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Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™ Stories

The Story with the Creative Tattoo

Noomi Rapace, Acting As If, Reframing, Audacity and Albert Muses

By Jill Badonsky, MEd | Updated February 17, 2019

"Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact." —Robert McKee

This story comes from Noomi Rapace, the actress who played Lisbeth Salander in Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy which begins with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

The world was mesmerized by this character who never saw herself as a victim despite experiencing one horrible thing after another. She somehow makes possible everything she needs and wants despite constant blockades, being framed and being left for dead.

"She never gives up and I think that's beauty for me," says Noomi Rapace.

In the story, Lisbeth manages to turn her anger into strength. She's her own person and refuses to play the rules the way others do; a liberating notion especially for the creativity seeker. She desperately wants to live and be free.

Noomi RapaceNoomi Rapace inhabits the character of Lisbeth in a way that gives definition beyond any imagination. Lisbeth is tough, alienating and androgynous — she is formidable and masculine, not captive to social graces. Intrigued with the story, I wanted to read more and when I did I was shocked to see that Noomi Rapace was a feminine girly-girl. I just stared for a long time at these photos of a feminine actress realizing her amazing ability to completely transform herself.

Noomi discusses what she did for the audition. Thinking she would not get the part, she said, "I thought they would judge me for being too feminine, too girly." So she told herself, "I'm not going to do an audition, I'm going to begin as if I already have the part." In other words, she began the work of being Lisbeth when she showed up for the audition.

"I don't like auditions, my way is to start the work today." So she borrowed clothes from her husband, she practiced the stunts, got piercings, took motorcycle lessons and transformed her body into one that would be closer to Lisbeth.

In Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Terms

  • Audacity, the Muse of Courage and Uninhibited Uniqueness calls what Noomi did, "acting as if." Acting as if she was already playing the part got her the part. Never giving up means staying courageous even in the face of appearing rejected, socially inappropriate, odd — it elevates our independent self-respect which is vital to creative success.

  • Albert, the Muse of Imagination and Ingenuity calls what Noomi did "reframing." Instead of being intimidated by the prospect of being judged in an audition, Noomi reframed her audition as work. This inspired all the actions she needed to impress the director.

In Your Life

  • Where in your creative life can you embrace your work and believe you are already who you need to be?

  • Where might that take you?

  • What actions are you willing to take that would indicate you believe you already are an artist, writer, musician, or courageous creative soul?

  • What intimidating aspect of your quest can you reframe to something more within your comfort level so that you can live and be free as the creative person you long to be?

"There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories. —Ursula K. LeGuin

©2011 Jill Badonsky. All rights reserved.

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