Three Little Words: How Netflix Can Help Pinpoint Your Performing Persona

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Like many people, I’ve succumbed to a Netflix subscription during lockdown.

But even when I’m taking a break from thinking about magic, I often end up thinking about magic!

Recently, I’ve been working on finding a pithy way to describe my onstage persona. One evening, I went onto Netflix and…

The Inspiration

I noticed that almost every show is accompanied by a few adjectives to describe it (let’s call them descriptors). So, for example, Rick and Morty is “absurd, quirky, irreverent”.

The Idea

If you’re struggling to think of words to describe your character, that are more specific than “funny” or “incredible”, then just flick through Netflix and see if any of their shows’ descriptors chime with you.

You can also combine this with the ‘You are what you like’ technique from my book, Sell Your Show in Seconds. How? Just collate a few of your favourite shows, then look at the adjectives used to describe them, and see if any suit you (or suits you, for any Fast Show fans).

The Trick

Since millions of people now have Netflix, you can also use this feature as a relatable presentation hook. This would work best with groups of people who know each other, which is handy since, at the moment, they’re about the only ones who can go out together.

Essentially, you perform a Thought Thief/Psychometry-style routine, but using people’s descriptions of their friends or family. So, get everyone in the group to describe the person to their right in three words (but without writing any names down, to keep things anonymous), but warn them to be nice, as someone is doing the same for them.

Then mix up the cards, look at them, and ‘intuit’ who wrote what about who. Try and ask people to keep a poker face as you read out the descriptions. That said, the subject matter is almost guaranteed to provoke a reaction, from laughter to outrage (“You think I’m egotistical? Moi?!”), so don’t worry if it ends up being more entertaining than amazing.

The method? In person, it’s simple, just use the standard methods (though probably with added grip-seal bags and hand sanitiser!). Socially distanced or via Zoom? Good question! If you come up with anything, let me know. Otherwise, keep it in your back pocket for when things open up again.

More?

For more techniques to swiftly sum up your show, and your persona, check out my book Sell Your Show in Seconds. It’s had some lovely 5-star reviews and is available on Amazon in many countries, including the UK and US.

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