“Participation Should be the Heart of Transmedia Storytelling” is an article I found while browsing the website, Storytelling and Transmedia. The author of the article, Robert Pratten, gave a presentation on participation and storytelling at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. His presentation explained that it was important to involve the audience during transmedia storytelling. Allowing audience participation will increase the socializing, creating and the voice of people who are interested in your story. For example, using digital media such as Twitter and Facebook allows filmmakers and their audience to be connected and makes the interaction more personable and easily accessible. In storytelling, it is important to reach out to your audience.
I attended a massmouth story slam on February 20 and while I was interested in listening to the stories, I also watched the crowd. If a story was engaging, the audience would laugh or make some sort of comment. Their eyes were focused on the storyteller. I heard many storytellers, after they had gone up to tell their story, be congratulated. Some of these stories were hard to hear and were probably hard to tell; it is an impressive thing to go up to a microphone in front of an audience and recount a personal event. If a story was not interesting to the audience, I watched as the body language shifted from engaged to bored. People became interested in other things, like the utensils on the table in front of them.
Similarly when I went to the StoriesLive® workshop with Norah a few weeks ago, as well as the Everett High School Story Slam, I watched the classroom and audience. Sometimes, if the students were interested in the story being told, they would sit up straighter and be more attentive. If they were bored by the storyteller, they would slouch and not pay attention.
I believe that audience participation can help the storyteller get their point across, however it should not be a mandatory thing. Sometimes a story can be engaging on its own without the help of an audience asking questions about it or making comments. Transmedia storytelling helps gain a larger audience for storytellers through use of digital technology, and audience interaction is one way to see that digital technology is a plus for storytellers today.
Link for the original article: http://paper.li/
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Rachel Simon is the Spring 2012 intern for massmouth, inc. and is a senior at Lesley College majoring in Creative Writing. She has been telling stories in one form or another since she was five.