Imagination: That place that we can escape to in order to hide from the nastiness of reality; a better place. A land that does not really exist, but should.
These are three possible definitions of the word Imagination. I did not even look the word up, because I know what it means to me. It really is the world that you must be attempting to create for your audience every time you go on stage. Everybody knows what reality is. For a lot of people it is a place that really stinks. It is a place to get away from. The usual. The humdrum. The everyday.
Whether or not your audience realizes in so many words, it is the world of make-believe that made them come to see you and your characters. It is a break from the nasty now and now (until we can get to the sweet by and by).
Take your characters and go into a room without windows. Preferably a room with no furniture, and only a chair for you to sit on. Now without any distractions from the real world, use your imagination to talk to your puppets. Both you and they can discuss the way the world really should be. Find some humor in the way things would be if only…
Make fun of little things without fearing that someone will be offended. This may seem like its a little far out, but by creating this make believe world (even if it is merely the way things were in a slower, more simple time – back on the farm so to speak) you can use your characters and humor to give your audience a whimsical break from all that may be troubling them today.
Let your imagination build a safe place for your audience to get lost in, even if it is only for the 20 or 30 minutes that you are on stage. When you do, your audience will have had a good time. Have you ever listened to the radio show “Prairie Home Companion”? From the time that Mr. Keeler begins to tell the story of the week, you are absolutely lost to your problems of the day. And you can hardly wait for the next “chapter” in the story next week.
As a vent, it is your job to use your imagination to create a safe place that your audience will want to travel to with you. When you are successful at this, the folks in your audience will hardly be able to wait to get to see you again. You will increase your market value in your area.
Think about this. Then let some of the ideas that you have drift into your act.
If you would like to share some of your ideas below in the comments section, please do. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
Steve and JET