How to do Stuff Well – an A to Z

This is a series of 26 articles about various things that interest me. Many of them contain solid advice based on my experience, some are more fanciful and others are told in story form. My favourite, if you’re interested, is C, but they’re all worth a read.

Oh, and if you want to listen to my voice reading them, then head on over to the podcast Sklugoo Speaks, where Sklugoo, a small, green meditating frog, uses my voice as a channel for his wisdom. And yeah, I know that you think that frogs can’t do that.

a – How to Act Well

b – How to Be Well

c – How to Crow Well

d – How to Dance Well

e – How to Extemporise Well

f – How to Fall Well

g – How to Get Well

h – How to Hurry Well

i – How to Imitate Well

j – How to Journey Well

k – How to Keep Well

l – How to Listen Well

m – How to Manage Well

n – How to Neaten Well

o – How to Open Well

p – How to Play Well

q – How to Queue Well

r – How to Read Well

s – How to Sleep Well

t – How to Talk Well

u – How to Ululate Well

v – How to Visualise Well

w – How to Walk Well

x – How to Xerox Well

y – How to Yield Well

z – How to Zigzag Well

One more thing: Sklugoo has two disciples and they are both chickens, but neither of them are in this photograph:

Photo by Thu00e0nh u0110u1ed7 on

How to Act Well

Acting on stage is much the same as acting in life except that it’s a little more expressive because your audience is further away. In order to get your facial expressions, emotions and voice heard by those people out there you have to project them further. This essentially means that you have to exaggerate everything to almost clownish proportions. You have to talk louder, your emotions have to be turned up to ten and your face and body have to uber-express.

Acting for the screen is actually a lot more like life than acting on stage is. The key here is not to turn your expressions etc. up but to make them uber-clear. Clarity is the key. To be able to do clarity you have to be in touch with your inner being. You can’t expect to be able to give the camera your best anger-face until you know what your best anger-face looks like. And you can’t just use a mirror as a prop to find your emotions. You have to actually experience them on the inside before you can express them convincingly on the outside.

Consequently, there’s a lot of similarity between disciplines like mindfulness and meditation and the craft of acting. Both are routes to your inner being. And sure, they have different aims – one is to discover and the other is to express – but they are very compatible practices. It’s no accident that the home of the mecca of movies in the west (Hollywood) is in one of the more deeply spiritual place in the US of A (Los Angeles). Those guys are riding the synergy wave.

Acting classes will obviously do more than take you on a deep inner journey, but all the rest is peripheral and can be encapsulated in the phrase ‘look after yourself’. If you want to look good on screen then you need to moisturise, if you want your voice to last then you have to exercise your larynx and surrounding structures, and if you want to be loved then you have to stay young and beautiful because, let’s face it: everything after thirty is just charity.

So, yeah – hope you enjoyed. Tune in next time for more tips from someone (me, Sklugoo) who knows nothing at all about stuff. After all, I’m just a small, green meditating frog living the dream on a kitchen window ledge. And that was your disclaimer. Laters.

Something New

I started something new yesterday. Something for me. Something that I don’t mind sharing with you. It’s a podcast.

I’ve never done a podcast before; unbelievable, right! So this is bright, blue skies as far as I’m concerned. And yeah, I know – there are many podcast out there, but I promise that there are none quite like this!

This one features Sklugoo, who is a frog that lives on my kitchen windowledge (and sometimes at the side of the sink if he’s feeling brave). He meditates and has two disciples (so far). He’s accepting new disciples, but don’t get too carried away – this will not give you the right to sit on my kitchen wimdowledge. You’ll be what I’m going to call eDisciples, okay?

So here’s where you can access the podcast: Sklugoo Speaks. He says that you’re cool to click on the link now. And I agree.