People who attend our programs often ask me how we find our Interactors. They’re all professional actors, of course, but the job calls for quite a lot of additional skills. (I sometimes joke — well, half-joke — that we offer one of the few opportunities for actors where intelligence is an asset.)
Seriously, all kinds of acting require intelligence, but much of it is physical and emotional intelligence. You have to be able to imagine how your character would feel in the circumstances that the playwright gives you. You have to know what drives people, what makes them do what they do.
And, as Ralph Richardson is reported to have said, you have to “know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.”
Interactors have to do a lot more. They work directly with learners, one-on-one and in groups. They have to understand at least the basics of the industry we’re working with, so they’ll be believable as employees, customers, managers and co-workers. They have to know the learning points and recognize the behaviors that learners are practicing, to reinforce them when they see them or cue them when they don’t. They have to think very fast on their feet, and they usually have to have a little bit of the teacher in them, too.
And the best of them love every minute of it.
Reading this over, I’m amazed we’ve been able to find anyone — let alone the 30 or so terrific Interactors we’ve worked with over the last 15 years. And we’re always on the lookout for more, to fit the demographics of our clients’ employees and customers.
You’re the best, guys.