When you tell a story you’ve already resolved, there’s no emotion. Actually, that’s not true. You may have resolved your story. You may have some relationship from the past that you’ve resolved through story. That’s still a good story. Why? Before I answer that, let me tell you I’ve had to resolve all the stories I tell but I’m still emotionally connected to them because emotion is like electricity. It’s in the walls. It’s behind the walls in this room I’m sitting in right now.

If I want access to that electricity, I have to use the outlet. I’ve got to plug in to a light. I don’t care about what the emotion is or what the electricity looks like. All I care about is my access to it. I have access to my emotions, which just lie all over the place. If I want access to them, I just plug in and now I can tell the story. Even if it’s resolved, emotion will be there or it won’t, but it doesn’t matter because the story still gives you that connection.

Don’t think just because you’ve told a story a thousand times and you’ve healed yourself through that story, you can’t still use it. You can use it. Your job is to co-create and recreate that emotion each time you tell it. It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about co-creation, but it’s my secret to a great performance.


How To Avoid Storytelling Traps

Dealing with Emotion on Stage