It's Showtime! Powerful Lessons in Authenticity From Two Movies | By Ben Dooley

Yellow Brick Road MovieIt's wonderful when we can learn powerful lessons from movies. The experience can be so visceral that we feel tremendously impacted. So, there are two wonderful documentaries out there that I highly recommend you rent.

"What? What is this? I'm reading this to be a better coach. Not to build my DVD collection."

Bear with me.

The Two Movies

  • The first movie is "Children Will Listen" where 100 students from Inner City schools all converged to perform a production of Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods".
  • The other movie is "Yellow Brick Road", which follows a production of "The Wizard of Oz" with a cast of players with disabilities, both physical and mental.

For anyone to attempt either of these productions, they must be up for a challenge.

"Into the Woods" is a very difficult production for even the highly trained actor.  The music is complex, the undertones are multi-layered, the subtext, the emotions, the themes, the lessons, all of that can keep the most skilled performer super packed at the brink of overwhelm in a three-month rehearsal period as they struggle to get it "right".

While "Oz" is so well known that any production will invariably be compared with the legendary movie. And how can anyone match that?

It's Not About Comparing Themselves

But these are not part of the cast's concerns in these documentaries. They aren't concerned with doing it as well as some other "professional" version, they're not comparing themselves to other actors, instead they are genuinely grateful for the opportunity they have and are determined to give it their all.

Children Will ListenWhat is revealed is not their majestic skill, but their courage, their innocence, their passion, and their humanity. The magic is their simple commitment to being authentic. They can only be exactly who they are, and when they reveal that to the audience, it's spellbinding.

Mistakes Don't Matter

Regardless of how hard they have worked (and they sure do work hard), lines get dropped, sets fall apart, cues are missed and many other sort of "mistakes" occur, and it's all overlooked. Because the power of authenticity is amazing. It beats "doing it right" every time.

"Great. Far out. I'll go rent them and have a film festival. In the meantime, how does this help me with my coaching?"

The Secret to Powerful Coaching

If you haven't figured it out yet, just like these performances, the secret to powerful coaching is just what is revealed in these films - the willingness to show yourself authentically.

Never underestimate its power. It's fine to have a script, someone else's words (like your training), but it's even more important that you get to shine through those words.

Stretch Out of Your Comfort Zone

For some of us, that stretch out of the comfort zone can be really uncomfortable. It may feel naked, risky, dangerous, vulnerable. But, like these performers, all you need is a little direction, a little script to follow, and a little feedback.  The rest just comes with practice.

Before you know it, it's Showtime, and you're the star!

If you liked this article about the power of Authenticity you may also like:

Contributing Author:

Ben Dooley, MCC. YOUR coaching confidence and success made easy and fun. "I BElieve that you are an amazing, powerful, and impacting coach! I want to help you connect to that coach and unleash your coaching power and confidence to create your coaching success!" Find out more about Ben—awesome mentor coach and so much more—at

Learn more about Ben & see all their articles here >>


  1. MARY

    Loved this one so much I shared it in my social networks. Leep the good stuff coming---and thanks for all you do! I remember you from an FYI day long intensive and have been enjoying your missives ever since (and have been a customer too!)

    • Emma-Louise

      THANK-YOU Mary! How lovely to hear from you. And so glad you liked the article. I'm trying to branch out and share a wider range of articles from different people. I wasn't sure what people thought - so it's great to get a wonderful comment like yours!!!

      Thanks again - you made my day. 🙂

      Warmly, EL


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