Tempo - 2015

Tempo - 2015

'Status' is a very english preoccupation. We have a continually shifting class system that is both confusing and often debilitating (at least for me). I talk alot about the rebalance of power between storyteller and audience and I like to use a little game I picked up from my days as a salesman in retail to exemplify.

The game requires a pack of cards, shuffled. You ask each participant to take a card and without looking at its face, place it outward on their forehead - just like the idiot in the picture above.

When the game begins, the group walks around in silence, reacting favorably or otherwise to one another based on the status of their playing card. Those with Royal Cards are smiled at, curtsied to and warmly recieved (in silence). Numbers 7-9 can also expect to receive warm greetings, but perhaps a little more muted. Numbers 4-6, the silent reactions tend to be somewhat nonchalant and indifferent, but those with Aces though to 3, unfortunately are avoided and if eye contact is made it is with some degree of repulsion.

Once the game has played out, I ask the group to (without looking at their cards still) separate into four corners of the space, each defined by their assumed status. If the game has made them feel extraordinary they will head to the Royal corner, if they were made to feel special but perhaps with some reservation, their corner is the 7-9 and so on.

Having been herded according to how they feel they were treated by their silent companions, they are then allowed to take a look at the card to see if they find themselves in the correct corner.

The first time I played this game, I happened to be a King and the sensation of being on the receiving end of so many smiles and flirtations was completely intoxicating. I joked that it was the best day of my life, but actually maybe it was.

This is the lesson. Whether we are about to work in a group or with our audience or with anyone in general, it is always best to do so as Kings and Queens. Their response will always be far more impactful, and if our intention in creating a transmedia project where feedback and dialogue is a key factor, is it not better to treat those we wish to speak with with the respect we would ourselves like to recieve?

 

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