Having worked as an actor as well as an asker – often both at the same time – I know firsthand the similarities between these two noble professions.

I define an actor – a good actor – as anyone who strives to bring authenticity, truth, empathy, and understanding to each and every exchange either onstage or off. And an asker as anyone in a position to make an ask – any ask really.

Actors and askers rely on many of the same skills, traits, and tools to successfully do their work. Here are just four of the ways actors and askers are alike.

  • Connection – Both actors and askers must be adept at connecting with others quickly, effortlessly, and authentically.
  • The Other – As an actor or asker, all your energy, your entire focus must be on The Other.
  • Empathy – Askers who, like actors, freely allow empathy are much better equipped to bring authenticity and a deep connection to their interactions.
  • Adaptability – Actors and askers must remain flexible in any situation or environment they find themselves in.

Why do I feel exploring the similarities between actors and askers is important? Because what you do as an asker with your organization – raising money for its mission – is too important to not use every tool in your asking toolbox to help make your communities the absolute best and strongest they can be.

I know suggesting askers work like actors may seem more than a bit unconventional, or a stretch, or just plain weird, but it works. I’m living proof. I’ve used my training and work as an actor to overcome my fear of asking throughout my two decades of being an asker in a variety of capacities.

There are many more acting approaches, methods, and techniques those wanting to build more successful asks should strive to master. You can watch a video version of this post with additional similarities HERE.

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