Thursday, July 3, 2008

Player Event Tips: Scripted / Theatrical Events

These sorts of events are where you will find your preparation for the event to be more important. People generally are not going to actively participate in your event so it’s all on you to make the event entertaining and worth their time.

Examples of Scripted Events

  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Guild Ceremonies
  • Plays
  • Fashion Shows

I would say that timing would be the most important thing here. You should constantly keep the event progressing on. Think of it like a radio program. Dead air is bad. Role-players are a patient bunch but you have to keep things moving. I’m not recommending you speed type through your event but keeping a good pace so people realize what is going on is important. You know it’s going a tad too slow if you hear people asking things like “Is that it?” or “Are we done?”

This is going to sound rude but you should think of your audience as being about six years old. A six year old child can sit for a certain amount of time and listen well until their attention span snaps. When that happens you will find your event disrupted by attention wanting crazy people. I’m not sure if people just see a crowd and can’t keep their crazy in or if they really have a short attention span but you will want to avoid the six year old outburst if at all possible.

Do not misunderstand me, not everyone who attends events is this way. In fact, most are not. But there always is that one six year old in the audience and you will want to plan your event around their attention span for the sake of everyone else’s enjoyment.

A good rule of thumb for a scripted event is twenty minutes to an hour. If you have it shorter than twenty minutes, people will gripe about spending 10 minutes on a griffin for something that ended so quickly. If you have it more than an hour you’ll get the crazy attention starved six year olds.

Not everything fits into this time frame and that is perfectly alright. I do recommend that if you plan the event to last longer than an hour that you mention it when you announce your event. It doesn’t have to be formal, a simple “I suspect this event to last 2 hours” is fine.

As with many things, communication is the key. If you are running late or hit an unexpected snag, simply communicate it to your audience. It may feel a little embarrassing to have to do so but you’ll find that the audience is more patient when they know what’s going on.

Your goal is to have everyone walk away saying “That was a great time, I’ll make sure to attend at the next event”. Hopefully I’ve helped you a little in achieving that goal.

General Tips

  • Type out what you plan to say and keep a print out near you during the event. There could be a lot of things going on and having the script in front of you could help you find your place when distracted.
  • If possible, macro the text so you don’t have to spend your entire event frantically typing. You can also have the script in a file open in the background and copy/paste in the script although I don’t recommend this, it may work better for those who use windowed mode.
  • If you have actors other than yourself involved, make sure they have their parts scripted and given to them before hand. If long and complex, consider a rehearsal. Make sure they are all in a group with you so you can quickly communicate to them during the event.
  • If there is a lot of movement or a large space you are performing the event, make sure your audience is close enough to hear you. /say does have a rather short range.

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