“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,”
– As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 7, 139–142, William Shakespeare
Every year, my wife and I attend the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah. Shakespeare was unusually perceptive regarding human nature and relationships, and many of his works are as relevant today as they were 400 years ago. Each festival season consists of more than 250 performances of several different plays done in repertory, meaning that most actors play different characters in several plays. It continually amazes me to see how hard the actors work to present their characters and deliver their lines to the audience. Whether there is a full “house” or a sparse audience, most actors, through experience and training, have learned to give 100 percent at every performance. I never have observed that the mood of the actors or the size of the audience influenced the quality of a performance.
Watching the plays and admiring the skills of the professional actors, I began to reflect that I am also a professional actor when I “perform” a home inspection. I have a “script” that has been developed over many years of experience, and I attempt to deliver my “lines” in a consistent and professional manner at every performance. I have said many times that some of my tools and tricks of the trade contribute to the overall “dog and pony show” that I perform for the audience that attends an inspection.
Each of the home inspection performances may be influenced by the size of the audience or the needs and reactions of other participants attending the event. I am first and foremost engaged with my client, who is paying to have the inspection performed, and I make every effort to ensure an overall satisfactory experience. If the sellers are present at the house, I am careful to acknowledge them and their needs, and I am respectful of their privacy and property. When Realtors® are present, efforts are made to include them in some discussions to show them that I am stating the facts about the condition of the property and not trying to alarm the client. Sometimes, I must give a great performance to keep my entire audience enlightened, engaged and educated.
Do I always give my best effort when there is no one present for the inspection? When I am late for the next performance or the house obviously doesn’t have any big problems, am I tempted to skip a few lines or even entire scenes for expediency? After all, who would ever know whether or not I gave my finest performance if there is no audience?
Watching other actors, I again realized that my professionalism and integrity always are at stake, especially when I am accountable only to myself to perform the entire show. Only I can judge if I have given 100 percent for each performance.
“Defend your reputation, or bid farewell to your good life for ever.”
– The Merry Wives of Windsor, III: 2
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”
– Hamlet, I: 3