If you’ve worked with me or read any significant amount of my stuff, you know that a lot of what I coach comes from the acting world. Although he only lived to be 50 years old, Roy London has been a heavy influence on me.
A fine actor himself, over the last fifteen years of his life, Mr. London became one of the premier acting teachers in Hollywood, a profound influence on the likes of Sharon Stone, Jeff Goldblum, Hank Azaria, Geena Davis, and Garry Shandling, just to name a few.
One of London’s main tenets is “It’s all about Love. Every choice comes from trying to connect with Love.”
Man, that is spot-on. While some radio talents have had success being negative and snarky, the ones that most people hold dear are the ones who are consciously trying to connect on a human level. And Love is the highest of human values.
Carry this forward. Even if you joke about someone, make sure that it’s always coming from a loving place. Garry Shandling illustrated this perfectly, describing the relationships between his character on “The Larry Sanders Show” (which I think may have been the best show ever on American television) and his Ed McMahon-like sidekick “Hank Kingsley” (played by the wonderful Jeffrey Tambor). Shandling said a line such as “You’re an idiot” couldn’t be delivered like he hated Hank. Instead, it carried a “but I still love you” vibe – and if it hadn’t, it wouldn’t have worked. It was important that we understood that the two characters had a mutual love and respect, even when one of them acted like a moron.
Listen to your show. Is this coming across? Or are you just another tiresome jock looking for someone or something to be the butt of a joke?
The answer will define your career.