Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Presence of Being

Saw an article at on presence. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, we all have seen someone who commands attention in a room just by being there. Someone who has trouble with computers, who has difficulty answering their emails, who doesn’t know who Ben Bernanke is or even who is the Vice President of the United States, and yet, can walk in a room full of people and take over the conversation as if they were an authority in all things that matter.

In the movie “The Lion and the Wind”, the little boy said it of the character being portrayed by Sean Connery – a presence on the screen if ever there was one – “He’s got the way.” This was a declaration of presence he made to his mother who was portrayed by Candice Bergin, another noted presence. This movie had lots of them; it was eat up with them. Brian Keith nearly stole the show portraying President Teddy Roosevelt – another presence. Here we have a movie by someone who has presence playing someone who had presence at the turn of the previous century.

The guy that wrote the article, Tom Chiarella, started it off writing about Bill Murray. The Bill Murray. First off, he’s famous – which by the way is a whole nother subject of a post – and which gives him presence out the ying yang. He gets to play the famous card. But Mr. Chiarella seems to think he had presence in spite of being famous as though this chicken or egg came first. Whatever.

You want presence? I got the secret right here. And I’m not sending out any scam emails selling it, but like the two colored pills in the Matrix, you must choose, now. Continue reading, the red pill, learn about presence and live with the knowledge forever more, or take the green pill by clicking on something else. Go see what Britney Spears or Paris Hilton is up to.


It’s simple. Be yourself. What ever presence you have within must be played straight – you can’t act it. (That’s where the writer dude in the article got it wrong.) If you don’t have any, I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. “He also serves who only stands and waits.” It was written a long time ago and is still just a true today. Presence is not necessary for happiness or contentment. Get on with your life. Appreciate the abilities of others.

But if you have it – if you have any of it – it will be maximized by being yourself. That sounds easy, but oh no my friend, it’s quite hard. If you have been trying to be cool, stylish, or accepted by others, you will not know how to be yourself. It’s a hard role to play because you’re not playing a role.

You will have to work at it. It may take you years. Young people who are just discovering themselves will have difficulty with this, but it’s a noble goal to work toward.

Lots of middle aged people got years of experience acting cool or acceptable to their friends or those they wish were their friends and got no clue as to who they really are. They got no presence but they keep buying the right kind of stuff, going to the right kind of places, and saying all the right kind of sayings and yet at the end of the day, it just doesn’t seem to work.

They’re trying to be something they’re not. If they got lots of money, it will appear to work. Money like fame buys you presence.

But all it takes is to be in the presence of one who has it abundantly, naturally, and the phonies standout like they are so last century. It’s sort of like being cool, only we all posses the ability to be as cool as we can but only a few of us have presence.

So, go and read the article linked above, but don’t pay much attention to it. Taking up acting is not where it’s at – that is unless you have always wanted to be an actor down deep inside. Be yourself and whatever presence is within you will come out.

I can guarantee it. And if you get to know who you really are, and you realize you don’t have any presence, you really won’t give a shit – and that’s a presence all its own.
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