“I don’t think life owes me anything and the business doesn’t owe me anything. The only way to approach it is by working hard and loving what you do. If you do that and have faith, maybe you will get lucky. I mean that sincerely and specifically. I truly believe that no professional career in the arts is capable without a healthy dose of luck.” – Bryan Cranston
I went to a book signing event where Bryan Cranston would be signing his book A Life In Parts as well as having a moderated Q&A session. As a student of life and game, I new it would be a great opportunity to find some great takeaways. Needless to say Cranston did not disappoint, and below are some major takeaways from the 2 hour event.
1. He Owns The Space. Cranston is a bit tall, thin man but not the most physically imposing person. However, when he’s in front of a crowd he completely owns the space with his body language and presence. I’ve seen a lot of famous people living in LA, and I must say that his use of space and presence let everyone know he’s the Alpha in the room. He walks with a purpose, and everywhere he stands, sits, or just is he gives off the vibe that he totally owns the space, and as well the entire room. His body language is relaxed and commanding, which may be a result of stage training as an actor. But in any case, his body language is always on point.
2. Attention Is His Plaything. Being the reason everyone is at the event means that he’s going to be the focus of attention, and he fully embraces it. From the moment he hopped out in front of everyone (yes, he did simply not walk in, he ran in and jumped out) he grabbed all of the focus and attention like a ball and immediately proceeded to play with it. From telling jokes to launching into entertaining stories, Cranston not only has fun with his audience, he also let’s them have fun with him which creates a deeper connection between him and his audience. He uses his Alpha presence to hold the attention he’s receiving, but he keeps a light and playful tone when conversing to keep his presence from being overwhelming. This leads to the next point…
3. He Uses Humility And Genuineness As His Armor. Cranston’s presence is pure Alpha, and the tools behind it are a combination of humility and genuineness. He uses a sense of humility when talking about himself and his experiences to relay his confidence and belief in himself, without seeking validation of approval from the audience. This solidifies his Alpha presence is that his is self-assured but not arrogant, which is the perfect armor for the Alpha. He then takes this to another level by bringing out a raw sense of genuineness, especially when engaging people one on one, which not only allows people to relate and connect with him, but also commands respect because you get a clear understanding of who he is. For example, when I went to get my book copy signed, he looked me in the eyes and said “I sincerely hope you enjoy the book. I’m grateful for the support.” It was a genuine sentiment that showed that he was thankful, but also at the same time it all was within the context of his Frame. Speaking of…
4. His Frame Is Airtight. Cranston’s Frame is by far one of the most impressive examples I’ve witnessed from anyone, as he always holds the Frame. About 20 minutes into the Q&A, this woman in the front row accidentally had her phone go off. While the distraction was entertaining, Cranston walked up to her, took her phone and then said “Let’s see what we have here.” He then pretended to scroll through her phone and then showed her how to put it on silent, before causally strolling back to his chair as if he was a professor giving a class a lecture. Nothing operated outside of his Frame, not even unexpected interruptions.
Those where the main takeaways I got from a fascinating 2 hours. I am a fan of Cranston’s acting, as he’s owned the role of Walter White from the iconic Breaking Bad, but has also done some great work in the comedy space as well. Often times with actors they portray these Alpha characters but their real presence is very much the opposite. In this case, Cranston is legitimate the real-deal, and there’s a lot that can be learned about Alpha Frame from observing him. Fame is the ultimate game, but having a true alpha presence take that to the next level. He really is “the one who knocks.”