Are You Grabbing Your Audience or Inviting Them?
Why are we in such a hurry to be entertained?
These past few weeks I've been doing stand up comedy a few nights a week and one of the things I'm noticing about these comedy open mics is the pressure to get a laugh within the first 30 seconds or less. There was a bit that I really loved where I started with something serious and led people down a 1 minute path in order to get my first joke. I liked it but it didn't really work very well in the standard 5 min set so I've switched up my material. I'm still holding to the idea that given a longer set someday I could make that bit work eventually, but it's made me think hard about time, space and entertainment.
It's crazy nowadays when you think of how much an entertainer or a "content creator" is supposed to "grab" their audience right away. If you're scrolling through a feed, you need a video that jumps out at you and so people are literally jumping and waving their arms at the beginning of their videos. But I can't help thinking that this creates an unhealthy hurriedness not just for the performer, but also for the audience. . . . because as an audience, do we really want to be "grabbed?" or do we want to be "invited?" Do we want to be "won over" or "killed" or do we want to be "entranced?" These are the thoughts I'm thinking as I reflect on my latest interview with executive producer, Salli Frattini who was one of the first female executives at MTV where she spent 20 years building her career working with musical legends like Prince. We talk about entertainment and how the format's rapidly evolving, shortened Jim Carrey speeches and what it was like for her to produce Beyonce. Click here to find that podcast episode>>
In the meantime. . . consider switching up the words you use to describe your performances: "slay" "kill" (yes yes I know I have been guilty of using this one in the past), "win" "grab" . . . these words are powerful but they carry a definite energetic vibration that can have the affect of pushing away your audience or turning them off more than you realize. Because . . . Who wants to be "killed" "won" or "grabbed"? Being on the other side of the energy doesn't feel good to your audience, casting directors, fans etc. Here's just a few words that I've been using lately that I wanted to share with you that have a different feeling to them and the results are far more attractive to be on the other side of: attract invite share entrance lead resonate evoke provocate conjure
And hey, if you can think of more words I'd love to hear them! Share them in the Performers & Creators Lab Community Facebook Group and let me know what words you use that create the best path to your dreams being fulfilled? BIG LOVE, Holly
P.S. I finally caved in and decided I'd share about my stand up comedy experiences on the podcast. Ever wanted to try stand-up or you're doing it now? Curious what it's like to try stand up for the first time? Click here to hear what's been happening in my stand up comedy world>>
And hey, if you enjoy these "Comedy Chronicles" please drop me a line and let me know! Not sure if I will continue these "tell alls" but if I know that you enjoy them then I will be duly encouraged;) Thanks!