Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Alchemy of Comedy

Here are some very fascinating thoughts on comedy as a delivery system of truth, and vehicle for Real Change. Chris Bliss divulges some important insight about the transformative power. Worth watching and contemplating.

"I want to talk [about] the unique power the best comedy and satire has in circumventing our engrained perspectives — comedy as the philosopher’s stone that takes the base metal of our conventional wisdom and transforms it, through ridicule, into a different way of seeing, and ultimately being, in the world… It is about communication that doesn’t just produce greater understanding within the individual, but leads to real change… communication that manages to speak to and expand our concept of self-interest.”

"What gives comedy its edge in reaching around peoples walls is the way that it uses deliberate misdirection. A great piece of comedy is a verbal magic trick. When you think its going over here and then all of a sudden you are over there and there is this mental delight followed by a physical response of laughter which not coincidentally releases endorphins in the brain. Just like that you have been seduced into a different way of looking at something. Because the endorphins have brought down your defenses."

This last quote is a apposite description of the mechanism which is the core of our Crafts power to change the world. Although comedy is the specific subject of this talk I believe other aspects of the Showman's craft like beatboxing, acrobatics or magic can be used to trigger the necessary emotional response in a Crowd that will lower their fences and listen in the correct way.

The goal for an Illuminated Showman is to gain the power to create change with his Art. A key to this is to make the Crowd listen in the right way. You have to get their attention, win their trust, make them like you enough to want to follow you.
Make them move beyond listening with their mind to listening with their heart. For as the Great Moldavio of Blacksea Gentlemen fame so aptly put it:
"(You can) perceive with your heart what your mind can not know."

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