The case for (rehearsal) shoes

While most women do not need any particular justification to sport a terrific pair of shoes, I offer up what may be a novel one, anyway.  When what we say and how we say it really matters; when we have to be at our very best - even if nobody can see us - our uniform must include a pair of professional slippers.

This is one of those theatre secrets that can serve the rest of us when we have to appear on, relatively speaking, smaller stages. Theatre artists know – and in fact, directors insist – that performers show up to even rehearsal in their performance shoes – no matter the rest of their attire.  In the proper shoes, we are transformed into our target character.  In orange sneakers or flip-flops, we are not.

I had a chance to test this theory one day when I was working from home and got an unexpected call from an assistant telling me that a corporate bigwig wanted to speak to me –pronto – about a project I was working on.  As I was home, I was appropriately dressed in a t-shirt, cargo shorts and well, no shoes at all.  While I didn’t have time or even the thought of changing my clothes, I raced to grab a pair of pumps before the call came in.  I stood as I answered the phone.  Though I believe I’d have handled the call well in any case, I noted that I as  paced, I actually looked down at my feet from time to time while reflecting on a point.  I observed myself being authoritative, confident, or in a word – solid -while wearing those pumps.   It may not be entirely true that ‘clothes make the (wo)man’…maybe it’s the shoes!

Those of you who are attached to your Birkenstocks or other casual office footwear need not protest, you can sport your ‘comfor-toe-ble’ wear when you are merely working.  But when you’ve got to pitch or sell something-even if you are just practicing for the big day- what you wear on your feet can make a big difference in how you er, stand and deliver.