Insight from the inside

Come to Your Senses – Part 2

Part 2 of 3

This is the second part of a three-piece blog series by Mari Lyn Henry. To get to the beginning, CLICK HERE

The Sixth Sense

Scientists and psychologists have discovered a sixth sense which is also known as the ‘third eye’ or the mind’s eye. An extra information channel by which you or I can connect with the past or predict the future.

Through research, we can discover a psychic connection to the roles we play on stage and study the history of their cultural lifetimes: the painters, composers and authors from different time periods.

 The casting directors I have met need a sixth sense to find the best actor for the roles in a play or a film or TV series.

Mari Lyn Henry

An audition may depend on the photo(s) you send to their office or online. They may agree that your eyes in the picture communicate a quality and personality which they feel could be right for the role. If they contact you, be prepared to find as much material about the role as you can.

For example:

You are auditioning for the role of Anne with an E which takes place on Prince Edward’s Island in the early 20th century. Anne has an overactive imagination, a poetic connection to life around her. And she is very smart.. an old soul. Have you read the books? Have you looked up the location? Have you found her likes, dislikes, the depth of the relationship with her foster parents and have you explored her past in an abusive orphanage? If you can relate to her life and courage, her tenacity and sense of self, you will impress them with your intelligence, professionalism and energy. Go deep!

Sometimes in our dreams, we find the keys to the doors of inspiration. There is an inner voice giving us clues. Psychics believe in getting messages from people who have died. The great Houdini was convinced about life beyond the grave and seances were held in his home. While he could perform physical feats that were jaw-dropping, spiritualists were unable to conjure his deceased relations.

However, over the centuries there have been ghostly apparitions or ‘sightings’ immortalized in films like Ghostbusters, The Haunting, Casper, The Canterville Ghost, Poltergeist, The Shining, The Changeling, Ghost (Whoopi Goldberg played the psychic). It is in The Sixth Sense that Cole Sears (played by Haley Joel Osment) tells Bruce Willis, the psychologist, that he sees ghosts moving who are not aware they are dead. The psychologist advises him to find a purpose for his gift.

Does our imagination play tricks on our ability to detect the presence of a ghost? During stressful times, perhaps an illness, our sixth sense might be activated. Recently I read the journal of a teacher who claimed that when he was in rehabilitation after a life-threatening operation, he saw a shadowy figure at the end of his bed and heard her whispering that she would be with him until he was fully recovered. He later realized that the woman was his grandmother who had died.

He wrote in his journal: “I fell into a deep sleep and dreamt that she appeared to me in my room. She was dressed in white and looked angelic. Her appearance reminded me of the Ghost of Christmas Past, visiting Scrooge. She entered through the balcony doors and looked like a younger more regal version of herself. She smiled and told me to come with her. She led me off the balcony and we flew over the water to some faraway place.”

My favorite ghost story would have to be A Christmas Carol. During the season to be jolly, there are at least ten versions of the movie. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are the messengers for the cold non-believer, people-hater Ebeneezer. Old Scrooge had a soul after all.  

Do you believe in ghosts? When you go into a haunted house, do you experience a chill, a strange light, a vibration, hear an eerie sound or screams? Probably not.

But aren’t we curious about what adventures we’ll have if we stay a little longer? Like Alice in her Wonderland, we are always facing a ‘curioser and curioser’ future.

In the third and final part of this blog series, we’ll dive deeper into the sense of curiosity. I’ll see you then.


Mari Lyn Henry

MARI LYN HENRY, author, teacher, actor and theatre historian founded the Society for the Preservation of Theatrical History to reacquaint today’s actors with the great actresses and visionaries of the 19th and early 20th centuries. SocietyPTH.com

Her workshops on on-camera techniques, script analysis, auditioning and impression management have been very successful in cities and universities across the country. CAREER INTELLIGENCE Seminars about “The Business of the Business” are based on her best-selling book How To Be A Working ActorHowtobeaworkingactor.com

Your Stagepunch Membership

  • Explore Performing Arts Programs From Across the World
  • Access Audition Requirements, Dates and Deadlines, All in One Place
  • Discover the Perfect Monologue for That Once-In-A-Lifetime Audition
  • Create a Profile and Track Your Progress
  • The Stagepunch Guidebook, a Step-By-Step Guide to the Application Journey
  • Expert Coaching From Industry Professionals
  • Exclusive Workshops and Member Events
artist drawing of a person reaching upwards