“There are always limits, and there are always opportunities. The ones we rehearse and focus on are the ones that shape our attitude and our actions.”Seth Godin
I often play out how I expect a conversation to go down. How I’ll say something, how I’ll receive the response, and how I triumph in the end. It’s quite a hilarious exercise where the ending celebration is rare. I wouldn’t call my conversations with myself futile though, even if the practice appears insane, because it helps me think about my words and how they will be delivered to the audience.
Audience. I talk about this group all day, through every work day. We must respect it. Who is our audience? What do they need to know? What is their preferred channel? How do they engage with it? How do we exploit that channel to best engage with them? Yes, I fully expect the use of the word exploit to be interpreted as pornographic and corrupt, but it’s not intended that way. Consider its use and the intended context as “effective” on steroids.
It’s about connecting!
Who doesn’t want to find the best, cheapest and most effective way to connect with people? Only a liar would tell you no, not interested.
We are human.
Even introverts crave contact with other people. As a communicator and a marketer, it’s my job.
Ironically, Appropriately, or Oddly, the connections that I get paid to make are now part of my unpaid life as well. I moonlight as an improviser and use my skills to connect with my fellow players, and together to connect with our audience. In the Improv world, there are no data sets to measure message efficacy. The audience connection is measured by applause or the lack of, and my own success is measured by adrenaline or dread. I started taking Improv classes in November 2017, and it’s become an uninterrupted ribbon in my life since then. Since last fall I’ve been working with a group of improvisers/ writers on sketch comedy. We wrote some 50-plus scripts last fall, and now we are whittling that down to a show that will last some 90 minutes, that our director and teacher will help us produce and act in. And, like everything else in life, it’s all about the audience.
Right or wrong, or Left or correct, our community in the western suburbs of DuPage County may be more middle or right than we want. As improvisers and writers, moreover, as artists, it’s our job to push the pendulum enough to ignite laughter and thought. That is both an art and a witches brew. Religion and politics, the supposed separation of church and state, is what right or wrong but truthfully unites and divides us as a country.
As the Godin quote states above, maybe through rehearsing acts that challenge the status quo, we move past those stereotypes (aka limits) and laughter becomes the channel that provides us boundless opportunities to connect with other humans.