The secret to making more people fall in love with your show.
It’s dramatic writing 101 that the hero of your story (whether that’s a play, a musical, or a movie) has to want something. Badly. It gives him (or her) an action. A hero that doesn’t want anything just becomes a couch potato. And there are enough of those in the world, right?
And it’s musical writing 101 that the hero of the show comes out and explicitly states what they want in the first few scenes of said show. “All I want is a room somewhere,” “I want so much more than this provincial life,” “I gotta find my purpose,” “Gotta find my corner of the sky,” “I wanna be where the people are,” and so on, including my favorite, “I wanna be a Producer!”
But I’ve noticed something very simple lately about that want that seems to have a direct correlation to the mass appeal of the story, again in whatever medium that story is being told.
It’s the secret to making your audience for your show bigger.
The more the “want” is something your audience also wants to do? The bigger the crowd.
It’s simple. But important.
It’s why a musical about someone who wants to be an impressionist painter may not have as much appeal as a musical about someone who wants to be a rock star.
The want has to be something a large audience can relate to, or want to achieve themselves (even if they don’t know it). When this happens, they root for your hero to succeed that much more . . . because deep down, they are rooting for their own success at that very same thing.
The first thing all writers of musicals need to do is discover what their hero wants. The second thing they need to do is find out if the audience ever dreams about the same thing.
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