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The Shower in the Glenn

Millions of people were transfixed by the television series "24." The show was based on a ground-breaking concept of airing episodes as though in real time. I've just had an amazing 24 hours myself, thanks to one of the show's stars, Glenn Morshower, who played Agent Aaron Pierce. 

I attended a presentation by Mr. Morshower yesterday. To call it a presentation isn't quite accurate. It was, rather, a shower of sharing that honored the rules of a good presentation at the same time it did not obey those very rules. 

Photos of Mr. Morshower from
Glenn Morshower is often described as a "character actor." Character actors are the core of the acting arts. The performers we call "stars" could not have "stellar" careers without them. They are often the best, most thoughtful practitioners of the craft. Glenn Morshower is a character actor who deserves every ounce of his fame, though we did not see any evidence that fame is one of his favorite accessories. Nor did he "perform" for us, as he well could have. His voice travels into any country or dialect at a moment's notice and he can modulate its tonality as deftly as a virtuoso pianist commands the keys. Yet he came not to display his talent; he came to share his soul, a brave thing for a famous person to do.

Humor and Wisdom

It was immediately evident that Mr. Morshower is as good at creating lines as he is at delivering them. 

"Remember the Chevy Vega?" he asked the audience. A giggle wiggled its way through the audience. "It was the paper towel of automobiles!" he proclaimed. "You drove it 25,000 miles, then you wadded it up and threw it away." Giggles became guffaws. "That's how I knew my wife Carolyn loved me," he continued. "She fell in love with me while I was driving a red Vega and heading out to fulfill my dreams in California." Dreams, he added, that many others advised him against fulfilling. 

Mr. Morshower did indeed fulfill those dreams, thanks in large part to his ability to listen to the best advice: the whisper within. "We all have this," he said. "We all have that inner voice that leads us. It may not make sense. It is often not convenient, but it is true. It's not enough to hear it," the successful actor and happily married man and father advised. "You must act on it. When you say yes to the whisper, you honor your instincts, you open the door to deep-seated life changes, you inhabit the moment differently, better, more fully. You go to the deeper truth." 

Mr. Morshower shared with us how his ability to "obey the whisper within" had saved his life and enhanced his future and his career. It led to his re-encountering the childhood playmate who has been his wife and life partner for some 35 years. It saved his life and his son's in a dramatic accident. They were driving on an iced-over mountain road, going just 8 miles an hour, but gravity took over on a steep downgrade. Mr. Morshower lost control of the car. It plowed into/under an 18-wheeler that had just met the same fate. Seconds after assuring each other they were still alive and functional, though injured, Mr. Morshower told his son, "We have to get out of this car now." They crawled out and made it to the side of the road, just as a second 18-wheeler jack-knifed on the ice and smashed into their car. At 18º in a mid-winter's night, the whisper knew they would be safer outside the car than in. 

No More Vetoes

"Obey the whisper." What a liberating phrase! We know to obey commands--and social morés, parents, bosses, religious doctrine. Much of the time, this obedience can be good. Yet, to be told to obey our inner whisper is the key to our fulfillment. I felt a garden grow inside as Mr. Morshower described the beauty that can come into our lives from obeying the suggestions of our inner voice. "It's time," he told us, "to stop vetoing your inner voice. 

"Once you respect that inner whisper, be prepared to ignore a lot of people," he added. "Also be prepared to set priorities." The whisper does not lead us into doing everything and anything we have ever wanted to do. It takes us toward what we want to do most. A subtle point, but deeply important in a Western society that continually tells us that we can have--and do--it all.

Mr. Morshower shared the agony of auditions with us. He helped us see that we all go on auditions, whatever our path in life. We do a great deal of "trying out" for our next job, relationship, assignment, or competition. We answer many calls and often do not receive the "call-back," that important confirmation that we are good, competent, or well-liked. A character actor does not escape auditions, even after having great success. Once, Mr. Morshower's inner whisper told him to fill his shoes with syrup prior to an audition. The result: he entered the magic kingdom of childhood and joy. He walked into the audition, scented with his secret and so centered on his experience of the moment that any extra nerves or doubts dropped away. He got that part, and the next nine parts he auditioned for, each time concealing a fun and slightly crazy secret that kept the magic of the moment alive for him and his "judges."

As much as I enjoyed and learned from what Mr. Morshower said and did, I gained more from who he is and his sharing of his inner spirit. "I trust what comes through me," he told me after the meeting. "And I want so much to share what comes through with others." I must also note that Mr. Morshower makes no secret of or apology for his belief in a divine source of life. After all, a Texan who was Bar Mitzvahed and baptized in the same year of his adolescence must have a few extra keys to the kingdom! It is also why I personally felt a sense of trust in what he had to say.

What is Stardom?

It was Mr. Morshower's sharing that changed my inner awareness the most. His honesty of spirit, his ability to share the earth-world of his career and the heaven-world of his mind and heart moved everyone in the banquet hall. He shared with us his expectation that we could and would do the same for others. If you ever have the opportunity to hear this good man speak in person, do it! If you don't, watch him on the small or large screen. You will see and feel integrity and wisdom come through his finely tuned performances. 

Ngc6397 hst blue straggler" by Francesco Ferraro (Bologna Observatory), ESA, NASA and Via Wikimedia Commons -
Blue Straggler Stars, Francesco Ferraro
Glenn Morshower sets our usual celebrity-culture terminology on its head. He is not only a character actor of great skill, he is also an actor of great character. He brings a bit of the heaven he has found to others, encouraging them to find their own.  It is this, above all, that makes him a star, the kind that can guide us through a dark night.



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