entered the venue.

They'd react by going into a clapping and screaming frenzy. This would continue until Elvis entered the venue and finally appeared on stage. The rest is history.

It´s important to note that whenever Elvis would begin his walk, he was not trying to cover up his low energy and fatigued state. He did not pretend that he was ready to perform. Rather, he accepted and began from wherever he was at -- an authentic low energy state. Elvis was congruent with his emotions every step of the way.

Another helpful point is that Elvis became electrified before he took the stage. He didn´t wait for the audience to energize him. Rather, he took responsibility for energizing himself before he arrived. Apparently, this process was so successful that the audience felt his passionate presence even before he entered center stage.

It would be extremely helpful for you to develop your own preparatory performing process. Before you give a sales presentation a speech, go on a first date, compete in a sport, or audition for a part, invent your own personal warm-up approach. When getting creative remember that if you are in a negative mood or are exhausted, your goal is first to accept and then to embrace your current physical state. Remember to be authentic with your thoughts and emotions.

Next, you want to convert that state into an energized emotional and physical state. Elvis did it with his walk. How will you do it? Some healthy options are: jogging, relaxation exercises,

 

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