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Begin by setting up the story
The way I tell the story of Arachne is that I divide the audience into four sections and assign each one a key word to listen out for and to respond to in word/action: whenever Group 1 hears me say ARACHNE, they point proudly to their chests and say “I’m the Best!”
Setting up Group 2 (TAPESTRY) also enables me to explain what is tapestry before I start; likewise SHUTTLE and finally, I can eexplain that ATHENA is the goddess of Wisdom.
Now they all know their roles, I can start the story!
Once upon a time,
when the grass grew greener,
the trees grew taller,
and the sun shone more brightly
than it does today,
there was a . . .
More ways To Begin
Sing a song (a verse, chorus) or hum the tune.Use an existing song or adapt the lyrics to a popular hit.
This can provide an arresting way into a story. Teach the audience the chorus?
In a land that never was
in a time that could never be . . .
In a place,
neither near nor far,
and a time,
neither now nor then . . .
Once upon a time
and twice upon a time,
and all times together
as ever I heard tell of
. . .
“You’re a useless, good-for-nothing, lazy boy, Jack!” yelled his mother.
How could you live on $1 a day and still have money left over to
THAWING YOUR AUDIENCE
I remember a British stage actress sharing the following tip: if you find your audience is not responsive, note the seats where you do get a response - and play your next laugh line directly at them. They will laugh louder - and people around them will laugh too. Then play the next laugh line directly at the same person/group - and they’ll laugh louder, and draw more people into responding with them. Keep on targeting that group of seats until they have got the whole audience responding along with them!