The audience laughed, a lot, why? How may I do when I want them to laugh? I discovered Standup Comedy, took classes, and went to open mic clubs. Got awards and lots of laughter.
Now after 77+ performances? I can tell : I had funny bones I did not know about! Plus at any frustration I now look: how can I present it look at it with comedian eyes.
Will I be able to retell this in only 7 minutes instead of 11? What should I cut? Finaly, they let me tell almost all of the story.
Yesterday, March 25, they told me I can cut the first three minutes! I'll try it thus. But I have to add the motivation: 'I want my son back' then later that I did. And perhaps, at the end, mention him again, so the end matches the beginning. Instead of 'microcomputer' use 'personal computer'. Instead of 'cave' use 'cellar in the garden'.
There is a video from another angle of my performance (one taken by my family and the other by organiser), alas I was more facing the audience then the videographer.
In fact, I told it first, 4 year ago in the middle of the deep recession, as Mystery Speaker to a Toastmasters club near Victoria Station. At that time the title must have been "think outside the box" to show that we could look at all we know and like not only at a job or profession description of us.
This storytelling November 2010 was a pivotal experience for me, because the audience laughed a lot and I decided to learn how to make humour - when I want! I found my first Stand Up Comedy Workshop at the Comedy School. Then, the second Standup & Deliver, and then later the same year the third, with David Jones. After then, at age 77 I went out to the Comedy Circuit "at least 20 he told us".
As to now, beginning 2014 I have performed more then 77 times as Standup, and have also given many many other true stories together with other storytellers at Spark.
One of the "secrets" is to go out not to "win" but to try out something new, challenge yourself to experiment each time something. It is very useful, at least at the beginning to take video and see yourself.
That is how I realised that I run out to fast in Mistaken Identity, I hid from the lights another times, and I realised the next time when I do not hide, fast my eyes get used and I forget about lights in my eyes.
Another time, Johanna told me "you move too much" and yes, again I was to avoid the strong reflectors, next time after my opening sentence I sit down and gave all using voice variety and face. It was a very successful performance: "you looked straight to me when you told the stories!" - I did not tell her that in the dark of the audience I could not see anyone other then the first row.
Going out like there are our friends, not as we go to the "lions den", and even speaking with some before and becoming nearer is important. After you have spoken, they seem to be nearer you, and you to all audience through them and react more, better.
Go to http://www.youtube.com/user/sparklondon to see other storytellers too!