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This Acting Technique Can Help Anyone Get The Job – Dar Dixon


Dar Dixon, Actor: I wanted to get a day job
(this was 20 some odd years ago). I’d had a business with my folks. I was a small print and copy shop. I knew nothing about it but I took all the
failures of my other business and did the opposite of that and did really well with
it and we were able to raise the business up quite a bit and drive and make it much
more profitable and my folks were able to sell off and retire. And so I thought I’ll go see about this
copier job. I went to this company (it shall remain nameless)
and for an interview I walked in and she said “Just fill out the application. Mr. X will see you shortly.” And I said “Oh, that’s okay I don’t
fill out the application. I’ve already got my C.V. with me.” She just kind of looked at me. I sat down, waited and had a chance to go
sit down with Mr. X (really nice man). The job was just terrible. They were going to give me the worst (I knew
what they were going to do) they were going to give me the worst territory and it’s
going to be business-to-business sales and I’m going to try to get them to buy copiers
from this company and the pay was going to be nothing. There wasn’t going to be a car allowance
or cell phone allowance or laptop allowance or insurance or any benefits or medical or
dental or anything and I was like “I get it I know the drill.” But I’ll show my worth and things will change. We’d done this listening exercise in an
acting class I was doing at the time and it was really mind-blowing when we did it (for
me it was) because I had an experience with the actress that I was working with that night
and I just watched this whole shift occur in her. I didn’t say anything. She was just talking and I was just listening
with 100 percent focus. Which by the way, just doing that, it’s
exhausting the first time you do it. But it was also really interesting and liberating. I thought I’m going to try that today. So I’m sitting in this interview and we
say a few pleasantries back and forth and he says “Well tell me about yourself?” And I go “Well there’s a lot I could say
about myself but I would really like to hear what your biggest challenges are? Who has been great at this job? Who has not been great at this job? Anything you can share about that would be
really helpful to me. I don’t want to waste your time. I certainly wouldn’t dream of wasting your
time.” I think that was like the totality of what
I said. And then I didn’t say another word for 45
minutes. And he just started to talk. I could see in his mind “What the heck is
this?” Right? Film Courage: Who is this man? Dar: Yes, who is this guy, right? Which it was actually a really smart movie. I wasn’t trying to be smart or anything
like that or saying I’m necessarily smart. But all I did for the next 45 minutes is “Mm-hmm…Oh
really?…Wow.” But I was actively listening. There are things you can do (I won’t get
into it here) that you train yourself to actively listen and eye contact (total focus) and I’m
literally hearing everything you are saying and I did that for 45 minutes with this guy. He just kept opening up more and more and
a smile came across his face about five minutes in and it wouldn’t leave. 20 minutes in he’s telling us funny stories
and anecdotes about his family and stuff and it just kept on going and at about the 45
minute mark (I remember that well) he goes “You know what man? I’m not going to give you this position. I can’t…this position…you are better
than this. I can’t do that to you.” And that broke me for a second. I didn’t speak but I was like “What did
he say?” And I went right back to listening to him
and he goes “Listen man this is the worst position. I’ll tell you what, I want you to come and
meet the president of the company, he’s got to meet you. Hang on one second.” And he got up to leave and I’m like “Oh
my gosh? What’s going on?” He goes down and gets the president. He calls me and we walked down to the president’s
office and he introduces me to the guy and the guy is like “I hear great things about
you. We’d love to have you on board. I’ve given him full authority to give you
this route and this district and this territory.” And I’m like “Okay, great. Nice to meet you.” They sat me down and offered me this really
great job. The first thing was like a $30,000 a year
job and I ended up with them offering me I want to say $80,000 a year plus bonuses and
commission which would end up being like I don’t know $150,000 a year maybe? Maybe more? This is 20-some odd years ago with a car,
with insurance, with a cellphone with a laptop, full benefits right out of the gate in one
of their best territories. Film Courage: Did you take it? Dar: No. No and there was two reasons why. Number one I was stunned. I couldn’t believe that just happened. I was just doing this acting, listening exercise
that this is…wow? And I was just kind of tripping because of
what had happened with what the actress and I when we were doing this exercise the night
before. Both of us fully aware of what was going on. But she couldn’t help it. The same thing that happened to her on a much
more personal level happened in the room with that gentleman (with Mr. X). And I just “Wow!” And I thought about it. I was like “I can’t do that job. That’s a job-job man. Why am I going to go do this? I can’t take time off and work. I can’t go audition in the middle of the
day. I can’t do that. And so I respectfully declined and he said
“Listen, you are a winner! You’re on your way.” I didn’t say anything. I just listened to the man. Film Courage: Did you ever think about that
job if there were a few bumpy times and thought “I should have taken it” or when there
were bumpy times were you like “I’m glad I never took that job because that’s a full,
committed career?” Dar: Well, yes it is. He was like “Listen, you’d have my job. I’m kind of glad. You’d have my job in 6 months if you were
here. I can see it in your eyes.” I’m like “What the heck is this guy talking
about?” Probably a mixture of both, back and forth. When I was like “Oh my gosh!” But ironically when I decided not to take
that job I just kind of went on a tear and started working back to back to back to back
to back. But it would have been nice in a lot of ways. I remember the class I was in that occurred
I mentioned to the guy who was teaching the class about that and he was a real…like…wrestling
with his own demons (that’s all I’ll say). He wasn’t almost the most pleasant cat which
was one of the reasons why I was like “I can’t be with this guy.” And it was kind of bittersweet because this
exercise that we done I thought this is so amazing. However, the personality leaves so much to
be desired. I don’t want to be around that anymore. I’m getting ahead of myself…so I told
the guy what had happened in this job interview four or five days before and he looks at me
and goes “Don’t do that. Stay in this business. You stay here and keep doing this.” And that was like the nicest thing he’d
ever said. And I was like “Where the heck did that
come from? Thank you but where did that come from?” I don’t know. It was interesting. Film Courage: It’s interesting when you
have someone who doesn’t have to be nice to you and they end up giving you a compliment. I think that might be a little more trustworthy. Dar: You are right but I think that guy should
be nice because he’s taking money from people to provide a service and behaving opposite
of that. I’m not that guy. I’m not. Film Courage: I hear you. Dar: I can’t be around that guy or that
gal.

11 Comments

  1. HufftyPuffty Author

    This is mind boggling. Just by simply listening he got one of the craziest opportunities at a Job interview ever. Goes to show, in a society where everyone is so focused on themselves, by simply listening you can put yourself in the 1%.

    Reply
  2. toodle171 Author

    To you know it all types: THIS IS THE ADVICE YOU NEED, SHUT YOUR MOUTH 1, OPEN YOUR EARS 2, GET ALL THE WORK YOU WILL EVER NEED -done mic drop.

    Reply
  3. Jonathan Trauner Author

    Thank you all so much for inspiring my current life’s journey, storytelling writing career, and my post Israeli American immigrant citizenship journey, based in my current hometown of Jerusalem Israel through your films and storytelling; I could have never become the global citizen of love, kindness, compassion, and gratitude I am today and the inspiring storyteller and rising film director of my new film project Superheroic that I am now without you inspiring me to never give up, through your reels of film and cinema. In February 2019, as a present Kol Haneshama Jerusalem progressive Reform Jewish synagogue community member and dual Israeli American citizen of more than three years, I had the esteemed blessing of attending a Jerusalem Cinematheque film screening of Mrs. Nancy Spielberg's film Above and Beyond; I loved watching the film so much, and it inspired me beyond words; Film will always be a part of my heart and soul. On May 15th 1994, I was born on the Upper West Side of Manhattan New York City, and had been bullied my entire life for my mild High Functioning Autism Syndrome. Even though I had endured adversity, while going through occupational speech therapy classes, due to my inability to verbally speak before the age of three, I never let adversity and my battles with anxiety define who I am. During the fourteen years that I had spent living in Westchester New York, I had, at the age of ten years old earned a second degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do Martial Arts by breaking a board on fire, and overcoming Bear Mountain State Park’s black ice covered hiking trail in Upstate New York. I have been Jewish my whole life, since my mother’s parents originally from Mosul Iraq and Jerusalem Israel were also Jewish by birth. Even though I had received a second degree burn, as I broke through my karate fire board, and even though I had fallen countless times on black ice, I never let the fear of failure define who I am. Following Elementary and Middle School, and my graduation from Elementary and Middle School, I would graduate from the North Miami Beach Florida RASG Hebrew Academy High School, and never let my Autism disability inhibit me from inspiring my current life heroes. In May 2016, I ended up going on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and the Liberal Arts from Baltimore Maryland’s Goucher College; In late May 2016, I took my Israeli immigration flight from New York City’s JFK Airport to Ben Gurion’s Tel Aviv International Airport; As my JFK-Tel Aviv flight crossed over the Atlantic Ocean, I screened from beginning to end Mr. John Crowley’s Brooklyn film starring the phenomenal Ms. Saoirse Ronan; Home is where the heart is; In one of the final scenes of Saoirse Ronan’s Brooklyn film, she reached New York City and Ellis Island, an place so close to my birthplace home of Manhattan and the Upper West Side New York. Once I had landed in Jerusalem, I had already volunteered for Volunteers for Israel Sar El, The Israel Museum of Jerusalem’s Photography Department with MASA Israel for six months, and with Jerusalem’s National Library of Israel and The Central Archives of Jewish History of Hebrew University Givat Ram Jerusalem Israel, and with Jerusalem Israel’s largest archaeology site Givati Inc; led by Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University Archaeology professor emerita instructors Dr. Doron Ben Ami and Dr. Yana Tchekanovets. In Jerusalem as an Israeli, I ended up evolving into an film education equity access supporter and film directing education patron and Annenberg Inclusion Rider International Movement ambassador after I had viewed the films Wonder Woman, The Battle of the Sexes, La La Land, Lincoln, Above and Beyond, The Shape of Water, The Secret, Glory Road, Secretariat, Rudy, A Star Is Born, Lady Bird, and Newsies. From January 2018 through July 2018, I trained to join Mobileye Intel Talpiyot Jerusalem’s newest computer data algorithm correction department and QA data labeling department. By last summer, and last July 23rd 2018, I overcame all odds and all adversity placed my way, and as an Israeli American citizen (that previously lived in South Miami Florida from 2008-2016), Mobileye Intel granted me the wonderful opportunity of joining Mobileye Intel’s Har Hotsvim QA Data Correction Department HQ Team, and I know that, for life, I will always be proud of my dual Israeli American citizen identity of Jerusalem (where my real mother lived for over thirty four years, and where her late mother lived her whole life before passing away almost three years ago in Jerusalem; Her love and kindness giving spirit is in my heart and soul every day of my life. Never ever give up. I am twenty five years old now. I moved to Israel at twenty two years old. My life’s greatest dream come true is to win an Oscar Academy Award at Dolby Theater in Los Angeles California, and thank my life heroes in person for just how much they have inspired me in life to never give up, in the pursuit of my making my impossible dreams in life, a reality. I also live by Mrs. Anne Hathaways’ beautiful quote, “I live my life with love. I live my life with compassion. I live my life hoping the best for absolutely everyone, no matter how they feel about me. When you live that way, it is amazing how beautiful every day can be.” “Whatever the piece of art is, whether it’s music, literature, film … if it speaks to me, then I want to have a deeper connection with it.” – Regina King, 2019 Oscars Academy Awards Night Quote.

    As of last March 2019, I have announced to my current hometown and Holy City of
    Jerusalem Israel and the world, my new based on a true story film production
    project, I have begun directing and producing entitled Superheroic;
    Superheroic chronicles the journey of future dual Israeli American
    immigrant citizen, from New York City, Eleanor Warren, who dreams
    of becoming a film director her whole life. After Eleanor Warren’s
    first failed acting audition, at Manhattan’s Dreamers Acting
    Academy in New York City, Eleanor Warren, pursues her film
    directing graduate studies career at Los Angeles Beverly Hills
    California’s University of Southern California, (even though the
    rest of the world) does not believe Eleanor to be inspiring because
    of her mild Aspergers Autism. Toward the end of Superheroic,
    Eleanor uses her global human rights activism platforms, LGBTQQIA
    +/- justice platforms, Israeli American immigrant journey, and her
    Times Up Now and End Violence Against Women Coalition ambassador
    platforms and love spreading platforms of love and inclusivity, to
    safeguard love and kindness everywhere. Mrs. Eleanor Warren, saves
    the life of Phoenix Arizona Aviation US Air Force Pilot and Marines
    Five Star Seals Commander Admiral Mr. Vincent Everett, at Admiral
    Vincent Everett’s Phoenix Arizona military base. The major themes
    of my film Superheroic is love, kindness, courage, never give up,
    faith, and resilience. No dream is ever impossible. Human beings, 
    of our universe; Your voices of love have the power to inspire and uplift 
    lives; You all make the world a loving and beautiful place, because you 
    exist, just the way you are. “Dream on, for impossible dreams, have the power
    to come true.”In spite of my Autism I have completed my latest motion picture 
    feature film production project pre stage, for a film called Superheroic, I
    work for Mobileye Intel in Jerusalem Israel five minutes from my
    Jerusalem Israel hometown (where I have lived for over the last three
    years), which I could have never arrived to without the Oscars Academy 
    inspiring me to never ever give up in pursuit of my impossible dream
    come true, an Academy Award. My whole life, I never ever say the
    words give up, and I know, resilience is at the core of who I always
    will be; My Autism is not a limitation; I always believe one day I
    will inspire the world through my Times Up Now ambassadorship
    platform and that I will win an Oscar Academy Award live and in
    person for my film Superheroic; My Superheroic script is completely
    finished and already printed out. Superheroic is about how a
    Manhattan New York City native and twenty seven year old Mrs.
    Eleanor Josephine Warren with mild autism, auditions for a film called
    Superheroic, and fails to make the cut, but overcomes obstacles to
    earn her MA degree in film directing from USC's Annenberg Cinema and
    Film School in Los Angeles even though Eleanor struggles with her
    mild Autism herself In Superheroic, Eleanor meets five star US Air Force
    Aviation Captain from Phoenix Arizona, Admiral Mr. Vincent William
    Everett; Eleanor immigrates to Israel, Vincent immigrates to
    Israel, and Eleanor is called upon by Vincent's base to become an
    superhero warrior and superheroine for Vincent's Air Force Squadron;
    At Superheroic's end  Eleanor saves Vincent's life through aiding US 
    Air Force Phoenix Arizona Nurse Mrs. Greta Patrick. By the end of my
    film, Eleanor wins an Oscar Academy Award at Los Angeles Beverly
    Hills California's Dolby Theater. The main message of Superheroic is
    never give up and never lose faith in the beauty and loving strength
    of your heart; Love and kindness is always inside us. Superheroism is
    in us more than we ever know. My film shooting locations will be Phoenix 
    Arizona, Los Angeles California's Arts District, Manhattan New York City, 
    Iowa, Indiana, central Ireland, and Beverly Hills California's Dolby Theater Area. 
    On May 19th 2019 I will next be at Tufts University to hear Mrs. Alfre Woodard, 
    Oscar Academy Nominated Actress for 12 Years a Slave give the Tufts University 
    Medford Commencement Address in Medford Massachusetts live.

    Reply
  4. Andrew Pope Author

    I had not realised that I have experienced this same phenomenon on multiple occasions until I listened to this clip! I'm pretty sure I've even scored jobs through it

    Reply
  5. Shiwanokia Author

    Active listening is what is needed in this society, it is not a game, it is not an acting technique, it is fundamental to honest communication.

    Reply
  6. Edgar Solorzano Author

    I don't regret but I got cut off a content creator job position with a tech company that was ruining my life in a way, I was no longer wiring my own stories or creating my own videos. I was just focused on doing work for them that I was not happy with, when I got cut off my happiness levels went up again and it felt like a new fresh beginning to focus on my goals

    Reply

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