prereq: everything that we learn / remember is tied to a story.
I loved the power of the story of being a street performer. I was a punk kid on the street shouting at people walking by, then 30 minutes later was surrounded by 300 strangers cheering for me and giving me money… Almost like rags to riches in real life. I got from point A to point B with nobody’s help, using only my wit and will. It’s not a totally true story, but it was a great one that I got to share with thousands and thousands of people.
When I got on stage, my story was that I was wild and energetic, but the audience wasn’t really sure if I knew what I was doing. After some stumbles, I eventually made a show that was insanely successful. People would come up to me after the show remarking how it all worked out. They would ask me how long I’d been performing and would be surprised that I had lots of stage time. Seasoned pros knew I didn’t just luck out that night, but the normal audience member got to enjoy that story.
When we watch AGT, we see it’s not about the best trick, it’s about the best story. And that story needs to be happening right there on stage at the moment. We want to see someone changed.
This can be a difficult balance for someone who wants to present consistency. It’s tough to connect with an audience through some thread of authenticity, but also change in front of their eyes. We can’t completely change who we are every single time create. All it takes is a dedication to thinking, “How can I elevate the contrast between how I’m (or my character is) perceived at the beginning and at the end.