Making an Audience Happy is Not the Point

Making an Audience Happy is Not the Point

When storytellers base their success on making the audience happy, this is like a parent basing their success on making the kids happy. In doing so, they are giving the power of discernment over to someone who may not be properly qualified.

A state of awe and wonder is our natural state. To find that state, stories have the power to put us in touch with other complex emotions which can be confusing or downright uncomfortable. A story could, for example, push us toward our natural state of awe and wonder by way of making us encounter our deepest and most unconscious fears.

The idea of a “good” movie is so incredibly arbitrary because of the enormous variety of definitions out there for what goodness entails. Goodness could be referring to comforting, or non-stop action and intensity, perhaps simply visually stunning, or truly groundbreaking.

Therefore, even the notion of making a “good” movie is aiming to please an audience who doesn’t necessarily know what they are talking about, or even what they want. Trying to please an audience is actually betraying the trust and the true needs of the audience. What they actually need, whether they realize it or not, is authenticity.

This doesn’t mean that the storyteller shouldn’t have the audience in mind when creating a story, but they must realize that they ARE the story and that the audience is there to get to know THEM. When a highly skilled storyteller is “Crafting” a story, it only appears that way because in fact, they are actually crafting themselves.

In the framework of the Toltec Knowledge, through the lens of which my book describes transformational storytelling, the Toltec Warrior brings order to the chaos. That is the orientation through which a story is funneled. If the storyteller doesn’t See deeply into their own chaos, they will need to manufacture chaos synthetically to “amp up the drama” of the story, and in doing so they have stopped crafting themselves and are now putting on a show, essentially “faking it”, to manipulate and to get a rise out of the audience.

The offerings and the experience of the storyteller, even if they are a public figure, is in great part an act of anonymity specifically because of the highly intimate experience. It may be counterintuitive to consolidate the ideas of intimacy and anonymity, and yet that’s exactly what storytelling is.

Each archetypal energy remains an anonymous representative of human collective energies, even after it is channeled a million times – and yet, in that process, more and more order is brought to the state of the human species, and along with this type of order arises more love, dignity, lucidity, will, awareness, and power.


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Joshua Edjida
Lead Storyweaver
Joshua Edjida is a multidimensional artist, experience designer, author, public speaker/comedian, and transformational leadership facilitator. Originally from California, he currently lives in Colorado, and also enjoys traveling in Thailand, Bali, or in Europe.

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