Friday, 9 December 2011

Lessons from the Way of the Showman - 59

When creating an act aim to transcend the skills. Doing just tricks becomes like abstract art, but all the while, consciously or otherwise the Crowd look at you for story. Even when you try to say nothing, much is told. Consider the story you tell, and make it a good one.

Consider story.
Skills are an integral part of the act, in many ways they are the justification of getting time in the spotlight of audience attention, but to really connect with the Crowd there needs to be another level of content and development in your act. This can be thought of as aspects of narrative.
The tricks are the skeleton of the act. They belong in a certain order to optimize the strength. Their order is also a form of narrative.
In its simplest form narrative can be: Beginning, Middle and End. But there are many aspects that can further story, in a loose sense.
Character transformation or change, a development from the beginning to the end. How you feel about the tricks throughout the act, which are difficult, which are fun? Your handling of them, mimicry, gesticulation, words spoken all tell the audience how to react to what they see. You give your material meaning, Show them emotion and they more involved.
Your relationship with the Crowd can also change and add to the story. Some tricks are easy and fun and they get a lot of attention, others are so difficult you become introspective, it all reads as story.
Be conscious of the story aspects of your act. Why not seek inspiration from one of your favorite stories.

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