Knowing when to take a beat
A pause in the action is often what's right on stage. So it is in politics, on Wall Street and in our everyday lives.
Political leaders, investors and everyday citizens, no less than actors, need to understand when to take a beat. (Photo by Kyle Head on Unsplash)
A good actor knows that the best thing to do on stage is sometimes nothing at all. It’s called “taking a beat” — holding for just a moment, or perhaps two, to let the audience absorb a line or grasp some action that has happened. Sometimes a beat does more than let a point settle in; sometimes it adds intensity, or squeezes a laugh from the crowd.
Beyond the stage, too, it’s sometimes good to take a beat — to let the world take a spin without you. That was my intent this week. After nine months of weekly columns under The Upstate American banner, I figured Thanksgiving week would be a good time to take a day off. Maybe writer and reader need a break from each other, I thought — or maybe that was rationalization because one of us just wanted an extra family day.
But the habit of meeting a deadline is hard for a longtime journalist to break, and …