“Yes, and…”

The Goal – Each guest becomes a unique, contributing partner in the word of our story. Every time a guest interacts with a character, their feeling of being a valued part of this new world grows deeper and fuller. They go on to explore their new environment, inspired, confident and emotionally connected to this imaginary world.

Now, you can’t force this to happen. But, guests can be gently lead in the right direction. With every interaction, it is the immersive characters who encourage these connections to grow.

Imagine, for a moment, interacting with someone who isn’t considering your contributions or feelings. They keep going on (and on) with whatever they please, with no regard for your input. Feel special yet?

It’s the same when a guest is on the receiving end of your ‘performance’. They know any of a million people could be standing there instead of them – you’d be doing the same thing. Business as usual. Nothing to get excited about here, folks.

Performance isn’t a bad thing – far from it. But, in our immersive work, performance can’t be trusted to get us to The Goal.

Because we’re looking for something different, we must do things differently.

Here comes the paradigm shift I talk about. Stop looking at the guest as an audience for you to perform to. Do the mental shift to make each guest a full partner in the scene you both create.

A definition of  “Yes, and… thinking” can help illustrate this.  Simply put, “Yes, and…” means you accept what your partner has stated, then you build on that line of thinking.

For immersive characters, that “Yes” is critical. “Yes” means accepting what the guest sends our way. Now each guest is clearly included – a contributing partner in the interaction. Take this step and move the work from a performance into being a genuine give and take.

Stop seeing the work as ‘It’s Us or Them’. Make your work – ‘It’s Just Us’ and a gigantic connection will be made.

I agree, not everything you get from a guest will fit The Goal.  But, it doesn’t have to. With a bit of craft and attention, you can touch on something unique in a guest while still moving towards The Goal.

Wait… some partners are always better than others. Agreed. And an extra level of difficulty comes from guest being untrained partners.  And this partner isn’t thinking that they are in a scene. It’s a lot to overcome.

Listen, you have no choice but to treat the guest’s offer with respect. It is out there for everyone to see. If you deny it, the interaction, as we want it to develop, comes to a screeching halt. Their offer has to stand as is.

That brings us to the “And.” This is your return offer. This is the place you have room to maneuver. This is where craft and attention come into play.

Next week, I’ll show you how working with your “And” will deepen connections while you move closer to The Goal.

Next Up – Closer To The Goal. Working With “And”

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