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Get Ready for Criticism

If you're being criticized, it means you did something powerful. It means you stood up for something in your life. As an actor, you're automatically a public figure – whether or not you have a star name.

One of my favorite action films, Rocky III, illustrates this point perfectly. For adrenaline junkies, this installment in Sylvester Stallone's Rocky saga is pretty hard to beat. My favorite scene in the movie is the "statue scene."

The city of Philadelphia honors Rocky with a statue sculpted in his likeness. It's a powerful moment when the statue is unveiled – and Rocky is overcome with emotion. He takes the microphone to thank the fans – and make a bittersweet announcement. He will now retire from boxing. The festivities are violently interrupted by Mr. T's character, Clubber Lang. Clubber insults the champ, challenges him, and makes crude comments to his wife – all to draw Rocky Balboa into one last championship bout.

Dramatically, it's a brilliantly crafted and written scene. A moment of love, honor, and adoration is instantaneously replaced with hatred, animosity, and danger. The scene then goes even deeper. Rocky's heroic character rises to the challenge. He agrees to fight Clubber, but is shocked – and betrayed – when he learns manager Mickey does not support him.

What I like best about this scene is how it takes a moment of honor, respect, pomp and circumstance – and throws it down into a wild, chaotic tailspin. The scene demonstrates beautifully how nobody is immune from insult, derision, and criticism – even our most beloved heroes and champions.

Criticism is a daily reality and it's here to stay. Get used to it. Don't be surprised when your own, personal Clubber Lang shows up. Be prepared to be criticized in ways you would have never expected. It's part of the price we all pay for the opportunity to work in this industry and be regarded as public figures.


Scenes for Teens

Acting Scenes for Kids and Tweens

Monologues for Teens

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