Mess With It

Denise Gough is an actress on a tear. She received rave reviews on Broadway for her role in People, Places and Things. Her next Broadway show is Angels in America, and she has two films in the works. However, Denise almost quit acting until her hit play (PP&T) came along.

Gough trained as a soprano singer, focused on precisely hitting each note. Then she discovered acting, and was thrilled to let go of the encumbrance of perfection. Gough said that she liked imperfection on stage, because things go wrong in life, and that is irresistible to watch.

In preparing their presentations, we coach clients to embrace and appreciate imperfection. Take the plunge and let go of the need to be perfect. Being genuine and in-the-moment creates presentations that are more powerful and moving than any varnished, pitch-perfect talk. An added benefit is that you will enjoy the process and ultimately be more satisfied with the results. We promise.


  1. Eric Barnes says:

    This is so utterly true. After 50 years in various areas of the “biz”, I can’t recall ever doing a “perfect” performance. Especially in stage work especially, a good play/musical is a constantly changing canvas. One never knows when a different interpretation suddenly strikes another actor and one has to then adapt to keep the flow going properly. It can be a wonderful and/or terrifying moment, but it’s part of what makes work “interesting”. That goes for the performers AND the audience. Occasionally, in business, something changes in a midstream talk – the slides stop working, lights go out on the product, an emergency bell starts ringing in the backdground – and the speaker/leader HAS to adapt. Sometimes it can be with humor, sometimes a change in the schedule of the talk, whatever…but you’ve got to be on your toes and not be dependent on everything being perfect. HOW you handle that “blip” in the schedule can make a huge difference in hour your audience or clients see you as a human being. And THAT can change the game in huge ways, good or bad.

    In one show I did for a client, my “character” was a weird guy, very scruffy and who didn’t like working for the company. So I took to introducing each speaker, making fun of any errors or mistakes which he had done in the past which might have cost the audience money. But I made outrageous humor out of each one, the audience let off a long of buried steam and the speaker then took it as a good joke on him. threw in a few more comments which got laughs, too. And suddenly, he was no longer the bad guy.

    So ANY change in the schedule by unexpected circumstances and be the turning point of a presentation. Grab that opportunity. You may be very surprised at the effect it has on your presentation and how it’s accepted. Go for it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *