228: If there was a movie of your life, is this who would play you?

228: If there was a movie of your life, is this who would play you?

Welcome to this episode of our short daily podcast - A Slice of Therapy.

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With Alun Parry https://liverpoolpsychotherapy.co.uk

Automatically Generated Transcript

00:01
you’re listening to a slice of therapy
00:03
with me alun parry
00:06
[Music]
00:11
when i was a child in junior school it’s
00:14
when i was about 10
00:17
one of the preoccupations that me and my
00:19
friends used to have
00:22
is to discuss who would play us
00:26
in the movie of our lives
00:31
you see when we were 10
00:34
we had these big ambitions as 10 year
00:36
olds do
00:38
and so it didn’t seem completely
00:39
impossible that someone would play us
00:42
in a movie all about our lives
00:45
and so we discuss which actor would play
00:48
us
00:50
and we joke about it and tease each
00:52
other about it
00:54
and the funny thing is now i’m
00:58
older one of the things that i realize
01:01
is
01:02
that actually we were asking the wrong
01:03
question
01:05
the question wasn’t so much about who
01:08
would play us
01:09
in a movie of our lives but
01:12
how they would play us
01:16
and the answer to that question actually
01:18
gives us a lot of pointers
01:20
in terms of how we can actually
01:24
change our own lives moving forward
01:31
now if the actor themselves isn’t
01:33
important
01:34
what is important is how they play us so
01:37
let me explain
01:40
if there were a movie of your life
01:44
then what the movie would probably focus
01:48
upon
01:50
is some elements of struggle that you
01:53
eventually end
01:54
up overcoming and
02:00
one of the most simple ways of deciding
02:04
what the movie might be about is
02:06
maybe to look at the struggle that
02:08
you’re currently undergoing
02:12
at any point in our lives as something
02:15
that we’d like to be a little different
02:17
or something that we are
02:19
struggling with and so
02:23
if you take that as the starting point
02:26
say
02:26
let’s say that there’s a movie of your
02:28
life but it’s going to focus in on the
02:30
struggle that you’re
02:31
currently engaged in
02:36
how would the lead actor who’s playing
02:39
you
02:42
decide to play you so let’s
02:45
imagine that they come to see you and
02:47
they say look i’m playing you in this
02:49
movie
02:50
but i need to be able to be
02:53
you in these early scenes these early
02:57
scenes
02:58
where you are as you are now
03:01
like what are the things that i need
03:05
to believe about myself when i’m playing
03:08
you
03:08
what the as i enter a scene for instance
03:12
let’s say the director
03:13
puts me in a scene and i have to just
03:16
be you as you would be in that scene
03:21
tell me you know how should i act
03:24
what should i think about myself how
03:27
should i
03:29
relate to others what other things
03:34
and ways that i would behave and think
03:36
and believe
03:37
and act which is going to really
03:40
capture how you would be
03:43
in the exact same theme same scene
03:46
because when you ask that question what
03:48
you’re able to do then
03:50
is to start teaching this actor
03:54
how to be you like what’s the mindset
03:58
that you would have in a particular
04:00
scene that expresses the struggle
04:02
that you’re in now so let’s give an
04:05
example
04:07
one of the things i often used to
04:09
struggle with was
04:12
a sense where i would often put myself
04:14
second
04:15
that i would hold back
04:18
from putting myself forward that i would
04:24
brush off a compliment
04:27
and so if i from that point of view was
04:30
going to tell an actor
04:32
how to play me in a situation these are
04:34
the things that i would
04:35
tell them i would say look if someone
04:38
gives you a compliment you have to just
04:40
brush it off
04:42
if uh if there’s an opportunity that
04:44
comes forward put your head down
04:47
don’t push yourself forward for it
04:51
if uh if there’s a
04:55
situation where it’s between you or
04:57
somebody else
04:59
in terms of the most self-caring thing
05:02
would be to look after yourself don’t do
05:04
it even though that seems to make the
05:06
most sense
05:07
these might be in the same these might
05:09
have been the things that i would
05:11
tell my actor how to be me
05:15
from that standpoint going back some
05:17
years
05:20
and so that’s an example of how you can
05:22
actually teach
05:24
this actor to be you in these
05:27
early scenes of the movie where it
05:29
establishes
05:31
who you are now and how you are in the
05:33
world now
05:34
the early scenes that really express
05:38
the struggle that you’re in at the start
05:41
of the movie
05:42
the struggle that you’re in right now
05:45
so if your lead actor did come to you
05:48
and say listen
05:49
help me out here help me be you in these
05:52
scenes
05:53
tell me how to think and be and act
05:56
and interact with other people
05:59
what is it that you would tell them
06:02
because like i say it’s not
06:04
who plays you that’s going to be
06:07
important but
06:08
how they play you what would you tell
06:12
them to do
06:13
in order to most accurately betray you
06:17
in the struggle that you have at the
06:18
moment that this movie is all about
06:23
now the reason why it’s really helpful
06:24
to come up with that
06:26
list of advice to this actor
06:29
is because the whole point of the movie
06:33
is that by the end of the movie the
06:35
whole thing’s going to flip
06:37
and you will overcome this struggle
06:41
and in order to overcome this struggle
06:45
what movies will tend to show you is a
06:47
very similar scene
06:50
repeated but near the end of the movie
06:54
and that scene is the opportunity that
06:57
the storyteller takes
06:59
in order to demonstrate to the viewer
07:02
that everything is different now because
07:05
that scene that they remember
07:07
at the beginning of the movie is now
07:09
being repeated again
07:10
but your character is behaving
07:14
in such a way that they’ve overcome the
07:15
struggle and we get to
07:17
see what that looks like
07:21
and so if the actor were to come back to
07:25
you and say
07:26
listen i need to portray you
07:30
after you’ve overcome this struggle
07:32
where you’ve won
07:34
where you’ve got the happy ending where
07:36
you emerge victorious
07:39
how should i be then
07:42
now this too is a good question because
07:45
it’s not
07:46
who is playing you but how they’re
07:48
playing you and it gives you a chance
07:50
to think ahead how you actually want
07:54
this movie to finish
07:55
this movie that in reality in your life
07:58
right now
08:00
is actually still playing out so when
08:03
you get your happy ending when you
08:04
emerge victorious
08:06
when these scenes that you’re living
08:08
through at the moment
08:09
repeat at the end of the movie
08:13
and we see you overcoming having
08:15
overcome your struggle
08:18
how are you then
08:22
now you might be able to just come up
08:24
with stuff on the fly
08:26
and you might be able to just say to the
08:28
actor well this is how i’d be
08:30
this is how i would interact in the
08:32
exact same scene
08:33
these are the ways i would be thinking
08:35
differently about myself and others
08:37
these are the things that i would be
08:39
doing
08:41
but if your mind goes blank the great
08:44
thing about having made that first list
08:47
about how the actor plays you at the
08:49
start of the movie
08:51
is that you can simply flip it you can
08:54
simply take the opposite of that
08:57
so the character that i was talking
08:59
about in my example
09:02
earlier on was that
09:05
my character would never take a
09:07
compliment
09:08
and so we’d see the scene again later on
09:12
and you’d see them receiving a
09:14
compliment really happily
09:17
so you just take the opposite
09:20
you might see my character in the
09:23
example i gave earlier on
09:24
from a few years ago wouldn’t put
09:27
themselves forward for an opportunity
09:29
and now you see them at the end of the
09:31
film
09:32
and an opportunity comes up and they put
09:35
their name forward
09:37
and so you can see how helpful it is
09:40
that by
09:41
simply teaching your actor how to play
09:44
you at the beginning
09:46
you just take each of those lessons and
09:49
turn it upside down take the complete
09:52
opposite and that becomes the guide
09:57
as to how you would be near the end of
09:59
the movie as well
10:02
now at this point
10:06
you have a guide for your actor
10:11
which lets them know how to be you once
10:13
you’ve overcome the struggle
10:15
the actor now knows how you’d be how you
10:18
told yourself
10:19
how you’d stand how you’d walk how you’d
10:22
interact with other people
10:24
what you’d think about yourself how that
10:27
actually
10:28
manifests in the world what are the
10:30
things that you
10:32
do now that you’ve overcome the struggle
10:35
at the end of the movie
10:39
and actually you know the reason why
10:42
it’s
10:42
so much more important not who plays you
10:45
but
10:46
how they play you is because that list
10:51
at the end of the movie is actually a
10:53
really good template
10:56
for how you can actually start playing
10:57
yourself
10:59
because what you’ve just described there
11:01
is the version of you
11:03
who has overcome the struggle
11:07
so if you want to be the person who
11:09
accepts the compliment
11:11
in my example well you can actually be
11:14
the actor
11:17
right here right now and so the next
11:19
time that you get a compliment
11:21
you can decide to play it the way you
11:25
told the actor to play
11:26
for the end of the movie not at the
11:28
beginning of the movie
11:29
which puts you in the struggle but you
11:32
can actually start to play yourself
11:35
as the character at the end of the movie
11:39
who’s actually overcome the struggle and
11:42
so if you want to
11:44
be that character who takes a compliment
11:46
well next time you get one
11:48
accept it let it land let it sink in
11:53
be the version of you that you’ve just
11:55
described
11:57
at the end of the movie so let’s recap
12:01
because i was saying at the start how
12:04
our childhood game was to try and decide
12:06
who would play us
12:07
in a movie of our life but actually it’s
12:10
more important
12:12
how we are played and i spoke as well
12:15
about
12:17
any movie is always about a struggle
12:20
and so what if the movie of your life
12:23
was
12:24
going to be the struggle that you’re
12:25
engaged in right now
12:28
and that the starting point of the movie
12:29
is where you are right now
12:32
and then we looked at two things the
12:35
first one
12:36
is being a consultant for your actor
12:38
given them the tips
12:40
as to how you interact in the world as
12:43
things
12:44
are the things that show that you’re in
12:47
the struggle
12:48
that you’re in and we saw too that if
12:52
you simply
12:53
flip that turn it upside down go with
12:56
the opposite of that
12:58
you’re actually also describing how your
13:01
character would be
13:02
at the end of the movie once you
13:05
overcome the struggle
13:06
which is great information because once
13:08
you know that
13:10
you already know
13:14
how to act and how to be
13:17
in order to move yourself to the place
13:19
where you are
13:20
at the end of the movie and in fact
13:24
the person then who plays
13:27
you in the movie of your life
13:31
the actor who you get to play you
13:34
is actually you and you can start doing
13:38
it
13:38
right here right now because you’ve
13:40
already decided
13:42
what the script looks like by the end of
13:45
the film
13:47
so if you find that useful please share
13:49
it with others so they can as well
13:51
if you’d like to work with me directly
13:52
my name is alun parry
13:54
you can work with me one to one i’m at
13:56
liverpool psychotherapy dot co dot uk
13:58
but it doesn’t matter if you’re not
14:00
local because i work online as well
14:02
via video call and telephone
14:05
and please subscribe to this podcast as
14:07
well because it’s completely free and it
14:10
means you never miss
14:11
another episode again so thanks for
14:13
listening and i’ll be back
14:14
tomorrow with another one

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